Nokni is a project where Korean roots are shooting up in the fertile ground of Northern California. Steve and Julya are preparing meals that are centered around ssam- It means "wrapped", and is one particular and especially pleasurable way of eating Korean food.
Julya's connection to Korean culture is primarily through her great aunt's food that she remembers eating and helping to prepare as young girl. After being at the helm of Pizzaiolo and Penrose in Oakland for the past nine years, she is now channeling her deep connection to Korean food with passion and a formidable set of culinary and operational skills.
Steve's first food love is sweet and tangy American bbQ. It was probably that memorable impact that spawned a lifetime of enthusiastic eating and an eventual career as a cook and a chef. After being the chef de cuisine of Michelin-starred Terra Restaurant and traveling through the South Korean Peninsula for an entire year to learn about authentic Korean flavors, He finds himself in a uniquely personal position to be a part of the Korean food conversation.
Together, Julya and Steve are presenting pop-up dinners in Oakland as they prepare for their own restaurant, Nokni.