Famous Korean chef Edward Kwon as well as actresses Kim Jung-eun and Keum Hyo-min and actor Jin Goo were named special kimchi ambassadors yesterday by the city of Gwangju, South Jeolla Province, that hosts a kimchi festival later this fall.
The organizing committee for the Gwangju Kimchi Cultural Festival 2009 held the appointment ceremony at the Shilla Hotel in central Seoul.
The ceremony included a cooking competition as well as an exhibition showing different types of kimchi across the nation.
The festival, the 16th of its kind, will run from Oct. 23 to Nov. 1, at Gwangju World Cup Stadium and Yeomju Stadium.
Under the slogan "Kimchi is Culture," the festival aims to become a national celebration to globalize kimchi.
"This festival will be an opportunity for everyone to see, hear and enjoy all the culture related to kimchi," organizers said.
They said the four have been tapped to become promotional ambassadors to help spread out the goodness of kimchi worldwide.
Gwangju Mayor Park Gwang-tae also handed out certificates of designation for the stars, organizers said.
Edward Kwon is the first Korean to have taken the head chef position at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, a symbol of Dubai`s amazing growth.
Top actress Kim Jung-eun, newcomer Keum Hyo-min and Jin Goo, who appeared in "All In," star in the upcoming movie "Le Grand Chef 2 - Kimchi War."
Gwangju grows an abundance of the ingredients which are needed to make kimchi, namely: lettuce, radish, garlic, onion and dried red pepper.
South Jeolla Province on the whole occupies 53.6 percent of the entire agricultural land of the nation. The world kimchi research center is also scheduled to be established in the region.
At the autumn festival, kimchi will be highlighted in four aspects, including health, industry, culture and tourism. The promotion will focus on kimchi as one of the five healthiest foods in the world, along with soy beans, Greek yogurt, olives and lentils, as selected by U.S. Health magazine.
Korea has been gearing up to globalize its cuisines worldwide, under the initiative by President Lee Myung-bak.
The Korea Tourism Organization, together with culture and foreign ministries, have also been hosting various Korean food banquets overseas as part of the effort.
By Lee Joo-hee