40 young chefs still shaping Korean scene
The “40 under 40” series, first started in 2017, interviewed 40 young culinary talents working hard to make the food scene in Korea more diverse.
The talents featured in the series have established their own clienteles that vary from those seeking a fine dining experience to those looking to grab a casual bite for lunch.
Since the launch of the series these chefs have evolved to become the backbone of the culinary scene in Korea. Many of the restaurants have expanded their menus while the trend of making Korean food modern has only continued to grow.
More chefs now work with farmers to source certain vegetables they want to use to make dishes that are comfortable for locals and interesting for international diners.
A common concept mentioned by many chefs as part of their future plans was getting more involved in farming. While this idea is not often seen in Korea, it has been widely adopted overseas with many chefs running farms next to their restaurants.
Taking a closer look at the developments of some of the chefs and restaurants featured in the series, Mingles is branching out with the opening of a restaurant named Hansik Goo this summer in Hong Kong.
Chef Moon Seung-zoo closed Sougetsu and opened an even more upscale Japanese dining spot Sandai in Cheongdam, southern Seoul. Chef Jang Jin-mo took a slightly different approach from his fine dining style seen at Myomi when opening the more casual Antitrust in Yongsan District, central Seoul. Chef Lee You-suk ended his run at Louis Cinq. He decided to go all out on noodles and opened Youmyeonga in the hip Seongsu area in eastern Seoul.
Chef Hyun Sang-wook of Dotz also left the restaurant and now does a variety of pop-up with brewers and fellow chefs in preparation to open his own restaurant. Joo Ok has moved its location from Cheongdam to central Seoul, right by City Hall, and Soigne opened a new spot Dear Wild in the same building as Joo Ok.
Continue to keep an eye on food updates from the Korea JoongAng Daily and watch how the culinary scene in Korea continues to evolve.
BY LEE SUN-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]