Former Ten chef makes the 'major' scene in DC
Back in February, we reported that Ten executive Chef Chul Kee Ko had moved on, setting the stage for long-time sous-chef Pei Chang to take over. But we never did find out where Chef Ko was moving on to. Until now.
According to the Post’s Tom Sietsema's Dish column, Ko will soon be the head chef at a “highly anticipated” new place on DC's Massachusetts Avenue called Buddha Bar, an exclusive Paris-based franchise with locations in only the world’s leading cities.
“Get primed for Peking duck, curry shrimp in banana leaf, sushi–- and a major scene,” writes Sietsema, who says that the owners of the new restaurant dined at dozens of places around the county before settling on Chef Ko at Ten.
And get this: the Buddha Bar is costing $10 million to build! According to Washington Life Magazine the place will have 22-foot ceilings and an 18-foot Buddha statue from the “jungles of Indonesia.” As a side note, not everyone is keen on this concept, especially some Buddhists. Last year, Buddhist students in Jakarta protested the opening of a Buddha Bar there, saying that the concept of putting "Buddha" before "bar" defamed their religion, which prompted the owners to change the name.
As for Ko's talent, it looks like Hook freelancer Kate Malay was on to something when she reviewed Ten back in September 2008, shortly after Chef Ko had arrived.
“Why have so much faith in Chef Ko? One reason is that his lamb chops were perfect. Yes, perfect. The soft, juicy meat separated effortlessly, and the cumin and dried chili accompaniment came as a line of crimson seasoning drawn beneath the chops,” Malay wrote. “It showed off his skill and artistry, and I want to see more”Šsomething about Ten just feels different since the new chef's arrival.”