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Eating South Korea

GET ON THE WAITLIST FOR OUR SPRING CULINARY TRIP. Email cheema@tzell.com

The Gist

You won't just visit South Korea, you'll get to be so fully immersed in Korean culture, explore & eat like a local that by the end of it you'll be an unofficial, honorary Korean, like me.

Let me show you why everyone is craving the cuisine of this the little Kingdom on a mountainous peninsula by eating our way from North to South.

We'll stay at a Buddhist temple in the mountains surround by beautiful Fall foliage and have a cooking class with Jeong Kwan (Chef's Table Netflix), not everyone gets to cook with her so I need to make sure I bring the right people. We'll have an obscene amount of meat and seafood, make and drink makgeolli, dive with the Haenyeo of Jeju to catch our lunch (this is a tradition/occupation that won't be around very long), and with a culinary trip it would only make sense to make our own ceramics. In Seoul we'll experience the very old and the very (and strange) new.

Expect to eat, cook, and drink a lot. This is a true culinary experience where we will even do a little farming on both land and sea. We will experience everything from 4 star hotels where you will have your own room to traditional Hanoks and one temple stay. 

Everything on the guided trip is included and no single supplement fee. 

This is the trip of a lifetime and you'll get to go with yours truly ! You do not want to be left out! 


 

Day 1

October 13
A Hanjeongsik welcome dinner at Seoul Gaon where we will experience our first food coma! This Korean table d'hôte is an upscale yet traditional multi-course meal. We will get to kow one another, bond, and then head back the The Plaza Hotel where you can either sleep or enjoy free time. If you happen to miss the dinner, NO WORRIES! I'll make sure there is a meal waiting for you in your private room.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Will need everyone to arrive October 13th before 3:30pm.

 

 

Day 2

October 14
We head to the world's most talked about border, the DMZ where we'll visit the tunnels that N.K. dug during their attempt to invade Seoul, and much more. Jangdan, a village near the border, is famous for it's tofu, yes... TOFU! Here we'll watch it get produced and enjoy a tofu lunch. Back in Seoul we'll experience both the oldest parts of the city and the newest. First, Gyeongbokgung Palace, which was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, built in 1395. The palace is surrounded with hundred of traditional Hanoks in a village called Bukchon, it would be ridiculous not to wander through it's alleyways and taste our way through the small cafes. From there we will head to Namsan Tower to get a birds eye view of the city and beautiful fall colors. Dinner at Jangkkoma, a modern Korean restaurant run buy a brother and sister duo will be the crown on our first full day in this Kingdom. The evening will be free! Keep in mind, it will be a Friday night and I have some fun ideas.

Day 3

October 15
After having breakfast at Gwangjang market where we'll sample mayak kimbap, grilled octopus, bindaetteok, and anything else we can get our hands on, we'll leave Seoul to venture into the country side to visit Eunseong Winery that produces apple wine, yes, apple WINE! Here we'll learn to make and then taste the apple wine. We will also farm for our own ingredients for our cooking class where we will make apple pizza and apple pie (Korean's love pizza and their idea of pizza, its not our idea of pizza, you'll see). After, we will head to Jeonju, home of bibimbap and one of the most historic cities in South Korea. Here we will have a guided walkabout in the city which is basically all hanoks, learn to make makgeolli (rice wine), and dinner hop on makgeolli street where (just like how Spain works with tapas) we will get a different type of makgeolli with each side dish we order. This night we will stay in a traditional hanok called Hakindang where rooms/floor space are shared.

Day 4

October 16
After a night have some heavy makgeolli drinking, we will begin our day with Jeonju hangover soup (I need you awake on this day). This day will mostly be free until  we have bibimbap for lunch then, leave for Baekyangsa Temple for a traditional temple stay. This is the same temple where Buddhist monk and cook Jeong Kwan resides.
 
Temple dinner
108 beads
108 bows
Early morning ceremony
Tea ceremony
NOTE: This is an experience which I have no control over. We are asked to be flexible.  

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Day 5

October 17
This morning we wake up at 3:00am to start our morning prays, have breakfast, and prepare for our temple cooking class. Temple food is vegan and does not contain pungent foods such as garlic and onion. After our stay we will explore the famous Bamboo forest of Damyang, bamboo snacking is optional. This area of South Korea is known for not just it's food but it's ceramics so of course, we will make something! After our ceramics course with Master 평촌도예공방 (I'll get his English name), we will head to our hotel in Gwangju and then explore Art Street, Downtown, and the Cultural Center of the city and the famed Songjeong Market 1913 Market where we will have a beef dish that Gwangju is known for.

