This guy doesn't listen to Insane Clown Posse. But he does dig kimchi and noodles. Photo via MistralKitchen

Sam Jung has come a long way since making Rice Krispies treats as a kid. The San Diego native has an impressive culinary résumé, which includes training at L'Oasis and Château Cordeillan-Bages (both restaurants in France with two Michelin stars apiece) and working with Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas. Just last month, on the eve of his one-year anniversary in Seattle, Jung stepped into the role of chef de cuisine when his predecessor, Taylor Thornhill, departed for Paris.

Since assuming his new role at chef William Belickis's South Lake Union restaurant, Jung has become MistralKitchen's menu master. He oversees every detail destined for patrons' plates, making sure all ingredients are seasonally unique. Jung is happy to help his kitchen staff build good foundational cooking skills—or he will be until they make him listen to Insane Clown Posse.

Here, a few of Sam Jung’s favorite things: 

Dish to make at home:  I try to make Korean food as good as my mom’s.  The last thing I made was fish stew with monk fish, daikon, soy, ginger and chilies.  It was good but not even close to hers.   

Dish to impress guests:  Probably something involving flames

First dish ever made:  Rice Krispie treats 

First kitchen job:  Prep cook at the Miyako Hotel in San Francisco

Favorite dish at MistralKitchen: Chicken—I’ve never had better chicken

Happy hour food is . . . : A good way to sample a restaurant

Secret ingredient:  Love (aka salt)

Banned from MistralKitchen:  Nothing that I know of—we have a pretty good, accepting work culture at the restaurant.  If I suggested we play Insane Clown Posse during service, that would probably get the thumbs down.  I don’t listen to Insane Clown Posse by the way.   

Guilty pleasure:  Greasy Mexican food

Hangover remedy:  Sleep

Place to eat on a day off:  I usually go for Chinese noodles or ramen.  For noodles either Mike’s Noodle House or King Noodle; for ramen I like Samurai Noodle on Capitol Hill.

Recently splurged on:  A great meal at Blind Pig Bistro

On the wish list:  My own restaurant

Can't live without:  Kimchi 

Completely overrated dining trend:  Molecular gastronomy

Work outfit:  Black pants and white chef’s jacket

Breakfast dish:  Yogurt and fruit

Lunch spot:  Szechuan Noodle Bowl

Cookbook:  The French Laundry Cookbook

People I’d like to cook with: Thomas Keller, Michel Bras and Julia Child

Music in the kitchen:  No music for me

Craziest MistralKitchen story that can be committed to print:  It’s not so crazy, but one time for family meal we had deep-fried foie gras banh mi.


 

 

 

 

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