This Thursday, October 27th, Food Network finalist Debbie Lee, Edward “3d” Song of Korilla BBQ, and Steve Porto from Asiadog, will be participating on a panel at Korea Society, where they will talk about the unique demands of food-trucks and mobile kitchens, new-generation customers, and inspirations found in Korean culinary culture. There will be food samplings too!
The Korea Society
950 Third Avenue at 57th Street, 8th Floor
Thursday, October 27 at 6 PM
Tickets can be purchased here
$10 for Members
$20 for Non-Members
About the Panelists
Debbie Lee earned her chef chops with stints at La Folie in San Francisco, as well as Le Dome in Los Angeles and the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, before becoming a popular caterer in Los Angeles. She is currently the chef/owner of Ahn-Joo, one of LA’s most popular food trucks (www.ahnjoo.com). Season Five of “The Next Food Network Star” saw Debbie compete to the final three, garnering praise and accolades from Bobby Flay, Giada DeLaurentis, and Morimoto to name a few new fans; she returned to the network this year to appear on “Chopped All-Stars.” Debbie’s new—and stationary—restaurant will open in the fall of 2011 in Los Angeles.
Steve Porto || Asia Dog
Back in 2008, friends Steve Porto and Melanie Campbell busted ketchup and mustard’s monopoly over hot dogs by launching Asiadog, a dining concept that pairs the Western icon with Far-East toppings such as kimchi and Japanese curry. Mel and Steve turned to their Asian heritages (Mel is half Chinese-half Australian; Stephen is half Korean-half Italian) for “an Asian twist on classic American bbq foods like hotdogs and burgers.” They obtained recipes for bulgogi and tsa sui (Chinese bbq pork) from their Asian mothers and “decided to basically create a dog for each of our diverse group of Asian friends, from Korean, to Japanese, to Thai, to Chinese, to Vietnamese. We even have the Hapa dog (the MelandSteve) that is a sesame Asian slaw.” Coming from mixed Asian backgrounds, they celebrate NYC’s diversity by incorporating flavors found in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and more.
After several years of peripatetic pop-ups at bars, the Brooklyn Flea, and Central Park Summerstage, Porto and Campbell recently dropped anchor in Nolita. Within the sparse, Lilliputian space (about seven seats, an open kitchen, and a countertop bamboo plant for decoration), the crew griddles beef, chicken, and veggie wieners, then slides them into soft white or wheat buns and dresses them with offbeat fixings as inspired as they are flavorful. The namesake Mel+Steve wears scallions and Asian sesame slaw, while Sidney sports Thai mango relish, and Wangding is paired with hoisin-basted Char siu pork belly. If you don’t favor frankfurters, there’s a tender pulled-pork sandwich anointed with ginger-BBQ sauce and sides such as a zippy wasabi potato salad. It’s picnic fare that breaks down borders.
Korilla || Eddie “3d” Song
Launched on October 18, 2010, Korilla (a portmanteau of Korean and Grill) started with a question: who doesn’t love Korean BBQ? Eddie “3d” Song, the founder of Korilla, realized that he could introduce more people to Korean cuisine by opening a food truck. Starting with a friend, Chef James, Song began refining a fast-casual food business model, learning about the food industry, and attending a free 4-month cooking school. With just a pocketful of dreams, Song pitched his ideas to Andy and Joe Weitzel, twin co-founders of BOX Creative. Thus a new partnership was born. LET Group, which stands for Let’s Eat Together, was formed to hold Korilla’s intellectual properties. It’s been two years in the making and Korilla has become a New York City sensation. “We change people’s lives one stomach at a time in our tiger-striped food truck. The usual suspects are the notorious Korean tacos, burritos, chompers, and Chosun bowls. More importantly, our goal is to promote Korean cuisine and culture and raise the profile of the Korean community worldwide.”
For more information, visit Korea Society