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Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Daeik Kim of JUNGSIK in Tribeca

Executive Chef Daeik Kim of JUNGSIK

Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Daeik Kim of JUNGSIK in Tribeca

Jungsik's Executive Chef Daeik Kim ascended to the mantle internally from the position of Sous Chef. He trained at the Korean Culinary Arts School and went on to experience Italian, French, Japanese and Chinese cuisine while working in restaurants throughout Korea before moving to Australia to expand his culinary horizons. Chef Kim then moved to the United States where he continued his culinary education at the Culinary Institute of America and joined Jungsik upon his graduation in 2018. He wants to make Korean cuisine more creative by using different techniques and ingredients, and spread Korean cuisine around the world. He believes cooking is not restrained by borders and races, and any great food can be loved by anyone.

Broadwayworld had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Daeik Kim about his career and Jungsik.

What was your earliest interest in cooking?

Both of my parents worked when I was a child, so I often had to cook for myself and my interest in cooking grew naturally. I also cooked a lot with my mother when she was free, so my interest in cooking developed at a young age.

Who were some of your career mentors?

My mother was my first mentor because she enjoyed cooking and was a very good cook. We spent a lot of time cooking together, which I enjoyed very much. She is the first person who actually taught me how to cook, and her lessons are still a good foundation for me. During culinary school, I learned from my chef instructor how to have the mindset of a good cook and a chef. These two people are my mentors that helped me along my career.

What culinary styles have influenced your career?

During my 20s, I experienced Korean, Japanese, Chinese, French and Italian cuisines, and all of these influenced me to develop a style of my own cuisine. Since I am Korean, I eat a lot of Korean food and it is the food I am most comfortable with and know the best. With the experiences I had during my 20s, I was able to use those techniques and flavors to create unique dishes of my own.

What do you consider the most distinguishing features of your work as a chef?

I think the foundation is the most important thing as a chef. Instead of focusing on new techniques or being creative, I focus on the most fundamental components first, such as knife skills, stocks, and cooking proteins. When a chef has learned the fundamentals, then the creativity is next to develop their own creations. I always tell my cooks to focus on the basics and be consistent on what they are doing to keep the best quality for every guest at Jungsik.

What is your favorite meal or meals?

I like seafood personally, so I like to eat and cook different kinds of seafood. This may be why our restaurant has so much seafood. If I had to pick a favorite, I would choose Hwe, which is a Korean raw fish dish, because I can taste the freshness of the sea.

Tell me a little bit about your restaurant for our readers.

Our restaurant is a fine dining restaurant focusing on Korean cuisine. Instead of serving traditional dishes, we serve contemporary, refined Korean cuisine. We use different presentations and techniques that would not be used in traditional Korean cuisine, so people who are familiar with Korean cuisine can taste contemporary and creative flavors, and those who aren't, can approach the cuisine more easily.

Thank you so much and see you at Jungsik!

Jungsik is located at 2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013. For menus, hours of operation and more information, please visit or call 212.219.0900.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chef Daeik Kim and Jungsik

From This Author - Marina Kennedy

Marina P. Kennedy's writing career led her from freelancing opportunities in New Jersey and New York to writing for where she covers entertainment, the culinary scen... (read more about this author)

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