Department of Culinary and Service Management Swept National Beef Cooking Competition for University Students

2020-12-14 Academic

Students from Culinary and Service Management (College of Hotel and Tourism Management) won the Grand Prize and the Brand Awards at the third National Beef Cooking Competition for University Students

The relentless COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing reinforced social distancing requirements are increasing demand for home meal replacement (HMR) products among those who want to eat pre-prepared meals. Students from Culinary Service Management at the College of Hotel and Tourism Management came up with new recipes for HMR products. Student Taegeun Koo, who won the Grand Prize with his dish yuk-tteok gunghap, (“marriage of beef and rice-cakes”) said, “COVID-19 has shut down many cooking competitions. I am truly happy to have joined and managed to win one of the rare opportunities.” All three Brand Awards also went to Kyung Hee students: Donggeon Jeong for beef tantan-myeon, Seungil Baek for cupped rice with beef large intestine on top, and Junhyung Kim for protein-packed chickpea beef balls.

Turning everyday ideas into real-life products
What the winners have in common is that they all took inspiration from daily lives. For Student Koo, it all started out of curiosity. He wondered why no meat-stuffed rice-cake (tteok) was available, while cheese and sweet potatoes fillings remain popular. Student Kim pictured something both delicious and rich in protein for those who want a healthy diet. His solution was to put mashed chickpeas in minced beef. Student Jeong focused on the fact that the competition was for HMR products. While designing a recipe, he prioritized a marketable, convenient, and ready-made product. His final choice was noodles, the most popular kind among instant meals.

Beef cattle can be raised more quickly than native Korean cattle (han-u), prompting many Koreans to believe that beef cattle are inferior to han-u in terms of quality and flavor. Koreans believe that marbling (white flecks of intramuscular fat in meat) determines the taste of beef. Marbled han-u cuts melt in the mouth while the meat of beef cattle is lean and tender. Moreover, the relatively low-fat content combined with rich protein gives the beef cattle meat a very clean taste. “With respect to nutrition, we cannot say either is superior. Rich protein in beef cattle meat will strengthen your immune system to cope with this pandemic. Fatty han-u meat will give you power and energy,” Student Kim explained.

Department classes served as a reminder that diverse perspectives are critical to product development.
The winners all agreed their department classes were a great help. Student Jeong said, "Professor Lana Chung’s Food Product Development Theory was where I learned about nutritional aspects, marketability, and popularity. They are indispensable for developing products. I also learned how to observe critically.” "Marketing strategies are essential to product development. Professor Young Namkung advised how to promote beef cattle during her class of Food Service Marketing Management," Student Kim said. Similarly, Student Koo credited the Korean Wave and Korean Food course, which ran from September 25 to December.

The competition helped the winners broaden their outlook. Competing in his first cooking event motivated Student Jeong to overcome his fear and go after other competitions. Student Kim wants to take more opportunities to understand the needs of his future customers. “The recipe and the taste are no doubt important; but the competition turned my eyes to the importance of marketing. So, I’ve started to learn video design,” Student Koo said.

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