Take Two With Chef ToKa

Last week, Chopped treated us and viewers to a redemption competition in which four past runner-ups competed against each other. The episode was especially a treat for us since our friend Chef Tony Kang was one of the competitors. Unfortunately, the result was not what we (or Chef Tony expected). We caught up with Chef Tony (@ChefTonyKang) to see what he’s been up to since we last hung out.

Chef Tony Kang aka Chef ToKa
Chef Tony Kang aka Chef ToKa

FP: Give us an update on what you’ve been up to since we last hung out.

TK: Since the last time we all hung out (Almost a year ago!!! yikes) I moved to Astoria, left Swallow Restaurant, and just lived the life of a busy chef.

FP: Good to hear you’re keeping busy as always!

You’ve now competed on Chopped twice. On either episode, what was the most challenging ingredient to cook with?

TK: Competing the second time around was a lot tougher because the nerves got to me. The ingredients didn’t do me in this time. Once again I had to deal with faulty equipment. My oven that day didn’t pump out enough heat to bring my oil up to temp. But that’s all in hindsight and I have no control over what happened. I’m just grateful that I have amazing people in my life that support me day and night.

FP: Congrats on your new gig at Crave Fish Bar! What are you most excited about working there?

TK: The excitement I have heading into Crave is knowing that I will have a lot of creative freedom cooking seafood, which is my ace.

FP: Any new projects in the works? On Facebook, you mentioned you’re working on a business plan and a book?

I do have some projects up my sleeve. I am planning on opening my own restaurant by at least 2015. I’m also working on a book focusing on the hardships of immigrants workers and sharing their stories. I would also love to work on my cookbook real soon.

FP: Opening your new restaurant sounds exciting! 

Are you considering other cooking competitions? 

TK: For TV projects, I am aiming for Top Chef, Iron Chef, and my own show.

FP: Your future is bright for sure!

Thanks again for your time. We will visit you at Crave Fish Bar very soon! 

We first interviewed Chef Tony (our very first interview) last year after his first appearance on Chopped. Learn more about him here. In addition, we stopped by Swallow Restaurant (where he worked at the time) and enjoyed a great meal by Chef Tony! Find out what we ate and read our review here.

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