From a very early age, my mother taught me to cook and to value fresh ingredients. After emigrating from South Korea, we lived in Hawaii and some of my most fond memories are shopping with her in the Chinatown section of Honolulu, buying whole fish caught that very morning or spare ribs that she would cook for hours to bring out the best taste and flavors. My love of food and the simple act of creating a meal for my friends and family sustained me through my early career as a corporate banker in New York and Los Angeles.
Later, I decided to pursue my passion for cooking on a full time basis. I received my formal culinary education at the Sushi Chef Institute. I then studied under celebrity Chef Makota Okuwa (who appeared 13 times on Iron Chef America) in Los Angeles. It was this experience and training, in one of the world’s culinary epicenters for fusion innovation, that helped developed my own version of Asian cuisine.
About the same time, I began visiting and exploring Argentina. I felt the country was ready for a better selection and variety of Asian cuisine. In 2010, I opened my first restaurant, Casa Mun, in Buenos Aires. Casa Mun consistently ranked in the top restaurants of Buenos Aires. We were featured in publications ranging from the BBC to China Central Television to the New York Times. During this time, I was also honored to serve as Culinary Ambassador for the U.S Embassy. I worked directly with U.S. Ambassador Vilma Martinez to promote a greater understanding of the culture & cuisines of Asian-Americans.
I moved to Mendoza in 2012 to serve as Executive Chef of an impressive restaurant in Bodega Casarena. As soon as I arrived at the winery, I worked with the winemakers to develop and bottle a Pinot Noir to replace traditional beer or sake beverages as the perfect pairing for my sushi. I was thrilled to be recognized by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as a pioneer in the field of developing wine pairings for Asian-fusion cuisine.
In 2014, I sold my restaurant to pursue an extraordinary opportunity in Europe. With my partners, we are in the process of renovating a historic property in the Haidhausen quarter of Munich, Germany. The main salon will be intimate (only 50 seats) and perfect for my Asian fusion tasting menus. I love the size of salon because it will allow me to interact with each guest. Also, the property will be renovated to include a separate wine & cocktail bar. More soon…!