Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (HMGICS) is partnering with Korean-American chef Corey Lee in a groundbreaking collaboration that will bring more than cars to the brand’s showroom.

Corey Lee is a Korean-born chef who is renowned for his distinct cooking approach that combines Asian ingredients and classic French techniques that are redefining American cooking. This James Beard Award-winning chef began his culinary journey as a busser at Blue Ribbon Sushi in New York City when he was just 17 years old. While learning cooking techniques, Lee furthered his culinary knowledge and skills at well-established restaurants, including Pied à Terre and The Restaurant Pierre Marco White in London, Lucas Carton and Guy Savoy in Paris, and Daniel and Lespinasse in Manhattan.

After nine years working with Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Napa Valley and Per Se in New York City, Lee launched his restaurant, Benu, in San Francisco. Here, Lee became the first Korean chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. Later, in the fall of 2011, the Korean-American chef expanded his culinary reach by opening his highly anticipated Korean charcoal barbecue restaurant, San Ho Won. This established chef is taking his culinary skills back to his roots, orchestrating the menu for HMGICS’ new restaurant in their showroom.

After a trip to Na Oh, a new restaurant concept that will open in June 2024 within HMGICS, you may leave with more than just a car. A walk around the showroom will flood your senses with the aroma of Lee’s contemporary Korean cuisine, extending the hub’s customer experience beyond what traditional car showrooms offer.

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A translation of “moving from inside out,” Na Oh is expected to be more than a dining experience, but a space that highlights Korean cuisine, craft, and design that will source ingredients directly from HMGICS’ two-story vertical innovative farm. This smart farm uses advanced automation and robotics technology that is the first of its kind globally, producing over 30kg of fresh produce daily. The farm is already producing food such as ice plants, Romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, Japanese mustard greens, and kale, but more is coming. 

Aiming to refine the farm-to-table experience, Na Oh will blend food and creativity, highlighting Hyundai’s innovation with traditional cooking techniques. 

Lee said, “It has been inspiring to bring together the innovation that Hyundai offers… I hope to bring a fresh and new option for Korean cuisine to Singapore, a country renowned for its food lovers. While Na Oh will be a casual family restaurant, we will serve the same quality products and technical preparations usually reserved for fine dining.”

Guided by Lee, the restaurant’s team will offer hansik cuisine tailored for modern tastes, tickling taste buds while providing cultural insights through this team of Korean master artisans’ curation and collaboration. For Lee, staying grounded and honoring the traditions of Korea is essential, stating, “I believe the best way to honor traditional cuisine is to make sure it stays relevant to people by making it as delicious as possible through continued learning and modern know-how.”

With Na Oh set to embrace all advances in cooking and technology, inspired by the innovation that fills the Hyundai hub, this collaboration is set to redefine future mobility production and enhance customer experiences.