Judy Joo is one of the four Iron Chefs for the UK and the executive chef for The Playboy Club London, which launched in 2011.
Her love for food and cooking began at home, where she often watched her mother prepare authentic dishes from her native Korea. After spending several years on the Morgan Stanley fixed income trading floor, Judy still felt the lure of the kitchen, decided to pursue her true passion, and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute. Her enthusiasm and dedication to her new trade was evident, and she graduated valedictorian. She went on to work in Saveurmagazine’s test kitchen developing recipes, researching food traditions, and writing. Judy also started Slow Food USA’s first inner city Slow Food in Schools project in Harlem at The Children’s Storefront School, where she was a math tutor. The program, “Harvest Time in Harlem," taught students about food, cooking, and making food choices.
When Judy moved to England, she dined at London’s most famous restaurant, Gordon Ramsay. Serendipitously, the notorious chef himself was there. Judy managed to introduce herself, and the next thing she knew, she spent two years working in his kitchen. Judy has also worked at Maze, Petrus, Claridge’s, The Boxwood Café, The French Laundry, and The Fat Duck. When she is not in the kitchen, you can find Judy at her desk (piled high with cookbooks) writing. Whether it’s a restaurant review or text for a cookbook, Judy’s love for the written word helps her share her love for food with others.