We thought we had a sci-fi story. Turns out, it’s a love story.
John from Not A Number mentioned to us that he had heard that Rachel Yang, chef-owner of Joule (1913 45 St), had been invited to cook at Richard Branson‘s estate in the Virgin Islands. Knowing Branson’s involvement in commercial space flight, we quickly deduced that Yang would be rocketed from Boeing field through the stratosphere to a secret space dock on an uncharted volcanic Carribean island with a retractable crater, where, assisted by a previously unknown race of mole people, she would prepare a 7 course Korean-American fusion menu for Branson, the Dalai Llama, Paul Allen and Michael Prineas of Babalu.
Turns out, we got some of the details wrong.
Yang confirmed that she was headed to the Virgin Islands, and she would be cooking at Branson’s estate, but apparently she would have to make do with commercial airlines.
The British Virign Islands tourism board asked Gourmet magazine to nominate six chefs to fly in and prepare four meals at a four different locations, including the Branson estate. Each chef would prepare one course of each 7 course meal (the seventh course prepares itself, we guess). Yang, who was also invited to Korea to demonstrate her technique at the Tteok Fair, made the cut.
Anyway, we got to talking, and we were wondering how Yang came to open Joule in Wallingford. Prior to Joule, she and her husband, Seif Chirchi, were working at Coupage, the now defunct Korean restaurant (and home of the $28 hamburger). Prior to that, they were in New York, working at D’Or Ahn (also Korean) and Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, where they met.
And that’s the part that kind of tugged at our strings. Can’t you just see them, Rachel and Seif, two young, rising chefs toiling in the kitchen at Alain Ducasse, wiping the sweat from their brown with curled wrist, both dreaming of opening their own restaurant some day…and then their eyes meet, the chopping knives slow, the hum of the kitchen around them recedes and…there’s love.
Or something like that. Rachel just told us they met there, but we deduced the rest.
If you’re interested in trying out some of the “eclectic American”-style food Rachel and Seif are cooking up, this Sunday would make a good a time as any. As we previously covered, every Sunday this summer, Joule is featuring a special barbeque menu with a new style of bbq each week, plus live music from 2 – 4 pm. This Sunday’s theme is “New England Clam Boil”.
It sounds like fun and is intended to be family friendly. The usual wine glasses are missing from the table, replaced by tin cans (although wine and beer are still available from a self-serve side table).
And if you’re lucky, she’ll let you ride on her rocket ship.