It was pleasure to see someone with Korean Background competing for the spot in major TV: Debbie in the next food network star season 5. However, I can not help cringing whenever she says "because I am Korean" in the same sentence with chili peppers and garlic.
That is not always true. chili peppers and garlic do not represent entire Korean cuisine as they do not for the Mexican culinary culture. Yes, it has big influence and seemingly ubiquitous but it is just part of Story. Korean style BBQ and Kimchi was most popular. But that is not the whole story.
Korean food can be and it IS quite subtle. For the many spring greens, the seasoning kept minimum, in order to the taste of spring greens to shine. It is true for the root vegetables, too. There are countless food that does not involve either garlic or chili peppers or even heavy seasonings. Best example is found in various Buddhist temples in Korea.