He’s been named 2016 Chef of the Year by the Tasmanian Hospitality Association but to most, Dong-Chul Lim is better known as DC, serving up delicious Korean-style fried chicken from his Munchies Street Food truck.
When DC moved from Korea to Tasmania 12 years ago, it’s unlikely he imagined being married with five children, owning his own food truck and being named Tasmania’s best chef. The 35 year old has taken every opportunity that has come his way and combined it with his Korean heritage to deliver a recipe locals and visitors love.
“Growing up, I worked in my aunt’s restaurant while I was studying,” says DC. “The food truck features some of my aunty and my mother’s best recipes, combined with fresh Tasmanian produce and French techniques”.
“Tasmania, to me, is like a dream land. It has the best produce, the best beef, chicken, vegetables and more. For Munchies, everything is sourced and processed in-house. We are able to keep prices low for our customers and ensure the quality is exceptional.”
DC came to Australia on a working holiday visa and after spending time in Melbourne and Sydney, came to Tasmania, instantly falling for the island. He picked apples, olives and berries, working with local farmers before starting an apprenticeship through TAFE Tasmania and becoming a permanent resident.
Beginning his career as a chef at Salt Restaurant in Moonah, over time DC has worked at Jean Pascal Patisserie, Moorilla Restaurant at Mona, and the Glass House in Hobart as Head Chef. He currently works part-time at Miss Jane in South Hobart, when his food truck business isn’t taking his full attention.
“The Falls Music Festival (a major Australian music festival held annually from December 29 to January 1) was our big first event with the truck. It was amazing and incredibly busy. I’d be up at 5:00am to pick up produce in Hobart and prepare it in our commercial kitchen in time to open down at the festival in Marion Bay by 10:00am. Then we’d be on our feet until 3:00am serving, and do it all again the next day.”
Although exhausting at times, DC’s greatest reward is the response from his customers, however sometimes the reputation of his food can work against him. When Munchies sold out of the hugely popular fried chicken at Falls, the uproar was formidable with a long queue of hungry festival goers, shouting “you can’t do that to me!”
Dark Mofo is DC’s most recent festival focus with a menu that featured his much loved Korean fried chicken along with fresh slaws, seven spiced squid, salads, twice cooked pork belly buns with Korean barbecue sauce and more.
When DC isn’t dishing out eats from Tasmania’s first Asian fusion-style food truck, he’s with his family and loves to go bushwalking and get close to nature. So with all this going on, what’s next for DC?
“I want to build up the commercial kitchen, keep the street food going and hopefully develop new product lines,” explains DC. “People can’t always spend money eating out. I want them to be able to enjoy my mum’s sauces, Korean chicken powder, and more without having to head out. This way, they can buy it, enjoy it on a low budget way and spend family time together.”
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