Korean food isn’t shy. It’s about loud, punchy flavors, about ingredients that take time to pickle and ferment, about soups that come together quickly with a rolling boil and barbeque cooked over an open fire built right into the dinner table. It’s about banchan, the huge variety of side dishes that accompany every Korean meal, and also about communal eating. It’s about sharing food and time with family, about a culture that’s simultaneously rooted in tradition and devoted to innovation. Korean food is healthy, satisfying and it’s entirely fun.
Join Marja Vongerichten on Kimchi Chronicles—part travelogue, part food fantasy and part documentary of self-discovery—as she explores and celebrates a cuisine and a culture committed to the age-old practice of taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary. Marja’s remarkable life story will be told throughout the series. Born on the outskirts of Seoul to a Korean mother and an American GI, Marja was put up for adoption at three and then was lovingly raised in northern Virginia. When she was 19 she reconnected with her birth mother, who had relocated to Brooklyn. In reuniting with her Korean family and taking trips to Korea, Marja’s life has come full circle.
On KimchiI Chronicles, viewers will get to see the country through Marja’s incredible and completely distinct lens. In each episode, she will take you to Korea along with Jean-Georges and their daughter Chloe and other friends like renowned actress Heather Graham. Marja will go straight to the source to find the best of Korea from the rolling hills of green tea on Jeju Island to a tiny stall in a sprawling market that serves the most crispy, savory, completely addictive pancakes known as bindaeddeok made from mung beans ground just before they hit the pan.
Then Marja and Jean-Georges will invite you back to their kitchen in New York, along with actor Hugh Jackman and his wife Deb, their real life neighbors. Together, they will create the dishes they fell in love with in Korea and Jean-Georges, a true culinary icon and veritable genius, will also prepare new dishes inspired by the Korean pantry coupled with his command of simple, flavorful and delicious combinations.
It’s worth noting that Marja holds her own in the home kitchen of one of the world’s most renowned chefs and manages to even teach Jean-Georges a thing or two when it comes to gochujang, red pepper paste, and all sorts of other Korean ingredients and family secrets.