When young Korean chefs go to cooking school, it’s not usually to learn the fundamentals of Korean cuisine. More often they’re attending culinary schools that focus on traditional French cooking and techniques. It was no surprise to me when I learned that Michael Kim — the chef and proprietor of Uncle Mikey’s in Toronto — decided to cook up classic French bistro dishes when writing the menu for his first restaurant, only he started adding a Korean twist.
The demur chef likens the restaurant to inviting friends over to his house for a Sunday supper, which translates into French dishes like steak tartare turned up with gochujang, perilla leaf, and Korean pear. In this episode of K-Town I’m also trying Kim’s version of Parisian gnocchi, which gets a kick from a sauce of doenjang (soybean paste) and oxtail; and thinly cut ribeye that reminds me of some of the best Korean barbecue I’ve had.