The Korean national cooking contest

Concentrated in the rooms at a restaurant in Pyongyang, the Korean chefs passionately presented their food in front of the audience. From samsaek gaepitok three-color rice cakes to honey-fried fried biscuits called yak kwa or stuffed zucchini, the meticulousness in every detail is the key for them to catch the eye of the judges.

According to AFP, the winner of about 300 chefs attending the Korean national cooking contest will receive a reward for cooking books, kitchen appliances, certificates and medals. The audience was mostly women, wearing thick warm jackets because the restaurant had no heating. Some people use phones to record videos of contestants.

Những món ăn được chế biến từ bột khoai tây tại cuộc thi. Ảnh: AFP

However, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said in a report this week that North Korea has not been able to provide enough food for its people.

Every year, domestic food production does not meet nearly 1 million tons according to people’s needs. In addition to the frequent occurrence of arable land, natural disasters, the United Nations said other reasons for poor development of Korean agriculture were the lack of modern techniques and fertilizers.

Unlike rice, potatoes do not have to cultivate on flat ground and Pyongyang is pushing this plant to become a staple food. Mr. Kim inspected a potato flour mill many times. According to the KCNA news agency, he said that Koreans should be introduced to the “advantages and effects” of potato flour, and the methods of processing potato flour into food should be widely propagated to people.

Các đầu bếp tại cuộc thi nấu ăn quốc gia Triều Tiên hôm 13/2. Ảnh: AFP

The cooking contest in Pyongyang is part of this policy. In a room, tables filled with dishes made from potato flour, from pizza, dumplings, noodles to even chocolate cakes.

“Of course rice is our staple food, but bread and potato flour can also be a staple food,” said contest organizer Kim Kum Hun, of the central committee of the Korean Chef Association. .