Food Network Loves Lucy
Spicing Up Guy Fieri’s Flavortown
BY Aayat Ali
In the five short months since Chef Lucy Seo opened her Korean restaurant Han Cook In, she has already begun making waves locally and nationally. Last month, Seo made her debut on the Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games, hosted by Guy Fieri.
This episode, titled Spice Masters, pit chefs from across the world known for their spicy cuisine head-to-head in a competition that tests their abilities under the pressure of being watched by millions of Food Network viewers.
“On the episode, chefs from around the world are spicing things up in Flavortown. First, the chefs must make a dish bringing some big hometown heat with a small twist. Next, chefs must bowl over the judges making a spicy American classic. In the last round, the final two chefs make an upscale spicy dinner with a double whammy game that will turn the heat up on the competition.”
The first round, Seo whipped up spicy octopus with red peppers, kimchi and other vegetables- something you would probably see in her restaurant today. For her American classic, Seo decided on dark chocolate coated chicken wings with Korean spicy sauce, which would be the dish that gets her eliminated.
Although Seo said watching herself on television was strange, holding a small get-together with supportive customers allowed her to laugh and enjoy watching the episode.
“When I was there, I couldn’t even [think about] what I was doing. Maybe I would have made my spicy fire sauce,” said Seo when asked what she wish she had done differently.
In the future, she said she hopes to be on American Diner Revival, a show that surprises hard-working owners with complete restaurant makeovers. Seo said her favorite Food Network shows include Chopped, and an homage to her beginnings as a food truck business, The Great Food Truck Race.
Despite not making it to the final round, she is on the cusp of several milestones. Han Cook In just celebrated a Grand Re-Opening with a brand new system, new fusion items, and lower menu prices.
“I took some items off the menu and made new fusion items menu such as beef bulgogi waffle sandwich, chicken fried chicken waffle sandwich, and pineapple cheesecake waffle. All my menu prices are lower than before, because we are now self-service.”
Han Cook In customers will now order, pay, then pick up a number. When their food is up, the number will show up on a monitor. After their meals, customers will bring their dishes to the front.
Han Cook In does not yet have a liquor license, but Seo has set up a GoFundMe page, saying,
“I want to show people how I can change my life and be successful!”
Lucy Seo was featured on the cover of the January 2016 printed issue of Ace.
This article also appears on page 10 of the September 2016 printed issue of Ace.
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