I usually describe my exhaust as being able to suck the souls out of kittens," says Judy Joo. "It will pull your hair up if you stand under it." Joo, the tireless chef behind both the TV show and cookbook Korean Food Made Simple and the Jinjuu restaurants in London and Hong Kong, needed a powerful kitchen that could keep up with her. And thanks to a recent renovation of her London apartment, she got one. That exhaust system lets her grill dishes like bulgogi without filling the kitchen with smoke. The appliances, customized by French manufacturer Molteni, include a wok station where she makes everything from stir-fries to popcorn. "All of the unpopped kernels slide to the center, where it's the hottest, so they pop faster," she explains. She tops her popcorn with tamanoi sushinoko powder, a mix of dehydrated vinegar, salt and a little sugar. "It's kind of like the salt-and-vinegar potato chips everybody eats here," she says.
The features of her kitchen (above) make cooking easier:
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1. Hideaway zone
A small sink and prep area can be hidden behind a garage-style door.
2. Induction cooktop
The location makes it ideal for entertaining.
3. Appliance row
Gas burners and a griddle, grill, wok and double ovens take up the back wall.
4. Arced counter
Made of quartz, it's a counterpoint to all the straight lines in the space.
Judy's pantry is packed with useful tools:
1. Mortar & pestle
Grooves inside the Thai mortar help break down fibrous ingredients.
2. Bamboo jars
Each holds rice: sweet, a mix of black and red, and multigrain.
Joo uses clay pots to serve soups and store pastes.
4. Wok station
A built-in wok is perfect for jap chae.
5. Stone bowls
Known as dolsot in Korean; chef Judy Joo uses the heat-retaining bowls to make bibimbap.
"I'm not the greatest with cocktails, so for parties I usually set up a bar next to the closet and let friends handle making drinks," says Joo.
Joo uses white plates for everyday but loves collecting ceramic pieces from Korea. "I'm obsessed with Korean ceramics. I have lots of pieces that I use in my books and on my show."