Ohio-born Pamela Yung leads the kitchen at the excellent Flor and ASAP Pizza. If you’ve missed Flor, it’s back this Friday, and ASAP Pizza will soon re-emerge as a wine and pizza party. Pam tells us about a few of her favourite things.
UJ: What are your favourite London restaurants?
PY: For an upmarket choice: Brawn is the first restaurant I went to when I first came to London so it has a special place in my heart. I love the vibe, the food is well executed and they have great wine.
And for casual: in New York, I ate a lot of ethnic food and really love Vietnamese. Since being in London, the best place I’ve found so far is Pho Thuy Tay on the Old Kent Road. During lockdown, I got takeaway from there a few times and it was remarkable. I’m sure it’s even better in person so am looking forward to visiting soon.
UJ: Where do you go to celebrate?
PY: The River Cafe is definitely a place for celebrating. James Lowe took me here when I first came to London; it’s really special.
UJ: Favourite place (besides Flor) in Borough?
PY: Neal’s Yard for their British cheeses; De Calabria who offer the most amazing selection of artisanal products from Calabria – we’ve used a lot of their ‘nduja and fermented chilli oil on our pizzas at ASAP. I also love Tacos Padre and try and get a taco or two whenever I can before or after service.
UJ: You spent some time in Brooklyn (we love!), can you recommend your favourite place to dine there?
PY: There are so many great places to name but to mention a few – The Four Horsemen, my friends at L’Industrie pizzeria for a slice, and Di An Di which is a modern Vietnamese restaurant just around the corner from my flat.
UJ: We hear there are going to be pizza parties at Flor now?
PY: Yes, ASAP Pizza will continue in the form of pizza parties in the coming months and we’re hoping to do these on a monthly or bi-monthly basis on a Sunday when Flor is closed. They might be themed around ingredients and wines from a particular region, a collaboration with some of our friends, or be hosted by one of Flor’s favourite wine producers, uncorking bottles to accompany each pie.
UJ: Tell us a bit about your background:
PY: I applied for a role as a pastry apprentice with chef Will Goldfarb in New York on a whim and loved it. I then went to Europe where I staged at El Celler de Can Roca in Spain and cooked at In De Wulf in Belgium. When I came back to New York, I ran the pastry and sourdough bread program at Roberta’s Pizza and the ISA before starting a vegetable led pop up, Chez Jose, with my partner at the time. In 2014, we then opened our first restaurant, Semilla, in Brooklyn, where we served vegetable-focussed dishes at a chef’s counter with an emphasis on naturally-leavened bread, house-made condiments and preserves, and a minimal-waste ethos. I’ve been in London since last June.