New York

All photos courtesy of JUA

Resy QuestionnaireNew York

20 Questions with JUA’s Hoyoung Kim

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In the Resy Questionnaire, we play a game of 20 questions with the industry folks behind some of our favorite restaurants. What’s your most memorable restaurant experience? Your favorite food movie? What restaurant would you want to time-travel for?

In this edition, we talk to Hoyoung Kim, the chef and owner at Michelin-starred restaurant JUA in Flatiron.

The Resy Questionnaire

1. Favorite thing you’ve ever cooked?

JUA became my dream come true when I smoked soy-cured yellowtail using wood fire for the first time.

The dining room at JUA. Photo courtesy of JUA
The dining room at JUA. Photo courtesy of JUA

2. Kitchen tool or equipment you couldn’t live without?

A sharpened knife.

3. What pantry items would you bring on a desert island?

Salt, olive oil, lemon, fish sauce, and soy sauce.

The Benu cookbook. Photo courtesy of JUA
Roberta’s Bee Sting pizza. Photo courtesy of Roberta’s

4. What’s your favorite place to get a slice in New York?

Roberta’s.

5. Favorite cookbook?

Benu by Corey Lee.

6. Your drink of choice?

Korean soju.

7. Favorite food movie?

Ratatouille.

8. Your ideal dinner party guest, dead or alive? 

My mentor, Jungsik Yim, the chef and owner of Jungsik in Seoul and New York.

9. What restaurant industry person do you admire the most?

Kihyun Lee, the CEO of Hand Hospitality [the hospitality group behind JUA, as well as Her Name Is Han, Cho Dang Gol, and LittleMad, among others]. He’s the most passionate and sincere person I have ever met.

10. The greatest restaurant experience of your life so far?

Restaurante Martín Berasategui in San Sebastián, Spain.

The Caviar Kim dish starts off the seven-course tasting menu at JUA. Photo courtesy of JUA
The Caviar Kim dish starts off the seven-course tasting menu at JUA. Photo courtesy of JUA

11. Your greatest professional achievement?

JUA was awarded one Michelin star this year and it was extra special to me because our staffers had to overcome so much as a new restaurant during the pandemic.

12. What single dish best describes your personality?

Kimchi.

13. If you could go back in time, which restaurant would you dine at?

Woo Lae Oak in Seoul. It was my go-to restaurant back in 2017.

14. Your favorite meal from childhood?

Grilled fish.

15. Your wish for the restaurant industry?

To have a better working environment for restaurant workers.

16. What do you wish you did better?

I want to be a better husband and a better father.

17. If you could eat through a city for a day, where would you go?

Seoul, Korea.

JUA’s Galbi & Chan course highlights Korea’s side dishes, known as banchan. Photo courtesy of JUA
JUA’s Galbi & Chan course highlights Korea’s side dishes, known as banchan. Photo courtesy of JUA

18. The one thing you can’t resist splurging on when you go out?

Korean barbecue.

19. What do you value most in restaurants?

The food and the people.

20. It’s your last meal on earth, what are you eating?

My mother’s home cooking.