“Heart of a chef is the finest condiment to all food”

김태인 기자l승인2021.08.26l수정2021.08.26 13:26






▲ Sunglim Restaurant CEO Meejeong Ahn

(PowerKorea) Food shows on TV and social media are cash cows. People are not only watching the shows for fun but they are learning how to eat better and healthy for themselves and for their families. For many years, people were unaware of artificial condiments but easy obtainment of information is awakening their unconsciousness and encouraging them to seek food made with natural condiments. 

“Heart of a chef is the finest condiment to all food”
Meejeong Ahn, CEO of Sunglim Restaurant, moved to Tongyeong 10 years ago. Her husband worked for the government for 30 years and they decided to move when his health deteriorated rapidly. “I liked eating very much and thought of running a restaurant one day. My husband’s bad health brought it forward and we moved to Tongyeong where we knew nobody but knew there was a lot of seafood and moderate temperature throughout the year” says Ahn. She traveled France and Spain to see what kind of food they make and eat as well as her homeland to learn the very taste of the best restaurants in the nation. At the end of this recipe odyssey, she came to a conclusion of her learning: “heart of a chef is the finest condiment to all food”. With this principle in mind, she met professor Sanghae Park, a master of temple food, to learn natural Korean condiments. “Through many of food therapy sessions, I learned importance of the three basic Korean condiments: soy source, red pepper paste and soy bean paste. In addition, I learned making of pickled mussel enjoyed by rich families in the region long time ago. 100kg mussel can give only 1kg pickled mussel and it is no wonder it was one of the frequent side dishes on the king’s table.” By using the most of her knowledge and experience, she developed her own pickled mussel ‘Ahn Mee Jeong Master Pickled Mussel’ and registered trade mark. The deep savory taste of the condiment, she says, goes well not only with Korean food but also Italian pasta. 

Semi-dried fish food master Ahn
Sunglim Restaurant is nestled in Donamdong and those who know it know because it has been aired number of times as one of must-visit restaurants in the city. As Ahn is a semi-dried fish food master, the most popular menu is grilled fish followed by abalone pot rice and cuttlefish cold raw fish soup. No matter what kind of menu you order, it comes with free 10 side dishes of the day. For those who cannot travel down to Tongyeong just to taste the food, Ahn sells her limited amount of food for freshness on her social media which often sold out in flick of time. She won the gold prize at the 2021 Korea Cooking & Bakery Contest and at the 22nd Korea Cooking Contest and at the 2019 Korea World Food Championship. “People say we cannot cure illness through food but I firmly believe we can as long as we stick to healthy ingredients and healthy food” says Ahn.

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김태인 기자  red3955@hanmail.net
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