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“Park Geun-hye, a human scale who eats just 20 grams of herbs” Presidential eating habits seen by a 20-year-old chef

Of the five recently departed presidents, which one is the biggest glutton? Conversely, which one was the most self-careful? It’s a curious question, but not an easy one to answer. It’s also difficult to determine one president’s eating habits because you’d have to know all of the other former presidents’ characteristics. Here’s someone who can answer with confidence. That would be Cheon Sang-hyun, a former Cheong Wa Dae executive chef who joined the Blue House under former President Kim Dae-jung in 1998 and was responsible for the meals of five presidents over the next 20 years, until President Moon Jae-in in 2018.

Chun was the first Chinese chef at the Blue House, the youngest Cheong Wa Dae chef at 31, and the longest serving Cheong Wa Dae chef. On “Park Won-sook’s Let’s Eat Together,” which aired on the 23rd, he revealed the stories behind the meals of past presidents.

Former President Kim Dae-jung and former Cheon Sang-hyun. /KBS2

According to Chun, Kim Dae-jung had a diet comparable to that of a judo player. He emptied his plate of cold vegetables, beef, fish, soup, and rice. “We were shocked,” Chun said. One of Kim’s favorite dishes was sashimi, which he ate with kimchi and cilantro. Instead of the usual trio of sliced redfish, kimchi, and meat, he enjoyed uncooked “live redfish”. “When you taste it, the black acid is just as delicious as the sliced sockeye,” Chun said, adding, “The fish flesh tastes like injeolmi. It’s a real delicacy.”

Former President Roh Moo-hyun was a fan of makhoe and kukbap types of food안전놀이터. “He ate well whenever and wherever we served him, without covering up,” Chun recalled. Roh also complimented the servers, saying things like, “It was so good today,” or “Please boil it again like this.” The problem is, boiling it the same way doesn’t make it better. The problem was, there was no guarantee that the same flavor would come back. “So when it came time to recreate the food that Roh said was delicious, we would say to each other, ‘You boil it,'” Chun said, laughing.

Chun Sang-hyun, former Cheong Wa Dae executive chef, with former President Roh Moo-hyun and former President Lee Myung-bak. /KBS2

Former President Lee Myung-bak had a special favorite meal. He would add egg yolks to his stone-cooked rice and eat it with only soy sauce. “Whenever he didn’t have a good appetite, he would eat it as a complementary meal,” Chun said.

Former President Park Geun-hye was known as the “human scale. “You’d think she’d be picky, but she’s not,” Chun said, “She’s a simple person, and she only ate 20 grams of various vegetable side dishes.” “Even when we served him a lot of food, he only ate 20 grams. It was amazing.”

Former President Moon Jae-in had similar eating habits to Roh. “He had the same texture as Roh, so he liked soup and makhoe,” Chun said.

Cheon Sang-hyun, former Cheong Wa Dae executive chef, with former President Park Geun-hye and Kim Jung-sook. /KBS2

What about the current president, Yoon Seok-yul? Known as a foodie, Yoon is reportedly so interested in food that he orders recipes from the presidential office chefs. As a presidential candidate, Yoon showed off his culinary skills on television, cooking everything from egg rolls and other simple dishes to jjigae.

The conger eel and bean sprout soup served at a dinner for Yun and the new leadership of the KPA in March was also based on a recipe from Yun herself. While conger eels are usually grilled over a fire, Yoon showed how to eat them by blanching them in boiling water and dipping them in a sauce. The bean sprout soup was made with large slices of kimchi, which was also made according to Yoon’s recipe. “I heard that President Yoon is giving the recipe directly to the chefs in the presidential office,” said one of the guests at the dinner, adding, “He must be the first president in history to give the recipe to the chef.”

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