8. ATW : Teacher for one day in an alternative school – Korea

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My very first cooking workshop in an alternative school, I say YES, a thousand times yes ! 

Go directly to the paneer recipe : Click here.

Here I am, nothing to fear anymore, no more questions, I passed on my very first cooking lesson as a teacher. And I was teaching to teenagers…

2 weeks, 2 steps.

Phase 1 : I learn korean cooking 

Jae Gyeong’s little rice cakes with “sindale” (?”chindale” the azaele flowers that you can eat in opposition to their sisters “Churdju”) :

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And the “Teul namul” salad (literally “Stone vegetable” as this plant grows on stony grounds) and its delicious dressing “gochuchang”, thick soya paste with sesame oil and chili pepper.

Silsangsa Hakkyo_Alternative school_South korea_Sannae myeon_wild plant cooking_Sedum_TeulnameulSilsangsa hakkyo_Alternative school_Cooking lesson_Students_CafeteriaGochuchang_Teul namul_korean sauce_dressing_spice

Phase 2 : My turn to be on stage

Apple and cinamon pies, hyoso plum compote pies (the big classic of hyoso preparation and here you take only the fruits after fermentation to make the compote) and indian paneer to make the students discover that cooking is a bit like chemistry sometimes.

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2 cinamon and apple pies, 1 plum pie and a mix apple and plum compote… creativity has no limit here.

Fusion_french korean cuisine_jirisan_homesick_keran_chomigim_silsangsaRescued paneer used on a french-korean fusion breakfast in the weekend : Soft boiled eggs, fried mushrooms, Chomi Gim, paneer (on the top right corner of the picture) and most important BREAD! We can be happy with almost nothing after 10 months of traveling…


I was extremly under pressure on the D-day. I tried to prepare everything perfectly to avoid any disaster. As always, I forgot to sleep the night before to be sure to have 100% of my energy (erf) and I finally taught this lesson and learned a bigger one : The important is to take part and learn (I knew this one before but I think I always forget it too easily). It’s been too long that for me (and for a lot of us) “work” rhymes with perfection and results. There is not so much space for failure in companies and it’s quite usual to suffer the failures of your boss on top of that because the “customers are complaining”. Here at Silsangsa, the students are not “customers” and they don’t buy studies like they would buy an iPhone or they don’t expect their teachers to be 100 % perfect like they would for their washing machine. They do like failure as a way to learn and laugh about their educators’ mistakes, forgeting about it quite quickly to leave space for creativity and concentrate on what went right and not what went wrong. I have to say that I’ve been impressed by their flexibility, creativity and their cooking skills. I also quickly decided to use the “It’s OK” philosophy that forgives mistakes and allow spending a nice moment far from stress. I can’t wait to try it in my very own cooking place…


Regarding the recipes, the korean ones will be added on this blog later, the apple pie is just right here and the paneer recipe is very simple :

Ingredients : 

  • 2 L milk (can be pasteurized but can not be fat free)
  • 25 CL vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 2 ou 3 clothes
  • Rope

Preparation :

  • Boil the milk
  • Stop the heat
  • Pour the vinegar or lemon juice (milk is separating)
  • Pour the new texture in the clothes and tie them in order to allow the paneer to dry slowly (in a dry and rather hot room would be ideal)

Serve the paneer firm on a toast together with onion confit (onion jam) for example or in a salad or with spinach or an indian stew… Easy !