Day 7

October 19
A visit to Mt. Songak to get the best view of Jeju will be a. great way to start the morning, especially if its by cable car. From here we will head to the black sand beaches and have raw cuttlefish soup at a near by local restaurant. After eating the cuttle fish, we will join the Haenyo (Culture of Jeju Haenyeo, Designated UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) and catch our own. The Haenyo are a group of women who dive deep into the East Sea for some of the freshest seafood - if you can't swim then snack -. We will catch abalone, conch, and octopus, and have a raw seafood buffet. From here we will clean up and then head to a microbrewier one of the best in South Korea.

Day 9

October 21
That's it till the next adventure.

 

 

 

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Day 6

October 18
On this day we head to the volcanic island Jeju via air, the island of love, the "Hawaii Island" of South Korea (don't be fooled by that name, it is very windy and will be quite chilly), the land of the black pork and horse meat! After landing in Jeju we will walk up Seongsan, to view the large volcanic crater up close, if you're not interested in the hike, just eat somewhere near by! Jeju is of course known for it's seafood, so for lunch we will have a seafood hotpot followed by a visit to the worlds longest and largest lava tube. Before dinner we will learn of to make rice cakes but DON'T FILL UP ON THEM! We have a horse meat dinner to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 8

October 20
This is will be a little strange. This day is not for the shy or prude. Jeju is known as a honeymoon destination for Koreans, so of course they would have a sculpture garden dedicate to love and "love".  We will visit Loveland, a rather interesting place for more mature audiences. After we are done from taking pictures with Ajummas and large phallic statues, we'll head to the Jeju Dongmun, a traditional market where we will taste more of Jeju's excellent cuisine, before catching our flight back to Seoul. The rest of the day will be free for you to explore on your own, shop, or even eat some more. We will be having our farewell dinner the way most Korean's celebrate.... with KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN & BEER!


Inclusions & Cost

Everything on the guided trip is included and no single supplement fee. 
40% deposit due September 10th. Full payment of $2900 due September 19th 2017. 
Deposit is non-refundable. 

  • Accommodations (private rooms at hotels and shared spaces in Hanoks and temple)
  • Internal air & land transportation
  • All meals
  • All activity fees and tips
  • You'll also receive a packet with a few gifts to prepare you for your travels

If you're interested in this trip and want to see if it is a good fit, please feel free to email me cheema@tzell.com

Important Things to Know

  • Passports:
    To enter South Korea, a passport valid for a minimum of three months is required by all US citizens.
  • Arrival & Departure Flexibility:
    Our culinary adventure starts the evening on October 13th and ends the evening on the 20th.
    If you miss the welcome dinner, no worries, I will make sure there is food waiting for you in your room.
    October 20th is a very loose day. You are more than welcome to depart from Seoul on the 20th or even extend your stay. If you choose to extend your stay, please let me know so I can arrange you accommodations.
  • South Korea is One of the Safest Countries in the World:
    South Korea has one of the lowest crime rates in the modern world. While its metropolitan areas are not free of petty thieves, con artists and drunken brawlers, they remain mostly safe at any hour of the day.

  • We will be hopping around a lot.
  • It will be Autumn. Seoul is chillier than the rest of the cities we will visit, the rest of our visit should be like an Indian Summer. 

Exclusions

  • International air. I can book this for you separately.
    NOTE: I will need everyone to arrive October 13th in South Korea. Trip ends at check-out on October 21st.
    If you're interested in extending your stay, please let me know. 
  • Incidentals, anything done on free time, and alcohol (except where noted above)
  • Mandatory Travel Insurance
    IMPORTANT: I will need everyone to have travel insurance prior to departing. If you do not have insurance you will not be able to attend the trip and you will not receive a refund. 

FAQ

  • Aren't you worried about North Korea?
    Short answer: NO!
    Long answer: I'm not afraid of North Korea and neither are South Koreans. After my year there, I returned home to everyone asking me "Aren't you happy to be back? North Korea has been all over the news, they want to launch missiles". I had no idea what was going on, I asked my Korean friends if they were ok and what was going on? They said "OH! N.K. is always threatening us, we don't pay them any attention. We are more concerned with our president and her wanting to regulate skirt lengths". Rich North Koreans run the show and they have so much and don't want to lose it. China has told North Korea to be quite or else lose funding. North Korea is only a threat to it's people. Also, with that said I can't guarantee that nothing will happen, I can only give you my personal experience and report back to you about what my Korean friends tell me. 
  • Do I need shots?
    Everyone is different. Please check the CDC's website but I will say I have never had shots nor will I get any shots for this trip.