Artisanal Spirit Carries on Korea’s Culinary Tradition

Artisanal Spirit Carries on Korea’s Culinary Tradition

Jukro tea master Hong Soon-chang has newly joined the ranks of officially designated Grand 

Masters of Korean Traditional Food.

Sejong, 7 February 2024 — On 2 February, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has 

designated Hong Soon-chang as a new Grand Master of Traditional Korean Food for the year 2023 

and held a ceremony of awarding a certificate of designation to him. Since 1994, a total of 

80 grand masters of traditional Korean food have been officially designated. 

    * The number of officially designated Grand Masters of Traditional Korean Food: 24 in traditional alcoholic 

drinks, 13 in jang (fermented paste), 10 in tteok (rice cakes) and hangwa (confections sweetened with honey), 

5 in kimchi, 7 in teas, 6 in yeot (rice taffy), 3 in vinegar, 2 in ginseng, 3 for meat (Korean-style short ribs), 

and 1 for each of the categories of fermented plum concentrate, bugak (savory chips of deep-fried vegetables 

or seaweed coated with glutinous rice paste), bibimbap, dotorimuk (acorn jelly), beef jerky, and gosari namul 

(a side dish made with bracken fiddleheads). 

Master Hong was one of the 23 candidates nominated by the city and provincial governments for 

the official designation as a grand master. The agriculture ministry has strictly assessed the 

qualifications of those candidates according to six criteria of traditional value, historic authenticity, 

years of experience, the necessity of handing down the craft skills to the next generation, etc. 

The assessment results were then submitted to the review and decision of the Food Industry 

Promotion Committee before the ministry finally granted the Grand Master title to Mr. Hong.  

Jukro tea, widely known for its medicinal properties and delicate flavors as excellent ingredients, is 

a traditional tea made with leaves of tea plants grown under the shades of a bamboo grove in 

the township (myeon) of Hwagae (South Korea’s largest green tea-growing area) in the county (gun) 

of Hadong. Master Hong is known to have learned and mastered under the tutelage of deceased 

grand master Hong So-sool the traditional skills of making Jukro tea using a traditional 

cast-iron cauldron.