As more Korean adoptees come of age to run restaurants, a new dining style is emerging: “Koreanique” (or Korean-style, Korean-inspired or “kinda Korean”).
“For these chefs, cooking is the ultimate reclamation of their Koreanness — and an act that pushes the cuisine to exciting places,” reads an article in The New York Times.
They produce dishes that “reflect their American upbringings and Korean heritage” of the adoptee chefs. Examples are: Jewish matzo ball soup with Korean mirepoix, Spam musubi burritos, kimchi-enriched carbonara, chicken marinated in kimchi brine, battered fish-sauce-laden zucchini with a sweet soy dipping sauce, jajangmyeon sauce with Bolognese and gochujang barbecue sauce.
Still, they note, feelings of imposter syndrome and cultural appropriation can take over. Adoptee chefs tell The Times they worry they’re not making Korean food authentically and they struggle with their complicated relationships with Korean food when they grew up eating a different culture’s food.
Read more (The New York Times)