Making of PBS’s ‘Kimchi Chronicles’ w/ Marja Vongerichten

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You’ve probably already seen the promos for the new PBS show called Kimchi Chronicles, a thirteen-episode journey exploring Korean cuisine and culture. The show follows Marja Vongerichten, wife of world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, as she visits restaurants, pojanmachas (street stalls), markets, and popular tourist destinations all over South Korea.

However, the show is not only about Korea and its culinary landscape. Marja, who is half Korean, was adopted by an American family at a young age. And, while her father often took her to Korean-Chinese restaurants for jajangmyeon (blackbean noodles), she wasn’t properly introduced to Korean food—which she now calls “the soul food of Asia”—until she found her biological mother fifteen years ago. Thus, the show will also weave Marja’s personal history and take viewers on her journey of self-discovery as well.

Last week, The Korea Society arranged a Q&A with Marja and the show’s producer Eric Rhee where they discussed the creative process behind the show, memorable scenes, and some of the challenges they faced while filming.

Watch the full Q&A with Marja and producer Eric Rhee:

New Yorkers are getting an early taste of Kimchi Chronicles (second episode airs this Sunday!), but the show will broadcast nationally starting July. Marja also plans on publishing a Korean cookbook to accompany the TV series in August – you can pre-order the book here!

The Kimchi Chronicles website hasn’t launched yet, but you check out their Facebook page for updates.

[photo: Kimchi Chronicles]

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