From Brokore Entertainment Information
Report “Gosireh” Opening Press Conference
On July 23, a press conference announcing the opening of the traditional Korean cuisine restaurant “Gosireh” (location- Siroganedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo, scheduled for opening on August 10) was held, attracting the keen attention of 60 people from the press. A “kosa” ceremony praying for the safety and success of the restaurant was also held on this day with the attendance of Bae Yong Joon-san.
A little after 4 p.m. the press conference began with Kim Tei-san (note: IMX artist and MC at the “April Snow” Reunion event) acting as MC.
First, Sohn Il Hyong, President of IMX, made a speech saying, “I hope “Gosireh” will come to be recognized as the finest restaurant that serves Korean cuisine in Japan. Your support will be appreciated.”
Following this, the President of Smart Kitchen and Director of A-Kitchen (operating body of “Gosireh”), Chung Kyeon Geon explained the concept of the restaurant, “the spirit of hospitality” and Professor Han Bok Jin who served as food advisor offered his explanation on the menu.
According to President Sohn, the staff held many tasting events and spent a year before the menu was finalized. The food does not contain artificial ingredients of any kind such as MSG;a point Bae Yong Joon-san who participated in the project from the development of the concept strongly insisted on. They offer food which includes ingredients which is gentle to the body such as Platycodi Radix and Codonopsis lanceolata (translator’s note; don’t quote me on these names!!!!) – wild vegetables and traditional Chinese medicine unique to Korea which can rarely be obtained in Japanese supermarkets.
When asked whether Bae Yong Joon-san plans to visit the restaurant regularly, the president answered, “He would probably like to, but because it would cause unpleasantness for the neighbors in the vicinity if his visits cause confusion, I hope that he would limit his visits to about once a year. I will do my best to report on how things are going as frequently as possible.” On this day too, there were many fans crowing the vicinity even though his visit was not announced.
When Bae Yong Joon-san appeared in front of the guests to perform the “kosa” praying for the safety and success of the restaurant, the flash from the cameras of the press went off at once, and the air was charged with a certain amount of excitement although the atmosphere was solemn.
Bae Yong Joon-san was dressed in a black suit with a white tie, wore rimless glasses and had his hair tied in a loose ponytail. His appearance gave the impression of being a bit sharper than the time he visited Japan last August. With the unchanging gentle smile of his, he gave the following speech.
“Hello, everyone. I am Bae Yong Joon.
It has been a while since the last time I have seen you, and I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to say hello to you on this occasion. I am very grateful that all of you are showing such strong interest in this restaurant.
I would be most happy if “Gosireh”, which I have the pleasure of introducing to you today, will serve as a place for cultural exchange in Asia through the introduction of Korean culture.
“Gosireh” is a small starting point in introducing the food culture which is a part of our basic clothing, food and housing culture. The word “Gosireh” indicates the act which was performed in the old days to express appreciation towards God who gave his blessings with rain which is so essential for the crops, and also the act of offering the first bite of the meal. It was my wish to introduce to you the taste and flavor of Korean cuisine with the same feelings of appreciation and sincerity.
I hope to continue to introduce Korean culture to Japan, and the wonderful culture of Japan to Korea in a similar fashion. Moreover, it is my intention to make continuous efforts in participating in projects which will have a positive influence on cultural exchange in Asia. During this trip, I am very sorry for not being able to meet with my family who always show me such support and affection. I will present myself in my best form through my work, so I would like to ask you to wait. Again, I would like to express my appreciation towards everyone who kindly came to this event. I wish you all of you much happiness and good health.”
After the speech, the “kosa” for the safety and success of “Gosireh” was performed.
Placed in front of a pedestal holding rice, azuki bean cake, fish (dried cod), pork, water, rice, apples, persimmons, jujube, chestnuts, and pears, is a container holding rice with a pine leaf standing in it and a pot containing liquor. The person performing the ritual bows twice on the mat in front of the pedestal, pressing his forehead on the ground.
A “kosa” is a common ceremony in Korea, performed in such occasions as the start of the filming of a movie or drama by all members of staff and cast participating in the work.
At the photo session after the ceremony, Bae Yong Joon-san gave the brightest of his smiles as if he was relieved that he was able to perform the ceremony smoothly.
Though the time was short, the soft and warm aura of Bae Yong Joon-san enveloped the venue, and with his aura still lingering in the air, the ceremony came to a close. “Gosireh” the traditional Korean cuisine restaurant in which Bae Yong Joon-san served as the general advisor is scheduled for opening on August 10! How about going to the restaurant yourself to taste the Korean food that he feels so passionately about?