Top Chef In Our Own Style


Kim Jong Un holds master chef style competition



Normally we run lighter humorous or human interest posts on Fridays, but I thought that the latest FAO release on North Korean food production and the somewhat breathless reception it got in the press justified getting a second look up quickly. So we continue the food theme today but on perhaps a somewhat lighter note. 

"Sometimes you need to party, even if you are below the poverty line"

PIIE President Adam Posen, formerly of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Board, remains a consumer of British news media and pointed me toward article from the Sun with the inimitable headline “Kim Jong Un broadcasts 'Master Chef'-style cooking competition while North Korea starves.” I mean, who could resist a lede that describes the Young Marshall as a “Cheese-chomping despot” and goes on to describe Kim as an “Emmental-obsessed dictator,” “Commie connoisseur,” and “tubby tyrant” in succeeding paragraphs. The killjoys over at Amnesty International say that recent cuts in PDS rations have “severely threatened” the ability of a majority of the population to secure adequate food, but many North Koreans may look at Kim’s portly gout-ridden frame in the same way that some Americans regard the Kardashian lifestyle as aspirational. Sometimes you need to party, even if you are below the poverty line. 

So how was the pheasant and broccoli five-ways?

Less amusing is the continuing fallout from the mass defection of 13 North Korean waitresses from one of the overseas restaurants, reportedly in China. These jobs are prized, workers are selected partly on the basic of perceived political reliability, and if that isn’t enough, the regime keeps a tab on your family back in the DPRK. That last point was underscored last week by the release of a video in which the parents of one of the waitresses pleads with her to return home. 

Hmm. I wonder if that video will get us in trouble with the folks at the Korea Communications Standards Commission. At least this one shouldn’t:

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