By Lee Kyutae
Time flies when you’re having enjoyable making sausages. The culinary actuality tv show-winning Seoul Sausage turned one-year outdated earlier this month.
Because the proprietors of Seoul Sausage gained ‘The Nice Meals Truck Race’ on the Meals Community and opened their brick-and-mortar restaurant in Little Osaka of West Los Angeles inside six days of each other, the one-year anniversary they not too long ago celebrated was technically for each milestones.
The trio of 1.5 era Korean-American entrepreneurs – the Ted and Yong ‘Kim brothers’ and chef Chris Oh, have began a profitable catering firm, grow to be actuality TV present champs and run a profitable restaurant and a meals truck, gaining some superstar standing alongside the best way. They gained’t reveal a lot about their future plans, most likely because of contractual obligations or out of respect for whomever they might be working with on their subsequent undertaking, however you get the sense there’s a lot of their oven, together with the potential of a second location in downtown Los Angeles and a few extra tv and journal appearances.
Effectively, that’s good, however how a lot cash did they make? Was it price leaving their promoting company jobs, towards parental recommendation?
To those blunt questions, Yong answered, “Clearly we made some cash, however we aren’t anxious about cash proper now. Cash shall be there. For instance, folks have approached us about franchising, however we’ve refused, as a result of we really feel prefer it’s not a completed product but. We’re a lot extra than simply sausages.” Chris echoed comparable sentiments.
Yong then added, “All the nice issues which have occurred to us are nothing we had deliberate. We’re rising the model and staying true to ourselves on the identical time. You need to have the ability to see how a lot we imagine in our merchandise, and we’re having fun with the journey.”
Listening to about a few of their experiences, and by what’s been posted on their website online, it’s troublesome to argue with their strategy. They bought to satisfy and rub elbows with numerous luminaries of the culinary world and varied celebrities, and even gained their respect within the course of. You possibly can’t put a price ticket on these sorts of experiences.
Movie star cooks and tv personalities similar to Bobby Flay and Alton Brown haven’t solely visited Seoul Sausage Firm in individual, however they gave rave critiques of what they sampled whereas there. Simply go try what every of them wrote on their Twitter account after visiting Seoul Sausage Firm. Giada DeLaurentiis additionally gave them the thumbs up.
Catering for large firms like Google and celebrities like Lisa Ling has been a blast additionally. And if that’s not sufficient, check out their $100,000 Scion xB Grilling Machine.
They’ve been cooking, and it definitely has been one heck of a trip up to now.
Their story started as Chris, the chef of the group, watched Roy Choi of Kogi Truck fame, getting a shout-out on a well-liked late-night tv present. If the galbi taco mixture turned successful, “How can I incorporate Korean flavors into acquainted types like a taco?”, he requested himself.
The reply was easy – “I really like sausages and I really like Korean barbecue, so why not put the 2 collectively? Then the subsequent day I went on YouTube, realized tips on how to make sausages, and it sort of simply began there.”
Chris now thinks his thought is best, since sausages may be packed and bought in markets.
It wasn’t simple, however when he lastly got here up with the flavour he needed – and even his mother and father appreciated it – he knew he had one thing good. Then Ted tried it, and subsequent factor they knew, they had been on the Avenue Meals Pageant on the Rose Bowl with one of many longest queues for service on the occasion.
Phrase unfold shortly, they usually had been quickly capable of begin a catering enterprise. On the time, Ted and Yong had been working at promoting companies. They needed to make sausages all night time, then go straight to work, and repeat the cycle another time. It was not a easy job to make a whole bunch of sausages with a small machine, however they’re keen on these reminiscences.
In addition to, their shopper checklist was ”cool” from the very starting – Hollywood studios, film units, TV filming units, and so forth.
So towards their mother and father’ recommendation, they left their jobs to open a retailer on Sawtelle Boulevard in Los Angeles once they bought a name from the Meals Community’s ‘The Nice Meals Truck Race’ present. That they had despatched in an audition tape on the final minute, and their life was about to alter.
The Nice Meals Truck Race is the No. 2 rated present on the Meals Community with a mean of two million viewers per episode, and to make a protracted story quick, they gained the competitors. They got here again victorious, with a meals truck they name ‘Massive Mama’ and a $50,000 money prize.
Chris Oh, 33, is the person behind the meals. Ted Kim, 30, is the entrance man who’s additionally in command of funds, and his brother Yong Kim, 32, handles advertising and gross sales to finish the Seoul Sausage partnership trifecta.
They had been all born in Korea, immigrated at an early age with their mother and father, and grew up within the Northern California metropolis of Cupertino. They had been typical Koreans within the sense that all of them majored in economics, presumably to please their mother and father.
Apparently, their friendship didn’t begin between Chris and Yong or Chris and Ted, however between Chris’s youthful brother Anthony and Ted. As a result of Ted and Anthony had been such good mates, their households would get collectively to get pleasure from Thanksgiving dinner.
One yr, Ted stated to Chris, “Your mom is such prepare dinner,” solely to search out out it wasn’t his mom who ready the scrumptious meal however Chris, who had cooked all the things from scratch.
Chris will not be a classically-trained chef, however he cooked rather a lot whereas rising up as a result of his mother and father had been out working, and he occurred to love it. He needed to put his ardour for cooking apart for some time, as that wasn’t what his mother and father needed him to do for a dwelling, however he ultimately returned to it.
Ted is the entrance man. He will get issues going – to some extent the place the host of ‘The Nice Meals Truck Race,’ Tyler Florence, as soon as complimented Ted that he was “the very best entrance man of all three seasons” through the present’s run (which is now in its fourth season). His trick is that he has no disgrace. Nothing is simply too embarrassing for him, which proves to be a useful asset for working a enterprise.
Final however not least, Yong is the social media man – completely mandatory this point in time in any enterprise. This director of gross sales and advertising’s use of hashtags “is like an artwork kind,” in keeping with his brother Ted.
Their present menu is easy. It consists of solely seven gadgets – galbi sausage with kimchi relish and garlic-jalapeno aioli, spicy pork sausage with apple cabbage slaw, Flaming, Lil Osaka, and Spam Musubi deep-fried rice balls, and two specialties within the Galbi Poutine and the cleverly named Da KFC – not Kentucky, however Korean Fried Rooster right here.
For those who order all seven gadgets, you will have your self a ‘Seoul Pack.’
As Chris wish to inform you, they’re much greater than sausages. The deep-fried kimchi fried rice ball is one thing Chris got here up with through the meals truck race – and was fairly successful. The trio can be very happy with their Galbi Poutine. Conventional Koreans could say it’s on the heavy facet and extra for Westerners however nonetheless, it’s been voted as the very best poutine in Los Angeles.