Sang Ah Nahm toured the world as the lead singer of the alt rock band 3rd Line Butterfly for years. Deciding it was time for a change, she moved to Nice, France, where she opened Sixsa, the first traditional Korean restaurant on the French Riviera. Sixsa has become well known for Nahm’s classic bibimbap.
“Bibim means mix, and bap means rice,” she says of the shop’s main dish. “Because it has vegetables, rice, and meat in the same dish, it’s the best representation of Korean food.” Nahm learned how to cook this dish and others in her family kitchen in Korea as a young girl. She didn’t care for cooking that much at the time, and yet she still grew up to become a chef. For this she offers a simple explanation: “Life is weird.” She goes on to talk about the many vegetables that go into her bibimbap: carrots, courgette, shiitake mushrooms, daikon, gosari, and chard to name a few. Then marinated beef gets ladled on top, and an egg yolk, sesame seeds, and sesame oil are added as finishing touches.
“Nothing is new. The chords are all there, the important thing is how do you develop it as your own,” says Nahm. “That’s the similarity with music and cooking.”