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U.N. World Food Programme announces Tony Yoo as Chef Advocate for the Republic of Korea

Photo: WFP/ WFP Korea Office
The Republic of Korea’s first Michelin star chef joins global advocacy efforts to fight global hunger

SEOUL - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that Tony Yoo, celebrity chef specializing in modern Korean dining and owner of a Michelin-starred restaurant, has been appointed WFP Chef Advocate.

Yoo has been a dedicated supporter of the organization and its causes for many years. In his new role as a WFP Chef Advocate, Tony Yoo will continue to lend his voice and platforms to help WFP open the hearts and minds of the Korean public and build a movement toward Zero Hunger. WFP, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020, is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, providing food assistance to more than 100 million people in over 80 countries each year.

Yoo helped bring attention to hunger and food waste in WFP’s Zero Waste Zero Hunger campaign and his restaurant was among the first to join the call to reduce food waste in Korea. He introduced special menus at his restaurant to encourage visitors to reduce food waste by reducing their portions and thus decreasing significant amounts of food waste. This was later reported as an example case at press interviews and policy discussion hosted by MPs and government officials in Korea.  Yoo has also supported WFP’s global initiatives, including an appeal to world leaders and the global humanitarian community to #FightFamine, and helped raise awareness of the importance of school meals in international media. Following his new designation, the Korean chef is ready to expand his role and advocacy around other areas of WFP’s work such as food systems, nutrition, school meals and in-kind Korean rice contribution to WFP operations.

“As a dedicated WFP Chef Advocate and celebrity chef, his work will raise awareness around issues of global hunger and the ways we can together help save and change millions of lives. It will also demonstrate WFP’s roles in supporting governments and local actors to design and deliver context-specific solutions that reinforce national food systems and sustainable food security for all,” said Marian Yun, Director of WFP’s Korea Office.

“I am honoured to continue to support WFP in their global as well as local efforts to reach Zero Hunger and hope that my commitment and platform as an influential chef can help mobilize the much needed attention and support to assist the vulnerable communities WFP serves around the world,” adds Tony Yoo.

The world is facing an unprecedented hunger challenge this year, as conflict and climate shocks compounded by COVID-19 and rising costs drive millions of people closer to starvation - threatening to increase migration and instability globally. With the numbers of hungry rising considerably after Ukraine crisis, WFP is calling for a step-change in global support for its operations.


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About the United Nations World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

About Tony Yoo

Mr. Tony Yoo (Hyunsoo Yoo) is one of the leading chefs specializing in modern Korean dining. He is the first ever to win a Michelin star in the Republic of Korea (ROK) for his culinary style being rooted in Korean traditional cuisine. Chef Tony Yoo became well-known to the public as he appeared on cooking-variety shows on TV such as “Cook Representative” and “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator.” Recently, he joined a cooking show named “Cook-king” as a mentor. Tony has been taking roles of promoting Korean cuisines and various social campaigns with governments and relevant organizations spreading his positive influences. Tony is the owner of a modern Korean dining restaurant, Doreyoo.


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Republic of Korea Ambassadors and Celebrities


For more information please contact:

Eunjeong Lee, WFP/Seoul 
Tel. +82 2 722 7395