What’s in my kitchen: Judy Joo

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Korean–American celebrity chef and restaurateur Judy Joo ditched life as an analyst on Wall Street in search of a career in the kitchen. The outcome surpassed all of her expectations, and she now has her own TV show, released a recipe book earlier this year, and receives invitations from all over the globe to share her culinary skills and expertise.


Judy Joo owns three restaurants, one each in Soho and Mayfair in London and one in Hong Kong. Oryx caught up with the lady herself to find out what she keeps in her kitchen.


I have a dedicated iPad for use in my kitchen. I often use it for timers, recipes, quick reference, or looking things up. One of my favourite cooking apps is for substitutions when you run out of something whilst you’re cooking. I have cookbooks from all over the world, some in imperial and some in metric measurements, so the iPad is also useful in converting these. Of course, I use it to play music, too. The happier your tunes, the happier your food turns out.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

Unlike some of my male counterparts, I don’t want to have really gross and dry hands from spending all that time cooking. I always have this hand cream in my kitchen to keep them feeling soft and looking nice. I like it because it’s rich, very moisturising, and it’s fragrance free.


Gochujang is a fermented Korean chilli paste. It’s thick and unctuous in texture because of the sweet rice and fermented soybean powder. The result is a very well-balanced hot-sauce paste. It’s earthy, it’s sweet, and it’s a little bit smoky. It’s not blow-your-head-off spicy, but it’s a vibrant red colour and it’s extremely versatile. You can try a spoonful in some broth and make a spicy soup. You can use it in marinades for meat and fish or as a dipping sauce.

Vitamin Blender

This is such a powerful blender that you can use it for pureeing, juicing, grinding, and chopping. It’s expensive but versatile, so I think it’s totally worth it. You can create amazingly smooth sauces, and it’s great for making a salsa too. I have had mine for over 11 years. It’s an investment, and probably one of the best things I have in my kitchen. It’s crazy-powerful, so make sure the lid is on tightly or it might explode!


A Microplane is also known as a ‘rasp’. It’s a fine grater, and usually people only use them for zesting lemons and limes, and for hard cheeses. I also use mine for garlic, ginger, nutmeg, chocolate, and some hard spices. It’s great because it grates it really fine and, for ginger, it breaks down the fibres.

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