Joo Won

When someone has chosen to live in a city, they’re often more vocal about their love of it than someone who was born there. When you’ve actively chosen the place you live in, it’s because you truly feel at home. Joo, is Head Chef at Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows, originally from South Korea has chosen London as his home.

Where did you grow up?
South Korea till early 20’s then moved to London. I am now 40

Why did you chose to live where you do?
I made my move to Europe to learn European cooking, mainly French cuisine. My initial plan was to go to France, London was only supposed to be a short visit on my way to Paris. The way of life in London, and most importantly the career opportunities for my future, as well as personal development as a chef, are excellent.

What’s your favourite thing about the city?
The buzz, diversity, trends and fast pace, availability, the wealth of opportunities for both work and play: you name it, it’s all here.

Where’s your favourite place to go out:
…with friends? East London – the area is so vibrant and growing really. You see so many new places pop up, full of buzz and innovation
…on a date? Galvin at Windows
…to celebrate? Galvin at Windows
…to relax and unwind? My local restaurant & pubs. There are so many good places to eat, drink and relax. In this amazing city, you don’t need to look far and usually the smaller, local places are fantastic, serving good food and drinks

Where’s your favourite place to eat and why?
I pretty much recommend to all my friends that you must try this small rustic Japanese restaurant next to China Town, called Misato. It’s nothing fancy or classy, but their Chicken Katsu Curry rice is amazing. Every person I’ve taken there loves it and I’ve been going there for about 10 years now.

What’s your favourite food or drink memory of London?
Sunday Roast, the popularity of the great British pub and super ales and lagers. Relaxing in this way makes Sunday the best day of the week especially enjoying food family & friends. We chefs sometimes miss it because of the nature of industry, but that makes me enjoy more when I have a chance.

If someone was visiting London, what’s the one place you think they should go to, that will make them fall in love with the area?
A walk along the Thames to look at the night lights all the way from Tower bridge to Westminster. It is beautiful.

What food or drink captures London, and why?
Gin and Tonic with ice! Elegant and timeless.

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