Celebration of Korean Food

korean foodKorean food was recently celebrated in Oregon. Hosted by the Korean American Coalition of Oregon in Northwest Portland, three days ago 11 chefs assembled for the Mukja (which means ‘Let’s Eat’) food festival.

Chefs include: Brandon Kirksey of Girin (offering classical Korean cuisine), Rick Gencarelli of Lardo (a restaurant whose humble beginnings date back to a food cart in SE Portland), John Gorham of Toro Bravo (a Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant in NE Portland), Kyo Koo of Superhawk, Johanna Ware of Smallwares (self-described as an “inauthentic” Korean restaurant), PJ Yang of Bamboo Sushi (the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant), Bo Kwon of Koi Fusion (a funky fusion of Korean BBQ and fresh Mexican flavors) and more.

Tickets retailed at $50 per person or $75 for VIP.

Spiritual Cooking with Yael

cookingSome people believe that there is a deep-seated connection between the physical and spiritual world. Some, like Yael Eckstein feel that “there does not need to be a separation between physical and spiritual actions” at all. And so Eckstein wrote the book “Spiritual Cooking with Yael: Recipes and Bible Mediations from the Holy Land.”

Living in Israel and being Senior Vice President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has resulted in Yael forming an understanding and appreciation of the spiritual work both Jews and Christians are doing. She explains: “After talking at length to many Fellowship supporters, I can truthfully say that I am deeply moved by their steadfast support for Israel and the Jewish people. In a complex and often confusing world, their faith has remained so simple and pure; they believe that God loves Israel, that the Jews belong in Israel, and feel that it is their responsibility to make sure that Jews are able to return home and that poor Jews are given the assistance they need.”

“Spiritual Cooking with Yael” is more than just another cookbook featuring Middle Eastern recipes. It enables the user to follow the recipes and simultaneously “learn how to integrate Bible verses, teachings, and meditations into the seemingly mundane act of cooking.”

Many have written about the spiritual connection of food. Peter Farb and George Armelagos, in their book “Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating,” write: “Food to a large extent is what holds a society together, and eating is closely linked to deep spiritual experiences.”

What Yael has done in her book is, as one reviewer said, “helped me make a spiritual connection to preparing food for my family.” Eckstein has successfully brought spirituality into the kitchen.