by Monica Y. Hong
This week our two Korean American chefs, Beverly Kim and Edward Lee, give us a taste of their cooking styles and personalities as we finally get to see them duke it out on Top Chef Texas.
As Beverly is getting ready at the Top Chef house for the first day of real competition, she unfolds a piece of paper and places it up on her mirror.
“I printed out a sheet that says, ‘Congratulations, Beverly Kim Clark!!!! You have won Top Chef Season 9 and $125,000!!!!!’ I look at it everyday. If I can believe it, I’m going to achieve it. I keep telling myself that.” Another week, another trusty piece of paper. Last week’s “I CAN I MUST I WILL” worked out for her so all I can say is to each his own.
The 16 “cheftestants” enter the kitchen for their first quickfire challenge only to be met with a terrarium filled with snakes. Each chef has a small covered box in front of them that contains a succulent serpentine surprise. They have to cook up some rattlesnake in one hour, with the best viper winning them immunity and $5,000. Sssuper! Continue Reading »
Today is Pepero Day in South Korea
The calendar says 11/11/11, which means one thing in South Korea: Pepero Day. They call it Pepero Day because these skinny, chocolate covered biscuits resemble the numbers that make up the date 11/11. It’s huge holiday over there, with markets and convenient stores decked out with fancy displays and gift baskets of these snacks, a knock off of the more familiar Pocky brand. The concept is that you gift boxes of these confectionary treats to your significant other as a symbol of your affection.
Jonathan Gold’s 99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011
I like trucks, taco tables and pop-ups as much as the next guy, but I was really hoping to find evidence pointing to a resurgence in fine dining, powered by exposure to complex cooking on food television, and the vast numbers of people coming out of training programs like Cordon Bleu or the CIA. Alas, I did not.
Instead, when I looked at the new heroes of cooking in America, I kept seeing Lukshon’s Sang Yoon, Kogi’s Roy Choi and ramen-slinging David Chang of New York’s Momofuku: Asian-born guys classically trained in European techniques, working in great American kitchens, who decided to redirect their imagination toward street food. Their dishes have a directness of flavor, and their high-low juxtapositions still have the ability to shock, even in a world where pandan leaf and calamansi lime have become nearly as common as salt and pepper.
Danji’s Hooni Kim Hits Tori Shin Early for the Good Stuff
Chef Hooni Kim of Danji praises Upper East Side yakitori staple Tori Shin.
“I get my yakitori fix at Tori Shin. It’s usually filled with Japanese businessmen and the decor, service, etc give it a real authentic feel. I like to watch the grill chefs twirl the skewers so rhythmically it looks like they’re playing an instrument. My favorites are the following skewers: skin, gizzard, and wing. If you get there early enough you can try the specials which include knee bone, cartilage, hearts, and livers.”
Theater review: ‘The Language Archive’ at East West Players
Los Angeles Times
The play, which won the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and premiered at South Coast Repertory last year, depends considerably on its actors’s charms. Happily, director Jessica Kubzansky’s cast mines the comedy and pathos of Cho’s appealing characters: Chang exudes a youthful buoyancy, and Mashita’s smaller roles are played with brisk, delightful discipline. Yu’s droll, relationship-challenged George sells the play’s quicksilver emotional shifts, keeping us invested in his journey. “We are the only two speakers of [our] language,” a desperate George explains to his wife, referring to that unique dialect of private jokes and shorthand that develops within a relationship over time. Forget the linguistics of lost cultures — it takes two for pillow talk.
The play’s preciousness can diminish its dramatic power, and this production doesn’t always find the edges. Cho tends to tell us things about feelings when we’d rather see them played out. Still, “The Language Archive” poignantly anatomizes the speeches and silence of love, requited and not.
Family of woman killed by falling 70-foot tree explores lawsuit
Los Angeles Times
The father of a woman who was killed when a nearly 70-foot eucalyptus tree fell on her car in a Costa Mesa intersection has hired a Beverly Hills lawyer to explore filing a lawsuit.
Haeyoon Miller, 29, was sitting at a red light near Newport Harbor High School when the tree, planted in a median, crashed onto her blue Hyundai.
According to witnesses, emergency crews were able to lift the tree but then it slipped back onto the car.
Flushing clinics in Medicare sweep
Four Queens residents have been charged in federal court with submitting about $11.7 million in fraudulent Medicare claims from two medical clinics in Flushing.
