300 chefs compete at North Korean cooking contest－300名大廚在北韓烹飪大賽一較高下
Lined up in cavernous rooms at a state restaurant in Pyongyang, North Korean chefs carefully assemble their dishes, watched by crowds of onlookers at a national cooking competition in a country that suffers chronic food shortages.
From three-color rice cake, yak kwa, fried wheat biscuit glazed with honey, to courgette stuffed with meat, attention to detail is key to catching the judges’ eyes. Around 300 cooks are competing in 40 different dishes, with the winners receiving cookbooks and equipment as well as diplomas and medals.
"The reason why Korean food is excellent is that it is characterized by its clear and fresh flavor," said Judge Han Jong Guk, a pastry chef. "For example, fish dishes taste of real fish and chicken tastes of real chicken."
But the reality is that North Korea is unable to feed itself. Competition organizer Kim Kum Hun dismissed such concerns, insisting on the inevitable victory of socialism.