Banchan may not always be the main focus of your meal when you’re at a Korean restaurant, but these small dishes are an essential part of Korean cuisine. Chef Junghyun Park of Atoboy, the popular New Korean restaurant in Flatiron district, sits down with us to talk about banchan. Learn about the different varieties, what makes it so important, and how it influenced the menu at Atoboy.
Iris calls in from Hong Kong, with no technical difficulties this time! She defines banchan, talks about one of the theories on banchan's origins, and lists some of the popular varieties. Lynda and Iris discuss whether banchan is a concept understood outside of fans of Korean cuisine.
Lynda then interviews Chef Junghyun Park (JP for short). He talks about where he's from, how he came to New York and the concept behind Atoboy. JP tells us about the banchan he grew up with, how it's eaten in Korean households, his favorite banchan, as well as what's next for JP and Atoboy.
26:03 "'Ato' means gift in Ancient Korea. So, Atoboy, being our first restaurant, means it's a place that can deliver to guests our take on modern Korean cuisine and culture as our gift. It used to be that not many people talked about banchan, but Atoboy tries to describe and educate our guests, our diners on banchan." - Chef JP on where the name "Atoboy" comes from.