The MasterChef host is to front John Torode’s Korean Food Tour, a 10 x 60-minute series for Good Food. He will visit temples, street food stalls, restaurant kitchens, join families in their homes, head up mountains, take a trip to the seaside, and go to festivals and feast days, in search of Korea’s finest treats. UKTV has partnered with Hyundai Media in South Korea and the Korea Communications Agency (KCA) to fund the series and the deal was brokered by Amanda Groom-run The Bridge. It is distributed globally by Argonon International.
Groom’s company links British producers up with other companies around the world, so she’s seen the concerns, but also the optimism about potential business outside the EU. “There’s been a lot of hard learning in coproduction with Asia. What has happened suddenly with Brexit is… English-speaking producers have realised what a phenomenal opportunity there is in Asia. Perhaps, if you like, out of desperation, my phone has certainly been pretty busy… All of the hard learning that has happened with Asia, Asian coproduction partners, Asian platforms, Asian business arrangements, and strategic alliances, all of that learning has come to make dealing with Asia more straightforward than it ever has been.”
Amanda Groom, MD of The Bridge, masterminded the Taste of Thailand deal and summed up proceedings when she said Thailand was following a path similar to South Korea’s government-backed strategy of cultural ‘soft power.’ It promoted the nation’s cultural traditions and people to the rest of the world, and is the reason “its cultural exports like K-Pop and TV shows are on the map,” according to Groom. “Malaysia is looking to do the same thing, and now so is Thailand.” And there’s every possibility that others will follow.