DEBBIE LEE earned her chef chops with stints at La Folie in San Francisco, as well as Le Dome in Los Angeles and the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, before becoming a popular caterer in Los Angeles. Previously the chef/owner of Ahn-Joo, one of LA's most popular food trucks, you can now visit her stationary snack bar at the Americana at Brand in Los Angeles (www.ahnjoo.com). Season Five of "The Next Food Network Star" saw Debbie compete to the final three, garnering praise and accolades from Bobby Flay, Giada DeLaurentis, and Morimoto to name a few new fans; she returned to the network this year to appear on "Chopped All-Stars."
From the Author:
You may remember me as the queen of Seoul 2 Soul from my stint on "The Next Food Network Star." I was the one creating cross-cultural concoctions from my life growing up as a Korean-American girl. Since my Korean roots have blessed me with such a wealth of inspiring food traditions and recipes, in my first cookbook, I've decided to share the richness of this very important half of my identity. My father tells me that I was blessed with the hand and spirit of my late grandmother, a talented cook who kept the best Korean food traditions alive in her new home. She could have been the Julia Child of Korea, he used to say. If it weren't for her teaching me through our special sign language (she didn't speak English and I didn't speak Korean), it may have been years before I tasted the goodness of a kimchee pancake or enjoyed the pleasures of cooking a roasted black cod. Gutsy and always looking to feed people--I do my best to carry her generous spirit with me each moment I breathe and cook. I hope that my modern take on Korean pub grub inspires you to cook, eat, drink, and share with family and friends. May this book bring culinary inspiration and new memories to you as it did to me. As my grandmother would say before starting a meal, "MOK JA!" (Eat and enjoy!)