Family Dinner Goes Global
At home, the couple behind a pair of popular Brooklyn restaurants serve up border-hopping favorites that satisfy them and their picky kids.
Remember when you were growing up how there was one friend you hoped would ask you to stay for dinner because her family always had the best food? If you were still a kid and lived in a certain Brooklyn neighborhood, that family would be Sohui Kim and Ben Schneider’s. In Kim’s case, she had two friends, one Puerto Rican and the other Nigerian, whose mothers were fantastic cooks and exposed her early on to the concept of a global table.
“We moved to the States from Korea when I was 10, so I grew up with Americana-infused Korean meals,” says Kim. “We’d have pizza night and do barbecues, but a crock of kimchi was still usually involved.” She refers to this way of eating as “globe-trotting, not fusion,” and it influences what she cooks at home as well as her menus for the couple’s first Brooklyn restaurant, The Good Fork (they also own the Korean barbecue joint Insa). She says Schneider, who designed and helps run both restaurants, “is really good at pasta, and our kids [ages 8 and 10] especially love his pesto, so they’ll snip the basil and help him make it.”
Pasta night often starts with seaweed soup, but no matter what’s being served a few rules always apply: Everyone sits down at the table; you eat what’s in front of you; and no phones or other devices are allowed. “Once we’ve started, the kids will give me a thumbs-up or -down, and they usually say something like, ‘You made it better last time,’ ” Kim says. “We tend to get a magical five minutes or so until someone gets up.”