Junsoo Bae

Junsoo Bae, Sous Chef at Gramercy Tavern and culinary arts alumni from The Culinary Institute of AmericaMajor: Management
Job Title: Sous Chef at Gramercy Tavern
Location: New York, NY

What is your favorite dish to create?
I love to make dishes with fresh vegetables. Simply fresh, every moment I have the first bite of vegetables from market, it is just amazing.

Describe a day in your life at your job/business.
Most of my time at the restaurant I am involved in service. Starting my day a little earlier than the cooks: I check the guest list, event, and covers for the day. I check the quality of vegetables from Union Square Greenmarket, looking for exotic local, seasonal ingredients. Once service starts, I expedite service.

Tell us about a few highlights of your career.
I never cooked before I started at the CIA. When I took gastronomy class, I was the only student who didn’t know what mire poix was. I always felt behind, I wasn’t a great cook. So I had to throw myself into very tough kitchens. I did an unpaid externship at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, I trailed at Per Se over summer vacation, worked at Noma as a Stagiaire.

Do you have any advice for future or current CIA students?
Stay humble, stay hungry, small details make a big difference.

What’s your best memory at the CIA?
I got a chance to participate Bocus d’or 2012 national as a commis. I wasn’t picked by the school, but the recommendations of many chefs made it happen. It was such an amazing experience for me to cook with the most talented chefs in America; in front of Grant Achatz ’94, Thomas Keller, and Daniel Boulud.