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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Kids and the Coronavirus PAGE 1 Why Jelly Belly Was Sued for Misrepresentation PAGE 2 The Best Activities for Helping Kids Cope With Stress PAGE 2 Taking Art Classes From Home PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Protein-Packed Breakfast Burritos PAGE 3 The Story of Zen Buddhist Chef Jeong Kwan PAGE 4 SOLUTION
FOOD FOR THOUGHT The Incredible Story of Zen Buddhist Chef Jeong Kwan
documentary series “Chef ’s Table.” She continues, “There is no difference between cooking and pursuing Buddha’s way.” Whether for enlightenment or simply connecting with friends and family, sharing home-cooked meals can be an emotionally restorative experience as much as it is nourishing. This month, indulge in something special and homemade or try your hand at Korean temple cuisine by Googling some of Jeong Kwan’s recipes.
visited Kwan’s monastery and experienced her cooking during a trip to Korea.
One of the world’s greatest chefs can’t be found in a restaurant. Instead, she serves fellow nuns and occasional visitors in a Zen Buddhist monastery in Korea. To fully describe the incredible success of Jeong Kwan, you must first consider a factor that Western cuisine has ignored for millennia. While most people would assume Korean food is all about its famed barbecue, another pillar of the culture goes largely unacknowledged: Korean temple cuisine, which originated in the country’s Buddhist monasteries. A philosophy of Zen Buddhism is to not crave food and satisfy yourself only enough to be prepared for meditation, so you might think that flavor would be of little consequence in a monastery’s kitchen. However, you’d be wrong.
Ripert invited Kwan to NewYork City to prepare food in a private room at Le Bernardin, where she sent global shockwaves through the entire fine cuisine community. NewYork Times writer Jeff Gordinier described her plates as “so elegant, they could’ve slipped into a tasting menu at Benu or Blanca” and her flavors as “assertive,” all while being vegan. More and more critics realized that Kwan’s combination of foraging, fermenting, dehydrating, and cooking by season was not a modern practice. In fact, Zen Buddhist monks like Kwan mastered cooking in this tradition hundreds of years ago. “With food, we can share and communicate our emotions. It’s that mindset of sharing that is really what you’re eating,” Kwan says at the start of her titular episode of Netflix’s
The West’s perception of Korean temple cuisine was challenged shortly after Eric Ripert
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