Born in Korea on January 15, 1957, Chef Woo Kim realized his passion for cooking early on in his twenties and has been cooking since then. In order to become the chef that he is today, Chef Kim began his cooking career by working at different restaurants, from Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisine in order to expose himself to different cuisines of the world. Even while running his own restaurant with his wife in Seoul, Chef Kim knew early on that he wanted to expose Korean cuisine to the world. This prompted his move to the United States in 2000 where he did indeed spread Korean cuisine through his catering business to numerous states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio to name a few.
He was hired by owner K.R. Choi as head chef of Don’s Bogam in 2006. He has been developing Korean cuisine more appropriate to the American taste since then. His specialty is in Korean BBQ such as his well-renowned Galbi (marinated short ribs), and Bulgogi (thinly-sliced beef with glass noodles and vegetables all married together in his special sauce). Another specialty of his is the Bibimbap (steamed rice topped with a variety of seasoned vegetables, accompanied with Korean chilly paste). In addition, he also serves up a wide variety of stir-fried dishes with meat, seafood, vegetables and spices to satisfy every individual’s cravings. Every dish is like finding a hidden gem in the heart of New York.
Executive Chef Yurum Nam is a distinguished and award- winning chef with many experiences in his professional field. He performs a leading and critical role as Executive Chef of 32BUNGA, Inc. and DON NYC, Inc., distinguished U.S. companies.
Chef Nam is the recipient of multiple esteemed awards in the culinary arts. To list a few, he received the Bronze Award at the ‘Germany International Culinary Competition (IKA)’ in Germany. He created a menu with Korean tastes by using French cooking methods with Korean ingredients. In 2004, he received the Bronze Award at the ‘MLA Black Box Culinary Competition.’ In 2004, he also won the Gold Award in hot dishes and Silver Award in cold dishes at the ‘Seoul International Culinary Competition’ in Seoul, Korea. In 2004, he won the Bronze Award from the ‘National Skills Competition’ in Kyounggi Do, Korea.
Chef Nam graduated from the Korea Tourism School in which he earned a degree in Hotel Cuisine. Later, he completed his associate’s degree in culinary arts in 2011 and his bachelor of professional studies degree in culinary arts management in 2012, both from The Culinary Institute of America, one of the top three culinary academies in the world.
In addition to his education, Chef Nam worked at a wide range of restaurants around the world and performed a critical role at each workplace. During May 2013 and March 2016, he had been the Executive Chef at the Mixed Korean Bistro in North Carolina. He had been the Executive Chef of the Mixed Food Truck and created the entire menu of Korean dishes designed for people with American food preference.
Before the Mixed Bistro, Chef Nam was a cook at ‘Gramercy Tavern’ and ‘The Modern’, which are the most popular restaurants in New York City. Moreover, he worked for Hotel Intercontinental Dallas for a year and half. Before moving to the United States, Chef Nam was the chef at ‘Naeng Go Mal Lee’ in South Korea. He helped open this restaurant, working as a chef and kitchen manager, as well as developing the menu. He created dishes on the menu that were contradictory to traditional Korean cuisine, something unusual for a Korean restaurant, but they were well-liked by the customers.
Throughout his career as a chef, Chef Nam has played an important and critical role in competitions and events to put his cooking talent to test. In November 2015, his restaurant, “the Mixed,” participated in ‘A Tasteful Affair’ and won the People Choice Award. Guests voted the Mixed as their favorite based on being served a famous Korean food, ‘Bibimbap.’ In November 2011, after he and his team prepared for two months, Chef Nam attended the New York Food Show, called ‘Societe Culinaire Philanthropique Culinary Arts Salon.’
Chef Nam has strong interested in fusion-style Korean food in the U.S. He has shown distinguished ability in Korean food standing out as one of the few who has risen to the top of the restaurant industry on a steep and impressive career trajectory. In particular, Chef Nam participated in numerous events held by several Korean organizations as a professional chef. In 2005, he became the vice president of KCAA (Korean Chefs Association of America), a distinguished title for any Korean-American in the culinary field. His role at KCAA has become a game-changer for many of its events. Chef Nam participated in the event ‘The Beginning,’ sponsored by the Korean Association of New York Art Schools (KANA), an NYC-certified nonprofit art organization. He also participated in ‘Korean Noodle’ and in May 2012 was ‘Discover Korea’s Delicious Secret,’ both held by the Korean Association of the Culinary Institute of America (KACIA). The events presented ways of including Korean food in American cuisine. In 2016, he led an event held by Timeout and served his own tasting menu. During the event, Chef Nam used the outdoor grill to enhance the flavor and his efforts was made to promote the Korean cuisine. In October 2016, Chef Nam attended Food & Wine Festival and served Korean food as a tasting menu. He used the electric grill to make the guests to enjoy the smell and sound of food. He continuously had to serve until the food was exhausted. It was an event to promote Korean food and Chef Nam showed dish using traditional Korean ingredient.
Chef Nam is a truly special check with unparalleled talent, artistry and experience in the competitive field of cuisine, especially specialized in Korean food.