By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- Paik Jong-won, a celebrity chef and food entrepreneur, said Wednesday he will be sharing his know-how on how to open a new Korean restaurant abroad in tvN's upcoming food reality show "The Restaurateur Paik."
During the show, Paik travels to Morocco and Italy with other celebrity cast members to sell Korean food to foreigners and struggles a lot under the unfavorable business environment at first.
In preview video clips, Paik, actor Lee Jang-woo and K-pop boy band GOT7's BamBam are given a mission to transform an empty space at a night market in Morocco to a Korean food street stall within 72 hours, only with 3 million won (US$2,300) and a tent. In another episode, Paik teams up with singer John Park and singer-actress Kwon Yu-ri to launch a pop-up Korean restaurant in Naples, Italy.
"When opening a new restaurant abroad, I learned that it should not be all about food. It is also important to understand how foreigners perceive Korean cuisine and teach them how to eat it," Paik said in a press conference in Seoul. "Foreigners showed huge interest in Korean cuisine thanks to the global success of K-content."
A frequent figure in local food reality shows, Paik said he tried to share his business know-how in the show to give useful tips for those who plan to open a restaurant.
"I wanted to give practical advice for wannabe restaurateurs. I hope there will be more food programs that show the real business potential of opening up a new Korean restaurant abroad in light of the show," Paik said.
Director Lee Woo-hyung said the program is differentiated from other food-themed reality shows as it follows Paik's struggle to sell Korean food in places where Korean restaurants are hard to find.
"Unlike other food reality shows featuring entertainers who cook as a side job, Paik is doing his main job in this show," Lee said. "Team members had to start from scratch to show what's really needed to start a new food business."
The first episode of "The Restaurateur Paik" will be released Sunday.
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