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[Paris] Voyage au pays du Bouddhism Coreen (Ven. Seonjae’s Lecture on Korean Temple Food at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris on Oct 28)

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Writer Jogye Date09 Nov 2016 Read4,814 Comment0

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Ven. Seonjae’s Lecture on Korean Temple Food at Le Cordon Bleu on Oct 28
at the Event of Voyage au pays du Bouddhism Coreen in Paris from Oct 25 to Nov 9


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Ven. Seonjae is the maestro of Korean Buddhist temple food. In the event of “Voyage au pays du Buddhism Coreen” held in Paris from Oct 25 to Nov 9, 2016, Ven. Seonjae delivered the special lecture on Korean Temple Food to students at Le Cordon Bleu, one of the representative cookery schools in France on Oct 28.

 

About 100 students who applied for this lecture in advance filled the room and there were more who couldn’t apply in advance so listened to the lecture by standing. While Ven. Seonjae gave them the cooking demonstration, she introduced the spirit of Korean temple food. “Buddhism understands that human is no different than nature and nature is no different than human. Just like bees do not harm flowers while they take honey, Buddhist cooking takes nature without destroying, contaminating or exploiting the nature.”

 

She also mentioned, “What is this cooking for? We shouldn’t call it food just because it is tasty. Nor the case because it makes you feel good. Good food heals you like medicines to your body and those who cook such food are the best chef. Where do all the ingredients come from? They all are from the nature. Chefs or cooks are those who link between the nature and the people. In this perspective, every one of you is such an important person.

 

She took one cabbage and said, “People call it like a 1 or 2 cabbage. However, in Buddhist society, no one calls it with the price. For one cabbage to grow, we need the sunshine, earth, blowing wind, rain, and farmers’ efforts and so on. Where does a cabbage come from? Yes, the universe! You should see every single thing including this cabbage is a precious being born and raised by the whole universe. Once we understand the truth, we can be very cautious and grateful for what we have and take. Temple food uses the entirety of an ingredient. Monastic hardly produce food wastes by consuming all and leaving nothing behind. It’s because all the ingredients are from the universe.”

 

Ven. Seonjae demonstrated kimchi, stir-fried mushroom, seasoned eggplants, etc., for the students. After the demonstration, many questioned her and one of the questions was “You said Kimchi, Doenjang(Soybean paste), and Ganjang(Soy sauce) are fermented food. Why is fermented food so important?” Ven. Seonjae answered, “Our bodies are living beings. Our food ingredients are also living beings. Clashes or conflicts can happen when those different living beings encounter each other. What helps them to be smoothly connected is the fermentation. And, we also get life lessons from the fermented food. At least for me, cooking sometimes is a teacher to me.”

 

Eric Briffard, one of the notable professors and chefs at Le Cordon Bleu said after the lecture, “The today’s current in the global culinary culture is to cook in a way to hold the original taste of the ingredients as much as possible. Everyone can get or do whatever he or she wants as long as the person has money. But we realized that happiness is not found there. In case of food, real happiness can be also found in the simplicity. I think the spirit beneath the temple food and the current global trend can get across well each other.”

 

Another notable chef and principal of the school said after tasting the 20 year old soy sauce, “I have tasted a lot of Chinese and Japanese soy sauces so far, but nothing could beat this delicious Korean soy sauce. It’s unbelievable! It’s not salty at all. It’s something similar to old millennium wine, which also has the ancient wisdom of our ancestors. It is amazing.”

 

Finally, many students who attended the lecture made comments like
“I was very impressed by the philosophy of using the entirety of food ingredients, leaving almost nothing, and also by the words that it takes the whole universe for food to grow.”
“This is my first experience with Korean food. The harmony between fresh cabbage and the hot spy taste is amazing. I really would like to go to Korean restaurants in my town.”
“I found Korean temple food freshing, healthy and peaceful through this opportunity.”


* Article Reference: http://news.joins.com/article/20810354

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