26 Mar NYTIMES: At Ejen in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a Mother’s Touch Infuses the Menu
Son-mat, in Korean, translates literally as the taste of your hands. It refers to the natural instinct a cook brings to the kitchen, the inner jazz of cooking not by measurements but by feel, and the distinct culinary fingerprint that makes one person’s food taste like no other’s.
For Jenny Jiae Lee, a young Seoul-born, California-bred architect now living in New York, no Korean food in the city could make up for missing her mother’s son-mat. So two years ago, she asked her parents, Don and Sue Lee, who were living happily in retirement in a suburb of Los Angeles, to move across the country and open a Korean food stand in her new hometown.
They had never worked in a restaurant; her mother had never cooked outside the home. They said yes. (“They love me!” the younger Ms. Lee said.)