Born: Ulsan, South Korea
History: I began studying food and nutrition at Gyungsang National University in South Korea, before volunteering as a chef in the South Korean army, where I served proudly for two and a half years. After the army, I further developed culinary knowledge and skills alongside a host of talented chefs within three boutique and well regarded establishments in South Korea before migrating to Australia to pursue international opportunities and explore new gastronomic horizons. Following the big move to Australia, I studied classical French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu, which proved insightful and advantageous. Upon graduating, I continued to hone my craft in the kitchens of a number of well regarded establishments across Australia including Hayman Island, Inferno and Swissotel Sydney before being offered the opportunity to join the talented team at The Mayor Bar & Dining.
Have you always wanted to be a chef?
Yes - although while studying food and nutrition in South Korea, a doctorate in nutrition had been my primary ambition. However, after my experiences within the army, forever expanding my culinary skills and horizons – to cook and share my joy for the genre with people – became the new focus of my atmosphere. What could be better than that? For me, nothing… This is why I do what I love and hope others enjoy this passion.
How would you define your style?
Instinctively fresh, creatively classic. Having been influenced by studying French cuisine and groomed within predominantly Italian and Swiss dining environments, the style I adopted would be considered modern Australian/European.
Obsessive compulsive about?
The distinctive flavours of every dish, the organisation and cleanliness of our kitchen…and ensuring all members of our team have the ability to influence our menu and shine in their roles.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
Three people have been influential to my career and perspective on fine dining: Glenn Bacon, Bob Kim, and my wife. I had the good fortune to meet, work alongside with and learn from both gentlemen while at Hayman Island. Glen (executive chef) displayed the guidelines to cooking, and Bob (sous chef) perfected them.
As for my wife…well, enough said.
Most 'eyebrow raising' menu item?
Our new lamb offering, composed of slow braised lamb shank served with an imitation bone made of goat’s curd cigar, paired with a delicate lamb rack on a bed of spinach mash surrounded by pomegranate and lamb jus. Very winter, lovely.
Signature dish: Slow cooked pork belly with crackling served atop scallop colcannon with pickled heirloom baby carrots on the side, drizzled with apple vincotto.