An indictment charges that Ho Yon Kim, 85, of Flushing; Hoy Yat Kam, 57 of Flushing; Elaine Kim, 50, of Bayside; Gilbert Kim, 59, of Bayside; Peter Lu, 36, of Manhattan and John Knox, 54, of the Bronx submitted $11.7 million in false claims through the URI Medical Center, believed to be on Farrington Street in Flushing, and Sarang Medical PC believed to be on 38th Ave.
South Korea beats UAE 2-0 in World Cup qualifier
World Cup regular South Korea was closer to booking a spot in Asia’s fourth and final round of qualifiers for Brazil 2014 with a hard-fought 2-0 win over United Arab Emirates on Friday.
Lee Keun-ho and captain Park Chu-young scored late second-half goals to keep the unbeaten Koreans on top of Group B after four matches.
South Korea beat UAE 2-1 at home a month ago, but didn’t expect as hard a match as it got on Friday.
Whistler Fest to honor quartet
The Whistler Film Festival will honor actors Patton Oswalt, Andy Serkis, Jay Baruchel and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson during its 11th edition, running Nov. 30-Dec. 4.
Nelson, director of DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda 2,” will be honored with the WFF’s first Trailblazer in Animation award, which will be presented by Gaydos on Dec. 3. Nelson is the first woman to solo-direct an animated film from a major studio.
Beyond tangerines and palm trees: Jeju’s unique culture
Every culture, by definition, is unique, and especially so is that of Jeju Island, a volcanic tourist attraction off the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula.
Jeju’s culture has developed over thousands of years as a result of its people’s relationship with nature, animistic religion and mythology.
The first place in the world to receive UNESCO designations in all three natural science categories, Jeju has its cultural foundation in the animistic belief among its people that the island is home to 18,000 gods.
Healthy Alternatives to Binge-Drinking a New Trend at Office Gatherings
Getting pass-out-drunk on heady combinations of beer and soju is almost expected by Korean companies whenever work get-togethers are organized, but many corporations are bucking the trend by refocusing such events on healthier pursuits.
One company that handles publicity for food and beverage and apparels makers in Seoul found that its booze-drinking sessions were leaving its employees drained and unproductive. This prompted it to embark on a high-octane evening trip that let them vent their stress in other ways, such as by screaming their way through hair-rising roller-coaster rides.
“We often work overtime in the evening and the workers get really stressed out,” said the head of the company. “But when we are forced to attend company dinners, staff often complain that they get even more tired, so we decided to replace such gatherings with trips to an amusement park.”
Jeju – The Island
The Language of Food
Chef Rachel Yang never quite felt comfortable in the U.S. But then she started cooking.
by Eugene Yi
Rachel Yang grew up a parachute kid, her parents uprooting her at age 15 from Korea to New York.
“It was really tough. I don’t think I’ll ever send my kids away when she’s a teenager,” she said in her accented but rapid English, a pace learned from years spent barking in kitchens. “There’s a lot more that you can learn at that age, better than trying to learn an entirely different culture and language.”
Still, at the turn of the century, she found herself with a degree from Brown University and a bright future ahead of her. The experiment in long-distance parenting appeared to have been successful. But she wasn’t sure what to do next, so she took a cooking class on a whim.
“It was like discovering a third language, a universal language everyone speaks,” she said.
She quickly found work with some of the superstars of French cuisine in New York City: Alain Ducasse, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud. After a few years, she got the chance to head a kitchen serving a modern take on Korean cuisine.
“That’s kind of where I got reintroduced to Korean food,” she said. “It was something I was eating almost every night at home, but never was something I thought I’d cook.” The experimentation with Korean flavors had begun. Continue Reading »
Culinary star Roy Choi added another restaurant to his rapidly growing empire after being named head chef at the swanky Beechwood Kitchen in Venice, according to LA Weekly.
Choi replaced former Top Chef season 5 contestant Jamie Lauren, LA Weekly reported.
Chef Jamie Lauren is out and Choi is in at the sleek New American restaurant in Venice. Owner Dave Reiss has asked Choi to step in and “provide some new direction for the kitchen while making plans to renovate and update the dining space,” according to Alice Shin, Choi’s PR and Twitter maven. Get ready for Choi’s most American menu to date, one that’s “laid-back, beachy and contemporary, while expressing some of the classic idiosyncrasies of Roy’s imagination.”
Photo via WSJ.
Is this similar to your own recipe? What’s in your kimchi?
Also, Chang’s highly anticipated cookbook hit shelves yesterday and rave reviews are pouring in. I’m heading to NYC next week and am dying to finally check out Momofuku Noodle Bar. Slurp.