Joseph Lidgerwood : an Australian talent to take out the best of Korean ingredients
- Owner Chef at Evett* in Seoul, Korea
- Winner of 2021 MICHELIN Young Chef Award
- Modern technics with best Korean ingredients
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Tasmania-born chef Joseph Lidgerwood first came to Seoul as a “culinary pilgrim” hosting pop-dinners on his Asia tour, but he ended up so besotted with Korean ingredients that he decided to make the city a permanent stop.
To share his discoveries – foraged finds sourced on excursions across the Korean peninsula and unusual pairings with traditional Korean liquors – Joseph Lidgerwood opened restaurant EVETT in the city’s Gangnam district at the end of 2018. Less than a year later, the restaurant received a one MICHELIN star recognition in the MICHELIN Guide Seoul 2020 for its inventive offerings.
“Before coming to this country, I had heard so much about other Asian cuisines such as Japanese, Vietnamese or Chinese cuisine, but so little about Korean cuisine,” Joseph Lidgerwood said, adding that he was “instantly captivated” by the vast variety of local ingredients he found here.
This is what drove him to fix the spotlight firmly on Korean ingredients, techniques and flavors at EVETT, Lidgerwood said, in an effort to “showcase what makes this country special”. Yet each element is presented in unexpected ways to cast a different light on them, so even the most jaded Korean diner will find something new to discover. Diners at the restaurant, whether local or foreign, will have the feeling that they are trying ingredients that they already know but in a delicious new way that makes the familiar unfamiliar, Joseph Lidgerwood promises.
Besides overcoming cultural barriers, Lidgerwood is also keen to bridge the gap between his guests and his kitchen team. Chefs at EVETT take turns to come out of the kitchen to present their dishes personally at the dining table, giving them the opportunity to personally explain to their guests the techniques and stories behind everything on the plate, from the provenance of the duck in their signature dish of Magnolia-aged duck served with rehydrated dried peaches, to why they choose to age their Korean Jirisan black pork in brown butter ad beeswax.
“Food has changed drastically in the last 50 years; it has gone from being a thing of survival to a thing of pleasure”
A mission well accomplished for the EVETT team is when every guest leaves the intimate restaurant with not just the feeling that they have discovered something new along the way – but with great joy at having done so as well.
Joseph Lidgerwood completed his apprenticeship at various Tasmanian restaurants.
He started in Franklin, then moved to the Astor Grill in Hobart and finished his trade at the Henry Jones IXL Jam Factory.
Since then, he has cooked in London, the United States and other pop-up restaurants around the world. He said the pop-ups were the start of him putting his own signature on food.
“We did crazy pop-ups at base camp on Everest, we did ones in New York, San Francisco and that’s when I started creating my own menu,” he said.
(C) 2019. JONGHUN LEE All Rights Reserved.