In an unusual mix of ancient tradition and modern art, the first Korean Buddhist temple food restaurant will be opened on the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette in Paris next year, in an effort to introduce the 1,700-year-old Buddhist cuisine to the increasing health-conscious West.
The restaurant itself will take the form of a ‘hanok’, a traditional Korean House, showcasing the beauty of Korean architecture. You can see the styling inside and outside of the two hanoks above and below.
And as for the food? The dishes are composed of mainly vegetables, roots and the husks of mountainous trees, and unlike many Korean dishes, very little seasonings are used so that the main flavor comes from the vegetables themselves. Essentially the food will mimic the diet of Korean Buddhist monks; “We will seek ways of both modernizing the recipes and also preserving the traditional style of temple food before entering the market next year, ” Ven. Jihyun, director of Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism told The Korean Herald.
A sample of Buddhist temple cooking from Sanchon Temple
In Paris, most of the ingredients including the vegetables and roots will be locally sourced. A pleasant sound to the ears of the Locavore movement which continues to gain popularity throughout Europe.
The addition of Korean cultural food to the Parisian menu has been the result of a joint venture between the Jorge and Galeries Lafayette. But the idea to spread temple cuisine is not limited to France. Dishes will feature in prominent culinary expos around the world, and meetings have been set up in England and Germany.
As demand for nutritious and delicious vegetarian dishes increase, the simplicity of traditional Temple food may grab the imagination of the world.