Korean chef Yim Jung-sik believes that taste transcends nationality. "I think foods that Koreans find delicious are also delicious to Americans," said Yim, whose self-named restaurant in New York, Jungsik, was awarded one star by the Michelin Guide last Wednesday.
This is the second time a Korean eatery in the country has been star-rated by the world-famous restaurant guide after Danji became the first Korean restaurant ever to receive the honor last year.
"Frankly, I expected two stars. That's how confident I am about the taste of my dishes," said Yim.
The menu of his restaurant features such traditional or creative fusion dishes as bossam (crispy pork belly with rice), beef steak with kimchi sauce, kalguksu (noodle soup) and sujebi (hand-torn noodle soup).
The 2013 Michelin Guide introduces 896 restaurants in New York and 52 have been granted one star. Only seven were awarded two or three stars, the highest rating.
Yim opened his first restaurant in Seoul's affluent Gangnam district in 2009 after graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, one of the world's top culinary schools, and building his career at famous restaurants in Europe. He then opened the upscale Korean fusion restaurant in New York's Tribeca district in September last year.
"I was afraid of trying something new, but I gained confidence after getting a lot of positive feedback from customers," he said. "I want to introduce them to the 'genuine' taste of Korean food by adding more traditional elements."