Joo Won has always dreamed of opening a little place of his own in London, somewhere dedicated to tasty, simple and comforting food, natural wine, and his first love: Korean fried chicken.
Originally from Busan, South Korea’s second city, Joo moved to Europe to seek his fortune as a pastry chef in Paris, “the mecca of gastronomy at that time”, but ended up stopping off in London en route where could make ends meet while brushing up on his French. That was sixteen years ago.
Since then he has been a mainstay of some of London’s most garlanded kitchens, most recently Galvin at Windows where, as head chef, he successfully steered the Park Lane favourite to a Michelin star for seven straight years. But when you know, you know, and Joo decided this summer that it was finally time to say goodbye to the Galvin bros and focus on getting his own thing off the ground. We’re very pleased that he did.
His own rather brilliant approach to cooking marries seasonal British and European ingredients and techniques with “just a little accent of Korea”. What you end up with are gorgeous creations like the ‘Bread and Soybean Butter’, ‘Autumn Mushroom and Green Vegetable Mandu’ and ‘Ibérico Pork Bulgogi BBQ’ on his Carousel menu. Not to mention Joo’s ‘Korean Fried Chicken’, which he just calls “JFC” (well why wouldn’t you?). These are dishes that deserve a permanent home, maybe even in Paris if Joo ever gets round to booking those Eurostar tickets.
From bona fide legends to the superstars of tomorrow, each week we welcome a new chef into the Carousel family.