Born in South Korea, Sung Anh was raised on his grandmother’s traditional North Korea and Japanese cooking. (Grandparents adopted Japanese style cooking during Japan-Korea annexation) At a young age, he moved with his family to California, where his parents owned a Chinese restaurant, which gave him his first experience in a restaurant kitchen. However, it was not until after Anh returned from Iraq after serving in the US Army that he began to pursue a career as a chef.
Family as inspiration
His priorities have always been clear. “Family has been important to me throughout my life,” explains Anh, father to two young children, “I get a lot of inspiration from my family.” Even his choice of restaurant name reflects Anh’s steadfast focus on family.
Anh, opened Mosu in San Francisco in summer of 2015 after building his career at several Michelin starred restaurants; Urasawa, The French Laundry, Benu, and etc. Anh created his own style of cooking at Mosu by harmonizing his multi-cultural experiences. Despite of Michelin star in first year and success in San Francisco, Anh relocated Mosu to Seoul in summer of 2017 to be closer with his family, where in a few years it has been awarded two Michelin stars.
The restaurant name is a play on the word “kosumosu”, the colloquial term for the cosmos flower, vibrant Korean flowers that Anh fondly remembers from his childhood.
One of Mosu’s signature dishes, which features Kalopanax (a medicinal Korean herb), fatsia sprouts and fried fish, was created based on his memories of picking fatsia sprouts with his restaurateur father when he was young.
“The wild mountain herbs taste bitter, but I wanted to let my guests have a taste of the childhood memories and flavors that I used to like,” says Anh. “It is not only very unique and personal but also very appealing to a wider audience.”