blog banner

Michelin Star Bibimbap from Chicago’s Best Korean-American Restaurant — K-Town


– This is honestly one of
my favorite restaurants in the entire country. We’re here at Parachute in Chicago. What I love about this place is that it’s a husband and wife team, Beverly and John. They use their backgrounds, Korean, American, Midwest, and they just blend
them perfectly together. You have something that’s just truly delicious and unexpected. (upbeat music) You grew up in Chicago, so you have the Chicago kind of mentality. You actually grew up near here and then you moved to the suburbs? – I grew up in the suburbs. – [Matthew] Oh you grew
up in the suburbs, okay. – But I was in chicago
’cause our Korean church was located in the heart of Koreatown. It was nice. I had two identities. I had one that was more Korean with my Korean friends from church and then I had my suburban friends too. I remember there was a time
when people looked down on Korean food ’cause it was funky, it was stinky, and if it wasn’t this traditional
European style cooking, it wasn’t important. Accolades don’t define me, but I am proud of the fact
that we break some barriers. – What about for your parents too? How do they feel? – When I first went to culinary school it was like the last
thing my parents wanted. They were like ashamed of me going to culinary school in a sense. – It’s not law school. – It isn’t. (Matthew laughs) Yeah, it’s not something you brag about. You know? It kinda settles a lot
in my heart with them, they truly love me, they wish me the best, they believe in it too now. You can turn people who are
not believers into believers. (upbeat music) – If you look at this menu, there’s bibimbap. And you sometimes have mandu, but otherwise it’s just kinda
like modern American food. So how do you guys infuse the Korean in. – There’s something about
the Korean thought process that inspires me. If you got to a bakery, it’s totally not even Korean, but it tastes Korean. Like you can eat a Korean
donut at Dunkin Donuts and it’s different from a donut that you have here in Chicago. (Matthew laughs) It just is. Maybe it’s the way that they add a little rice flour to the mix and it gives it a chew or maybe
they use sweet adzuki beans. That’s kind of how we wanted
this restaurant to be. It doesn’t look Korean, we can be doing things that
are inspired from elsewhere, but then when you taste it it’s like oh, there is still that soul that’s Korean. For me, I didn’t speak Korean fluently, it’s very chopped up. Food is something that
I can remember and hear, and in here, and it’s a language that I can speak. And it’s been amazing to be
able do that here in Chicago. – My Korean’s horrible too, it’s okay. (Beverly laughs) Everyone makes fun of it. (laughs) – Okay, I’m not the only one. (upbeat music) – I have to dive into the bing bread. It’s already cut, it’s made to share. Some of this sour cream butter, little bit of salt. (chewing) Holy crap. Yeah, that might be one
of the best bread starters you could conceivably
have at a restaurant. ’cause it’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s plush. The outside is nice and brown and then you get these surprises inside. You get little chunks of potato, you get chunks of scallion, smokey bacon. There’s nothing that jumps
out that says Korean about it, but it has this essence of like pa jun, of Korean pancake, scallion pancake. I think that it’s a must order
if you come to Parachute. (smooth music) Now we have the gyeran-jjim. It’s not meant to be
anything more than eggs, toshi and maybe a little bit
of chopped salted shrimp. This version here, right away it’s like you get a hit of frickin shaved black truffles. It would make a lot of sense
in like a French restaurant to have truffles over
eggs and why not here? This is ridiculously good. Mmm. Mmm. God, this place is killing me. This is absolutely spectacular. This is easily one of the best, if not maybe the best, gyeran-jjims I’ve ever had. (upbeat music) The boudin noir dumplings. And they’re kind of
fried like won ton style, maybe like ragoon style. And there’s an aged plum sauce
that they actually made here and then these dumplings, they’re fried up, and then they’re dusted
with hibiscus dust, which adds an element of acidity to them. Let’s dip it here, this is just finger food now. Man, that is really excellent. It’s just perfectly fried. The wrapper is super thin, way thinner than what you
would even get in Korean mandu. And the filling, it’s boudin noir so it’s definitely got a little more intensity than even sundae, because sundae is kinda
cut with vermicelli noodles and it looks dark, but this one is just pure fat and blood. It’s approachable, it’s a little more like hey it’s fun, it’s finger food, you dip it. And the plum sauce adds
a nice element of tart, savoriness, it doesn’t overwhelm. It’s a nice balance to
the rich boudin noir. Gonna start diving into
their dolsot bibimbap, which is a stone pot bibimbap
or a mixed rice bowl. And they do it in a
pretty untraditional way, it’s unfamiliar. If you looked at it, then only thing that you
would really recognize is this stone pot. There is a soft cooked egg in here, there’s just that immediate
smell of sesame oil and of course gochujang, which is the spicy sauce that really just binds it all together. I like mixing up bibimbap. The word bibim literally means to mix so I think this is the way
it’s intended to be enjoyed. And what’s nice is you
can see on the bottom, the rice, look at that, you can see it’s really brown and crisp. Oh, that’s so good. The crazy thing is you don’t expect it and yet that preserved lemon, the immediate acidic punch of that, is really the first thing you taste. And then all the other
things start to shine. You get a little bit of
that half cooked tuna, little bit of sweetness
from the pomegranate seeds, the smoky onion. What’s really incredible about this is that it’s so refined, it’s got this like finesse, this elegance, it really is Michelin quality. (upbeat music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *