Why Sang Jeong can call two cities his hometown

by: Nik Addams
08 Jan 2020

Sang Jeong is lucky enough to have two hometowns. Born in South Korea, the young chef's sense of wanderlust got the better of him from a young age - he worked in kitchens in the US and Australia before landing in Lima. There, he trained under the watchful eye of internationally acclaimed chef Virgilio Martinez at his celebrated restaurant Central (no. 6, The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2019), and mastered the art of Peruvian cuisine, a vibrant food culture inspired by a rich hybrid of culinary influences and indigenous traditions.

In 2018, Sang was appointed by Martinez to lead the kitchen at Ichu Peru, the chef's first restaurant in Asia. At the H Queen's fine dining spot, Jeong celebrates Peruvian culinary traditions showcasing nuanced flavours with a contemporary edge.

We chatted with Jeong ahead of his appearance at The Gourmet Theatre. 

The Gourmet Theatre - chef Sang Jeong

What does home mean to you?
The sea and the smell of the ocean. Also love, family, warmth and food. 

What flavours or dishes remind you of home?
I was born in Incheon, on the west coast of South Korea, so home for me tastes like Korean seafood dishes.

What is your favourite dish from home, and what do you like about it?
My grandma used to make a lot of seafood dishes with soy sauce like gae-jang, marinated fresh raw crab in soy sauce, and kkomak, which is marinated steamed cockles in soy sauce. Fresh seafood and soy sauce go really well together. The soy sauce makes helps to balance while adding a slight umami flavour to fresh seafood. 

What are you hoping diners will enjoy about their experience at The Gourmet Theatre?
As I have a strong background in Peruvian cuisine, I will make ceviche, which is a Peruvian seafood dish, but with soy sauce. The key to great ceviche is the balance of freshness and sourness. I hope the diners can taste the sourness and umami flavours of the ceviche with soy sauce.
Are there any ingredients or techniques you'll be showcasing that you think might surprise diners?
As Lima is my other hometown, I want to present the most popular grains from Peru, quinoa and kiwicha. I will present those Andean grains with different colours and different textures.

At The Gourmet Theatre on 16-17 January, Sang will be cooking:

- Quinoa, kiwicha, mint, goat cheese, carrot
- Yellowtail ceviche, yuzu, dragon fruit, DYB soy sauce

To find out more about The Gourmet Theatre and to reserve your seats, head to the official ticketing page