Food News

Ji Kang of Samar on What He Learned After Restaurant Ownership and Eating Live Octopus

The first thing you probably should know about chef Ji Kang is that once he ate squiggling octopus tentacles in Korea. That's hard-core dedication to local cuisine, even though he swears he'll never try it again.

Kang, who is the executive chef at Samar, began his culinary career before he even knew it. His grandmother owned a hostel in Korea where she cooked from scratch and was a gracious host to travelers from around the world. Kang was exposed to these traits early life and since has learned just how valuable they are to him now.

Here's our chat about his upbringing and career, including what he learned after a stint in restaurant ownership:

Where are you from? I grew up mainly in Austin, but lived in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tampa Bay and in Richardson for awhile too. After high school, I went to culinary school at the Dallas Art Institute.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.