Did your cooking style change as you gained experience? How did it change?
In my early days as a chef, I admired the beauty of Western gastronomy although my specialty was Korean cuisine. I thus focused on combining Korean ingredients with Western-style sauces with the goal of producing Korean dishes with a Western twist. Over the course of my career, however, my culinary style has switched to a more refined form of authentic Korean cuisine as I have since sought to bring out the genuine flavors that Korean food has to offer.
Where and how do you find inspiration for cooking?
Travel brings me incredible new experiences. Instead of focusing only on cook books, I also develop my inspiration further by reading various novels and art books.
Did you like mushrooms since you were young? When was the first time you tried mushrooms? (situation or impression)
My grandfather and parents loved going to the mountains, so from my childhood, I got used to dishes made with wild mushrooms they picked from the mountains. My favorite meal was freshly cooked rice topped with stir-fried Namatoloma sublateritium. Enjoying the mountainous flavors of this wild mushroom dish while feeling the cool breeze at my parents’ mountainside home still remains one of my best memories ever.
Do you think mushroom is a premium ingredient? Or a humble ingredient? Could you explain why?
I think of mushroom as a premium ingredient. Wild mushrooms are amazing but they are increasingly hard to source. As many of them can be collected only during a short period of time, you need to be very diligent to find and enjoy them.
If you can only cook and eat one kind of mushroom for the rest of your life, what mushroom would you choose? Why so?
I would choose Sarcodon imbricatus. This densely aromatic and flavorful mushroom goes well with various ingredients and ensures the balance of the entire dish.
How do you draw out the special flavor of the mushroom? Could you explain us what methods or ingredients you use?
I use a broth that blends well with the particular mushroom so I can maximize its flavor.
If you had to cook for yourself or for your friends at home, what would you cook for them?
Mushroom hot pot.
Could you share your experience or memories related to Krug Champagne?
One night, I met some of my fellow chefs after work to prepare for an event. We enjoyed our late-night discussion over a bottle of Krug so much that we felt as if we were in a dream!
Last but not least…
What is the name of the dish you matched with Krug Grande Cuvee?
Name: Dry-aged grilled duck breast with Sarcodon Imbricatus sauce
Main Ingredient (Please list all the mushrooms you used); Sarcodon imbricatus, Polyozellus multiplex
How did you come up with this dish?
One of my favorite dishes is duck soup with Sarcodon imbricatus. The soup itself is phenomenal but the flavors of meat can be somewhat lost, so I came up with this dish where you can fully enjoy the taste of duck meat.
Why does this dish match well with Krug Grande Cuvee?
I think the rich and intense aroma of this dish presents a beautiful balance with Krug Grande Cuvee as a wonderfully flavorful champagne.