“Soul Searching in Seoul”

People often say chicken soup is for the soul. Having had our fair share of Korean ginseng chicken soup, we believe that food definitely speaks to the soul.

In our latest Law Society’s Food and Wine Interest Group adventures, a party of about 30 people, led by Immediate Past President and Council Member Stephen Hung, Council Member and Chairman of our Recreation and Sports Committee Nick Chan, and Food and Wine Interest Group Co-convenor Louisa Lam, went on a self-funded international culinary, history and shopping expedition in Seoul. Despite the mid-July summer heat, all the lawyers and family members who attended immensely enjoyed the food, the wine, the culture and the company. Many new and lasting friendships were made, with people of all ages.

Not only did we enjoy food for the soul, we also engaged in a hands-on experience to cook up our own traditional Korean dishes at two world-renown cooking schools. Our taste buds were heighted by gaining a better understanding of how the dishes were prepared, cooked and plated. With each Tteok (rice cake) we pressed with flower patterns, and each Dasik (ground grain Korean dessert) we carefully crafted using only the traditional tools, we learned about the history and the cultural significance of the foods that we were creating. This deeper understanding of the dishes, not only of the ingredients that comprised them, but also of the ingredients’ source and uses, greatly added to our appreciation of the Korean culinary delights.

To taste, one must not only eat the food, but also smell it and see it. Presentation is a key part of enjoying food. Many were inspired to take a plethora of photos. Hin Han Shum, the Convener of the recently established Law Society Photography Interest Group, was also among the participants of this soul trip, and helped to capture some of the delightful moments of the members in action, cooking up a storm and feasting on their scrumptious work products.

Of course, no Korean trip is complete without shopping until you drop. We were duly immersed in all-night shopping excursions, which we balanced with visits to museums and world heritage sites. Those cultural visits helped us to further understand the place of food in Korean culture and history.

For those who had already filled up their extra luggage space with their shopping and had had their fill of cultural sites, we organised an excursion to watch cultural shows and performances. Those who attended even managed to get special access and VIP tickets!

Although the trip was too short, all the participants had a great time eating their way to a happy soul, and voiced their excitement for upcoming Food and Wine Interest trips.

Having visited France, Italy, Sichuan and Spain in past years, we will consider exploring the cuisines of Taiwan or Vietnam in 2017.  The group is planning to host this year’s cooking/tasting competition in Hong Kong in the last quarter of this year.  All members are welcomed to the group’s events!  Please register interest with robert@hklawsoc.org.hk.

Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

Associate, Squire Patton Boggs