Last weekend, I had a chance to swing by Electric Lemon , a restaurant that had been open for just four days. …
Last week, I had the pleasure to attend the first of many Saigon Summers popups that Chef Helen (@miss_hailan) has been organizing in New York City. While she’s worked at some of New York’s best and well-known restaurants, Helen has a passion for sharing Vietnamese food; this dinner allowed her to share this love with friends and strangers alike.
For this dinner, Helen brought in friends from all over the US to collaborate. She brought in Chefs and friends from Las Vegas, Seattle, and San Diego for an epic Vietnamese collaboration dinner. I especially appreciated how your “typical” Vietnamese foods like pho and banh mi were not on the menu. I don’t know much about Vietnamese food, but this dinner really opened my eyes to the delicious flavors and textures of Vietnam. I really need to learn more.
This first dish, bo tai chanh, was simply amazing. Tender beef eye round, watercress, fried shallots, peanuts, lime vinaigrette. Holy crap this was good—and it set the stage for the rest of the dinner.
A lotus root salad (goi ngo sen) was next. Loved the bright flavors and the textural contrast with the cracker.
Baby clams with sesame rice crackers (hen xuc banh trang) were next.
Banh beo, steamed rice cake, was next.
Bo Kho, braised short ribs, rounded up the savory dishes. And this was just comfort in a bowl, much akin to a hearty beef stew.
And dessert was che suong sa hat luu, a tapioca dessert. I could have had like ten more of these… they were that awesome.
The talented chefs:
Anyways, Chef Helen is continuing to do popups in NYC so definitely follow her instagram (@miss_hailan) to keep up on any new popups. Plus she’s just a kind and awesome person and someone I respect very much—she’s hustling really hard to open a Vietnamese restaurant in LIC soon. It’s going to be good.
Do you remember when the Iron Man movie first came out? It was followed by Hulk, Thor, and Captain America movies… and then BAM! They all got together and formed The Avengers, a superhero supergroup. Well, “Avengers” is what comes to mind when I think about Chef Ho Young Kim's incredible popup at Atomix.
I was here. I slept through most of the flight from San Fransisco to Incheon, South Korea, then groggily made my way to the shuttle bus taking me to Seoul, and finally met Jonas, the person I had communicated with the past few months and the person who was going to be my supervisor at the hagwon I was going to teach at.
This is a picture of Atoboy chef/owner Junghyun Park at one of last year’s NYC WFF events. I’ve been wanting to highlight Chef JP on my Instagram for a while but I never could fully capture what I wanted to say; my words never felt adequate enough. Why? Because Chef JP was responsible for cooking what probably was the most influential meal of my life. It wasn't at Atoboy though… it was much earlier, when Chef JP was the chef de cuisine of the recently-opened Jungsik in NYC.
Even back then, I was passionate about food. I bought countless cookbooks and poured over the recipes. I stayed up late into the night, scouring Internet blogs to keep myself up-to-date on the latest culinary names and trends. I read all the articles in any food magazine I could get my hands on. I honed my cooking skills, bought fancy kitchen equipment, and purchased unusual ingredients, all in my desire to know more about food.
But despite my passion for food, there was one cuisine I didn't feel the need to really explore: Korean.
Just wanted to highlight some really awesome people today 😊 The pastry team at the two-Michelin starred Jungsik in New York City, led by Pastry Chef Eunji Lee (@eunji.leeee) who was recently profiled on Michelin Guide’s website), has some of the hardest working and most talented people I know.
I'm taking a break from the Korea/Japan posts to talk about a dish that I came across in Brooklyn, New York. Kuksi is Uzbek Korean food. Yes, you read that correctly. Korea + Uzbekistan.