In 2003, following an engineering degree at Columbia University and a career on Wall Street, Judy Joo decided it was time for a change. Realising that her passion was in cooking, she enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York, and received her Grand Diplome in Pastry Arts before becoming a test kitchen and editorial assistant at SAVEUR magazine.
Excited about the thriving UK food scene, Judy moved to London in 2007, and joined Restaurant Gordon Ramsay as a pastry chef. For the following few years, she also worked throughout other Gordon Ramsay restaurants including Maze, under Jason Atherton, Claridge’s, Pétrus, and Boxwood Café as a chef and pastry chef. Judy also staged around the world at restaurants including 3 Michelin-starred The French Laundry in Yountville, California; Heston Blumenthal’s 3 Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in Bray; as well as Bangkok’s 1 Michelin- starred Nahm restaurant.
In 2011, Judy became the first Executive Chef for The Playboy Club London, and in the same year became a regular face on TV, starring in Iron Chef UK and securing herself the title ‘Iron Chef UK’, becoming the only female Iron Chef in the UK and the second female Iron Chef worldwide. Off the back of her success in the UK show, Judy became a resident judge on Iron Chef America. Her expertise in Korean cooking led to her own shows: Judy Joo’s Return to Korea and two seasons of Korean Food Made Simple. Since then, she published her debut cookbook, Korean Food Made Simple and has made regular appearances on numerous programs in the USA including The Today Show, Wendy Williams, The Talk, and various Food Network shows, and in the UK, she has popped up on Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch and James Martin’s Saturday Morning. In 2021, Judy began starring on ITV’s new primetime show in the UK, Cooking With the Stars, and in 2022, Judy became a lifestyle contributor for Us Weekly, where she has a monthly column interviewing celebrities and chefs.
Having settled in the UK, London was the obvious choice for Judy’s first restaurant as Chef Patron, and she opened the doors to her modern Korean restaurant Jinjuu – meaning ‘pearl’ – in 2014. Judy’s cooking is focused on the flavours of her childhood – raised in a Korean- American family in New Jersey, her back porch was lined with her mother’s clay pots, filled
with fermenting kimchi, gochujang and doenjang. The house’s garage had racks of drying seaweed, and a Korean barbecue grill tucked in the corner. Judy and her sister were often
drafted in to help fold row upon row of dumplings. Her multicultural heritage and training are evident in her dishes today: from ‘disco fries’ influenced by New Jersey highway diners, and topped with spicy cabbage kimchi, to classic French pastries that incorporate traditional Korean ingredients.
In 2019, Judy left Jinjuu after five years in order to start a new chapter, which includes the recent launch of her new cookbook, Korean Soul Food, and Seoul Bird, a new venture in Westfield that specializes in the Korean Fried Chicken that Judy is known for. In 2021, Judy opened a second location for Seoul Bird in Canary Wharf. In 2022, Judy embarked upon an exciting new adventure for Seoul Bird, opening the first location in the US. The newly opened restaurant is in Las Vegas at the luxurious ARIA hotel, introducing the exciting flavours of Seoul Bird in London to Las Vegas and the many tourists coming in from all over the world.
To book Judy, or to chat about collaborations or events, please call Martine on 07825 720018 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org