Elior North America is bringing the flavors of Korean cuisine to customers in the healthcare, college, and business and industry segments with its latest pop-up concept.
SeoulTown launched earlier this year and includes a variety of menu items that spotlight traditional Korean preparations with a modern twist.
Finding a mix
While SeoulTown’s menu features traditional Korean ingredients such as gochujang, it also embraces present-day food trends.
In dishes that would typically incorporate animal protein, for example, Elior chefs have turned to plant-based alternatives. Trumpet mushrooms are a popular replacement, says VP of Culinary Development Paul Basciano, due to their meaty texture.
“We would swap out [an animal protein] and use a trumpet mushroom and braise it in soy sauce and some other ingredients and then prepare traditional rice dish based off of that,” he says.
Since the pop-up is available in three different noncommercial segments, each with its own customer base and layout options, Elior chefs designed SeoulTown to fit a variety of formats.
At a college dining hall, for example, operators can have the concept do a full takeover at a food station or just run one of the SeoulTown menu items as an LTO.
Emphasizing with global flavors
The concept has been well received so far by guests, says Basciano, and the Elior team is already looking to create more pop-ups in the future.
A Mediterranean concept is currently in the works, and Elior hopes to launch four to five pop-ups annually in the coming years.
“We're going to keep on keeping on when it comes to some of these global flavors,” says Basciano.