Spring Break, the nomadic culture project dedicated to helping people share their talents, will host a cooking demonstration by art curator Dean Daderko this Saturday at the Bas Fisher Invitational. This guy knows how to make a mean kimchi. If you have any doubts about the artist's skills in preparing this dish, Daderko was once told he had "a Korean housewife spirit," presumably by a Korean. This we can trust.
We spoke with Daderko about his relationship with this dish.
New Times: Are you a cook or a chef, or do you just know how to make a good kimchi?
Daderko: I am a curator who knows how to make a good kimchi.
What is it about your kimchi in particular that makes it worthy of showing other people how to make it?
Well, I don't know if mine is particularly any better, but I've been doing it now for a couple of years and I've kind of have started to, I've gotten myself to a place where I understand the kind of taste of it and how to develop it. So it's interesting to experiment with different ideas.
Are you Korean?
No, although I actually became acquainted with kimchi because I had an uncle who married a Korean woman, and I used to be really fascinated with watching her make it.
Does it have to ferment for a couple of days or overnight?
It can ferment. It does need to ferment. Some people say overnight; I've actually had batches of kimchi that have sat out for over a month without refrigeration. It basically just depends on the temperature of the room and how sour you like it. 'Cause the longer that it sits, the more lactic acid fermentation kicks in and the more sour the batch will get.
How do you like your kimchi?
I like a little bit of fizz in there... though, more recently, I guess I kind of like kimchi tasting maybe what I would call floral. So lots of ginger, chives, scallions and kind of playing around with bright flavors offsetting all of the fermented fish that can happen in them.
Is there a particular place where one can get the best kimchi?
There's a particular kind of kimchi called kaktoogi. Kaktoogi is made out of radishes as opposed to the normal kimchi, which everyone thinks about, which is made out of a kind of Korean cabbage called beachu. So kaktoogi tends to be my favorite.
Should anyone bring anything to the event?
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No, it's actually going to be more a demonstration, so I'm going to be showing people how to do it, and we'll hopefully be sending people home with some of the batch that I made.
The event takes place Saturday, March 19, at Bas Fisher Invitational with Spring Break (180 NE 39th St., Ste. 210) from 5 to 8 p.m.