Korean food is not comfort food?

Tammy takes her Korean food (especially dakbulgogi) very seriously.

Posted by Tammy

John Kessler, a food writer/blogger for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted his latest article called Chef’s Night Out with Tom Colicchio, about a chef’s night out with Top Chef Judge Tom Colicchio and local Top Chef alumni Richard Blais and Kevin Gillespie.

Over the course of the article, and the evening, the chefs had a couple of brief conversations about Korean cuisine. Gillespie obviously is not a Koreaphile by any stretch of the imagination. In one comment he dismisses Korean food by saying, “I’m not into Korean food,” says Gillespie. “It’s so fishy.” He later goes on to say, “Korean food is not comforting at all.”

Speak for yourself, Mr. Gillespie. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines comfort food as, “food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” Sounds like Korean food to me!


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9 thoughts on “Korean food is not comfort food?”

  1. But you have to understand that ‘comfort’ food means it ‘comforts’ the eater. Korean food isn’t exactly ‘comforting’ to western people, especially those who haven’t been exposed to it as much. Comfort food is something that reminds you of home or a safe place. Something new most likely won’t do that for you.

    • I read the article, and it looks like they went to a pretty shitty restaurant. I’ve only been to three Korean restaurants in the Atlanta area, and they were all at least somewhat grimy and greasy. The one they went to was named after the beach in Busan, so I guess that grilled meat wasn’t their specialty. I wouldn’t totally blame Kevin for being dismissive about Korean food. From what it sounds like, he’s never had the good stuff.

      Wondering, who else thinks Korean food is fishy? I haven’t really heard that one before.

  2. That beach in Busan, Haeundae, is very famous for galbi. But yeah, doesn’t sound like a good restaurant. How is grilled meat not comforting?

  3. Thinking again, what Asian cuisine is considered “comforting” to everyday Americans? I love sushi and greasy Chinese take out, but they’re exciting foods, not comfort foods. Korean food is the closest I’ve seen to comforting Asian food, particularly the beef soups (love the cow head one) and a kimchi jjigae loaded with sweet pork on a cold winter night. I’m sure a lot of folks find samgyetang comforting–being a chicken soup and all. But I don’t go out drinking and hunt for comfort food. I go for exciting stuff.

    Now I need to go check on the pork roast and rosemary potatoes in the oven.

  4. I’m not Korean but like Korean food. Before even reading the comments, samgyaetang popped into my head as an obvious answer. But I also find soondubu comforting.


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