Chef Young Hee Roh of Poom Seoul - Biography

Seoul, South Korea

November 2011

As a child, Young Hee Roh lived in a province surrounded by fields, and some of her dishes at Poom form mini-3D-landscapes, from the soil-like ground pine nuts plated organically next to two roughly-formed chestnut-ginger “pebbles” or dumplings to the earth-toned dish of marinated, grilled beef with deoduck root served on a chocolate brown, handmade plate with an irregular surface that looks like a newly tilled field.

Roh spent time as a managing editor at a Korean food magazine before venturing behind the burners herself. But from the office to the kitchen, she kept her appreciation for subtlety and understated elegance, from her stylish pixie cut, to her turned up, crisp white collar. Whether it’s a calculated cloudlike scattering of thinly sliced chives on the plate, a large, textured vase in the dining room, or the patterned trimming on Roh’s chef pants, chic touches like this are evident everywhere at Poom Seoul, and looking at Roh, it’s not hard to figure out the source.