Food transcends all boundaries. Taste and smell have no race, religion, and political affiliation. No matter how different we think we are, food reminds us that we all have much in common. After all, we all need to eat and we all enjoy good food. Food is a good starting point to connect people, share culture, and bring communities together. That is why The Plate Supper Club is organised.  

The Plate Supper Club is a monthly event showcasing the cultural diversity that Cardiff has to offer using food as a focal point. Taking place on the last Thursday of every month, the project invites a different Chef each month to share the traditional food of their country of origin. The Plate uses “food to connect with the local community and help to break the language and cultural barriers”, bringing people from various cultures together and encouraging them to interact. Food is an important part of culture and identity in many parts of the world. By exposing the community to new tastes, new ingredients, and different cooking techniques, the Plate aims to raise awareness of each other’s cultural background in the community. The program also hopes to boost the self-esteem of refugees and asylum seekers, showing them that their culture and identity is something that they should be proud of. Songyeon Choi, Kitchen Manager at Oasis Cardiff, is this month’s Supper Club chef. Choi is originally from South Korea and has lived in the UK for 3 years. Before moving to Cardiff, she worked in Yemen and Jordan for 10 years. During her time abroad, she developed a passion for “teaching younger generations how to make delicious and healthy food with simple ingredients that can be obtained easily or are already in the kitchen pantry”, because “everyone needs to know how to cook to survive independently” and “sharing food is the easiest way to connect with people and make friends,” says Choi. While abroad, Choi was exposed to various cuisines and cooking techniques. Her cooking reflects these experiences. In her words, her cooking is like “a melting pot that mixes with different cultures, techniques, and ingredients”.  

This time, Choi is going to share her culture with the community with food from South Korea. She will be making “jeon”, a traditional Korean dish that is normally eaten on special occasions such as Korean New Year’s Day, weddings and birthdays. This dish usually shared with friends and family. The dish is very close to Choi’s heart, as it reminds her of home. “Jeon” is made of either sliced vegetables, minced meat, or fish, these ingredients are coated with seasoned flour, egg washed, and then pan-fried in oil. Since it is pan-fried, “jeon” does not soak up an excessive amount of oil. It is healthier than deep-fried food and the fresh taste of all the ingredients is maintained. To enhance the flavour, “jeon” is served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, black vinegar, and red chilli powder.

This month’s The Plate Supper Club will be held on the 29th of August at Oasis Cardiff from 7 pm to 10 pm. It only costs £15.00 (+ £ 1.24 booking fee) to enjoy a true Korean dining experience. The Plate is partnered with Oasis Cardiff, a non-profit charity that aims to help refugees and asylum seekers in Cardiff. Money raised through The Plate’s regular events is then put into, activities and integration projects run by Oasis Cardiff. 

Written By Tunghing