The New York TimesThe New York Times

Food Is Identity. For Korean Chefs Who Were Adopted, It's Complicated.

By Elyse Inamine

31 Jul 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

What did you have for lunch today? The choices that make up our plates can reveal a lot about our personal and cultural histories.

LOS ANGELES — Katianna Hong is tinkering with her grandmother’s matzo ball soup for a second time. The first time, she adapted it for a staff meal while she was executive chef at the Charter Oak in the Napa Valley.

But here at Yangban Society, a Los Angeles restaurant she opened in January with her husband, John Hong, she’s making even more ambitious changes to the recipe, and in the process re-imagining the cooking of the Korean diaspora.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content