Chef Ji Cha
Ji has been in the restaurant industry since she was 11 years old and worked in the kitchen making dumplings for her father’s restaurant. Ji was surrounded by Korean food, and other cuisine since 56th street is considered part of restaurant row.
Arirang House was the 1st Korean restaurant opened in 1964 by her grandfather; located on 28 West 56th street. Arirang was closed on 1990 because her family decided to move to Seoul, Korea.
Korea opened a whole new view on Ji’s heritage, culture and Korean food. She wanted to bring Korean cuisine at a different level for food fans in America.
Ji came back to the USA in 1993 to Boston and she worked in numerous restaurants in Boston. Due to her passion in hospitality she decided to attend The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Ji graduated in 2004 with honors and scholarships.
Upon graduation she worked furthering her knowledge in food; like, Germany, Holland, Africa, Hawaii, Spain, Japan and Korea. After her traveling and working overseas she came back to NYC and worked at numerous places in the city.
Ji always likes it spicy like her kimchi; so, Ji went to an open casting call for FOX Network’s Hell’s Kitchen with renowned Chef Gordon Ramsey. She got in and was on Hell’s Kitchen Season 5; unfortunately, Ji didn’t get far due to an injury on the show. Chef Ramsey commented, “Ji showed great courage. Unfortunately, her injury got in the way of her dream. She had a chance to win but sadly we will never ever know.”
Today Ji works for herself at ChefJi LLC in the tri-state area as a consulting chef, she does demos for companies like Panasonic, and more. Ji is open to try anything that involves the hospitality industry to make sure her clients are highly satisfied.