About Judy Joo
Judy Joo is a Korean-American chef, restaurateur, writer, entrepreneur, and television personality. She is the author of two best-selling cookery books and an accomplished writer, published in national periodicals including Forbes Travel Guide, The Financial Times, OK! Magazine, National Geographic, The Guardian and more. You can read Judy’s articles here.
Leading expert in Korean cuisine
Considered as the leading expert in Korean cooking in the West, Judy celebrates and showcases Korea’s cuisine for its distinctive and vibrant flavours, colours, and heritage. She achieves this through her television series Korean Food Made Simple (Cooking Channel USA and Food Network worldwide, S1 & S2) and her regular appearances on various shows globally, such as Today Show, Wendy Williams, The Talk, Saturday Kitchen and Cooking With the Stars. Furthermore, Judy claimed the title of first female Iron Chef UK and second worldwide.
Following a degree at Columbia University in Engineering, and a career on Wall Street, Judy enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York (now known as the International Culinary Center), where she received her Grand Diplome in Pastry. Judy worked for SAVEURmagazine as an editorial and test kitchen assistant. She also founded and managed Harvest Time in Harlem, the first inner-city Slow Food in Schools program.
A move to London led Judy Joo to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, where she worked in his flagship kitchens: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Maze, Claridge’s, Pétrus, and Boxwood Café. She has also staged in internationally renowned restaurants including Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Bray, David Thompson’s Nahm in Bangkok, and Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in California. Judy then went on to become the Executive Chef at London’s prestigious Playboy Club.
In 2014- alongside chef Andrew Hales- Judy opened her first restaurant: Jinjuu. Lauded as London’s premier modern Korean venue, Jinjuu was inspired by nostalgic flavours of her childhood, and focused on contemporary Korean cooking, with a multicultural twist. After successfully handing Jinjuu over to new owners, she teamed up again in 2019 with Andrew Hales to create Seoul Bird: a fast-casual Korean Fried Chicken concept. You can find out more about Seoul Bird here.
Having battled through three male-dominated arenas: engineering, finance and the hospitality industry, Judy attributes her success to challenging her boundaries and welcoming the unease of living outside her comfort zone. Her captivating fearlessness and tenacity are inspiring to all that cross her path, and can be viewed at Columbia University’s Graduation Ceremony 2018.