Rikku Ó’Donnchü has been on one helluva wild ride in 2022.
Early this year, the journeyman chef left Amorette in Lancaster Pennsylvania to lead the charge at Immersion at London House. The concept injected “phantasmagorical whimsy into the tasting menu genre” I said in my review from May 4, but after Immersion closed last month, Ó’Donnchü’s options opened.
He joined Omei Restaurant Group after his talents caught the eye of owners Johnny and Jimmy Tung. In a matter of weeks, the brothers tapped Ó’Donnchü to be executive chef of Doshi, the contemporary Korean restaurant opening July 27 in the Whole Foods plaza in Winter Park.
Doshi was born from Doshibox, the creative Korean concept by Gene Kim and chef-cohorts Ray and Mike Gillette. Doshibox operated out of Collab Kitchens, a virtual food hall on Curry Ford Road, then closed so that the trio could elevate the concept and take it brick-and-mortar with the help of the Tung Brothers.
Kim, a managing partner of Doshi, will be in the kitchen with Ray and Mike Gillette. Along with Ó’Donnchü, the quartet will explore the gastronomy of the Korean Peninsula and plate their contemporary and progressive takes via a 14-course tasting menu.
“We want to offer a food experience to our guests that encompasses special techniques, unique and seasonal ingredients and dishes not typically found in your traditional Korean restaurant,” says Kim, a second-generation Korean-American who was raised in Japan before moving to Florida.
For Ó’Donnchü, being appointed executive chef is an opportunity to showcase the techniques, flavor combinations and molecular theatrics he’s become very familiar with in his career. Having been executive chef at Yuzu Kitchen & Bar in Cape Town, South Africa, a restaurant playing up the flavors of Korea and Japan, Ó’Donnchü is ready to, umm, immerse himself into the world of Hanguk cuisine.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Johnny, Jimmy and Gene on this project,” says Ó’Donnchü. “My passion for Korean cuisine grew through my many years of travel throughout Asia. Korean, and Far-Eastern ingredients specifically, are in my everyday pantry and they reflect my cooking style. I can’t wait to show off those classic Korean flavors in a fun, contemporary and exciting way.”
Katie Zamulinsky, the former fine dining and etiquette manager at Immersion, will serve as Doshi’s sommelier and beverage manager.
Doshi will initially offer two seatings at 6 and 8 p.m. for its six-person chef’s table experience. Reservations will be posted on Doshi’s Instagram page (@doshiorlando) on Sunday, July 24, at midnight.
Reservations for seating in the main dining room, which seats 35, will open in two weeks.
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