October 30, 2021 Session 1: 2-2:35PM; Session 2: 3-3:35PM

How can food transcend borders and bring people together? Chef Myung-Nam Park and artist Jae Hwan Lim invite you to ponder this question while cooking delicious dumplings from North Korea.

Since its introduction from Mongolians in the 14th century, mandu (”dumpling” in Korean) quickly became an integral part of Korean cuisine. Mandu spread widely across the peninsula, enjoyed both casually as street food and ceremonially for Palace and New Year. Each region in Korea developed its recipe for Mandu as well. In North Korea, there are two famous styles named after its city: Pyongyang-style and Kaesong-style.

For this workshop, chef Park presents Pyongyang-style mandu. As a formally-trained cook from Pyongyang, Park proudly notes that the mandu is his specialty. Following his guidance, the participants will make their own mandu and taste it. Throughout the workshop, chef Park will also share his in-depth knowledge about North Korean cuisine. Through this unique culinary experience, the chef and the artist aim to offer a space for nourishing, bonding, and learning through food.

Myung-Nam Park is a seasoned chef who specializes in North Korean cuisine. Born and raised in Pyongyang, he was formally trained as a chef at Pyongyang University of Commerce and a university in Moscow, Russia. After his studies, Park worked as a chef for a North Korea-ran restaurant in Russia, “Jindallae.” He then escaped from Russia as a North Korean and settled in South Korea, where worked at numerous restaurants including Seoul Tower Hotel, Pyongyang Gwan, and Mo Ran Gak. In the early 2000s, he immigrated to the United States. He helped open the Garden Grove branch of Mo Ran Gak and operated a restaurant in Cerritos, Okryu-gwan. He now provides Pyongyang-styled Mandu to restaurants in Koreatown.

Jae Hwan Lim is an artist-activist focusing on human rights and the struggles for democracy in the Korean Peninsula. He is the founder and Director of Humans of North Korea, an organization advocating for North Korean defectors and global citizenship. Lim is currently working on a long-term social practice project (Co)-rea, while experiencing physical and ideological borders and finding the political meaning of being Korean in contemporary society.

Borderless Mandu Workshop is presented by Helen J Gallery and Humans of North Korea. It is co-sponsored by Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) and Aurora.