Rising Star Chef Junghyun Park of Atoboy - Biography

New York, NY

September 2017

After earning a degree in food science at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, Junghyun Park took off far and wide. He began his globe-trotting odyssey in Finland, on an exchange program, and then took a deep dive into European food culture. Park eventually traveled to more than 30 countries.

From Europe, he headed to Melbourne, Australia, where he ended up working at Andrew McConnell’s Cutler and Co. for nearly three years before returning to Seoul to work in Chef Jung Sik Yim’s newly opened, fine-dining establishment, Jungsik. When a satellite of Jungsik opened in New York City, Park led the American team as chef de cuisine, turning it into one of the best reviewed restaurants of 2011 and earning two Michelin stars.

In 2016, Park and his wife Ellia opened Atoboy, a casual, progressive Korean-style restaurant near the 32nd Street hub of Korean dining in Manhattan. Where Jungsik presented Korean flavors using French technique, Atoboy (ato meaning gift in Korean) makes greater use of Korean technique and focuses on banchan. Also breaking from the Jungsik model, Atoboy opened with a pre-fixe format at a steal-of-a-price: $36 for three courses. Just a few months after opening, Atoboy received a two-star review in The New York Times, and Park received a StarChefs Rising Stars Award. With more “Ato” concepts in the works, Park is working toward reconfiguring and redefining modern Korean food in America.