Hwang Hye-seong’s 100th Birthday – Today’s Doodle celebrates the 100th birthday of Korean professor and culinary researcher Hwang Hye-seong. Hwang is widely credited with the preservation and popularization of the traditions of Korean royal cuisine that evolved for hundreds of years under the Joseon Dynasty.
Born on this day in 1920, Hwang Hye-seong attended high school in Fukuoka, Japan before returning to Korea to pursue a career in education. She went on to become a professor of gastronomy and took an interest in the little-studied field of Korean royal court cuisine.
Hwang’s studies brought her to the Nakseonjae complex in Seoul, the home of the last living queen of the Joseon Dynasty. There, she met Han Hui-sun, the only remaining court lady who had worked in the royal kitchen.
Dedicated to the protection of the Joseon traditions against the sands of time, Hwang spent decades learning from Han. She scrupulously documented nearly everything there was to know about the royal culinary practices under the dynasty, from the arrangement of table-setting—a process depicted in today’s Doodle—to the terminology used by the royal family. Thanks to Hwang’s efforts, in 1970, the South Korean government named the royal cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty an Important Intangible Cultural Property, and in 1973 Hwang was honored as its official skill holder.
Today, Hwang’s passion has been carried on by her four children, all of whom followed her footsteps into culinary careers.
Early concepts and sketches of the Doodle
You can find more about Hwang Hye-seong’s 100th Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page