Pulmuone, one of Korea’s leading companies for wholesome foods, has sponsored the Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit 2022 hosted by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), one of the world’s leading food research institutions, to showcase its sustainable, plant-oriented foods made with its tofu and plant-based meat.
The Summit was held on April 26-28 at CIA’s Copia campus in Napa, California. During the event, Pulmuone provided various plant-based dishes to participants and hosted various sessions on the theme of plant-forward foods, including presentations and culinary demonstrations of plant-based dishes by Jeong Kwan, a Buddhist nun and director of Chunjinam Hermitage Baegyangsa Temple in South Korea who is world-renowned for her “temple food,” which emphasizes clean and simple ingredients, and Judy Joo, a Korean-American TV personality, author and restaurateur at Seoul Bird in London.
The Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit welcomed over 300 chefs, foodservice operators and experts in food, flavor development, cooking, agriculture and food production, media, and food system transformation from around the world and featured cooking demonstrations and culinary discussions surrounding sustainability, health and the future of American and global menus. Pulmuone was the only Korean food company to participate in the event for four consecutive years since 2019, and this year, the company served as a Grand Platinum sponsor along with Unilever, a global multinational household goods company Unilever, which is recently expanding its food plant business.
“Following two years of a virtual format, we are excited to welcome attendees back in person at this year’s Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit,” said Rupa Bhattacharya, executive director-Strategic Initiatives Group at The Culinary Institute of America. “We are happy to have Pulmuone as Grand Platinum sponsors at this year’s summit and admire the brand’s shared interest in elevating the quality and diversity of offerings in the plant-based space, providing quality and sustainable plant-forward options.”
In the afternoon session on April 27, Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan, who attended the summit at the official invitation of CIA, led a presentation under the theme of “From Temple Cuisine to Restaurants and Home Cooking: Essential Flavor Insights from The Plant-Based Cooking of Korea” and a culinary demonstration of plant-based salad made with Pulmuone tofu and tofu noodles. She also introduced principles and dishes from Korean temple cuisine that have been handed down and refined over generations.
Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan, one of the stars of Netflix’s Cher’s Table, was also announced as the winner of the Icon Award Asia ahead of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 awards ceremony in the recognition of her philosophical approach to cooking and mastery of temple food in March this year.
During the morning sessions on April 28, a chef and television personality Judy Joo introduced a variety of dishes using plant-based foods of Pulmuone’s plant-forward brand “Plantspired,” including Tossable tofu, plant-based bolognese sacuce, and plant-based steak.
Judy Joo, who is also the main chef of her own restaurant Seoul Bird located in London and an author of two best-selling cookery books, had visited Museum Kimchikan, the country’s first kimchi museum located in Insa-dong and run by Pulmuone dedicated to promoting the Korean traditional side dish worldwide for over 35 years, to experience Korean kimchi-making and film a kimchi documentary in November 2019.
“The Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit is an important forum to showcase the impact food can have in bringing together varying cultures and experiences,” said KS Cho, CEO of Pulmuone Foods USA. “Consumers are increasingly looking for more sustainable and healthy options that don’t compromise on taste or quality. Meeting this demand, we are thrilled to be involved in an event that shares in our mission of building a more sustainable future while also emphasizing innovation and the integration of authentic, global flavors in the plant-based space.”
Meanwhile, Pulmuone Foods USA, a US operation of Pulmuone, launched a designated brand for plant-based foods “Plantspired” in the local market in 2021 and scaled up its plant-forward food business. Since November last year, the company has sold its plant-based meat to 200 stores of WaBa Grill, a US well-being food restaurant franchise, and partnered with UMass Dinning, the largest collegiate dining program in the US, to supply various plant- based products to students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. From the second quarter of 2022, Pulmuone USA expanded its distribution channels for Plantspired products to include Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions Southern California and other retailers.