SEOUL, KOREA — British star chef Jamie Oliver recently paid his first visit to Korea, arriving on February 29 for several packed days of travel and meetings. According to CJ Foodville, the CJ group’s restaurant service corporation with whom Oliver is currently in collaboration for an upcoming project, the visit was arranged after Oliver expressed his desire to experience authentic Korean food firsthand.
On February 2, Oliver traveled to Garak-dong Agricultural & Marine Products Market, the largest wholesale market of agricultural and fishery products in Korea, where he met with actor Chun Jung-myung to shoot a commercial that will be broadcast on local television.
Despite the shooting schedule, Oliver had the opportunity to tour the market and observe its wares, as evidenced by the photos of live octopus, cockles, and skate published on his Twitter account. “Fish market is amazing,” was his accompanying comment.
In a Chosun Ilbo interview published on March 3, Oliver professed his love for Korean food, sharing that he has tried his hand at making homemade kimchi. The newspaper also reported that Oliver has plans to open a branch of his restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian in Korea sometime this November.
“We will test to see how my cooking style and dishes fare with Korean customers, and will work to develop a menu that suits their tastes,” said Oliver in the interview. His restaurant currently has 30 outlets in England, and the new outlet in Korea would be the third international branch.
During his stay, Oliver was also announced by Samsung as the newest Samsung Global Olympic Games ambassador. He will be active in marketing campaigns and promotional activities raising awareness of Samsung’s Olympic Games sponsorship.
Oliver’s television shows, which began with his debut series The Naked Chef known for its mix of fresh ingredients and simple recipes, are broadcast in 50 countries worldwide. His charity organization, the Jamie Oliver Foundation, provides cooking apprenticeships for young people and promotes health education for children. His books have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, and in 2003, Oliver was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his contributions to the hospitality industry.
*Article from Korea magazine