Marja Vongerichten To Open Bibimbap Fast-Food Pop-Up
Does the world need a fast-food bibimbap chain? Would it be any better if it were run by the wife of Jean-Georges Vongerichten? Can you say “bibimbap pop-up” five times fast? (We’ve tried. It’s tricky.) But the answer to all of these questions is probably “yes.”
Marja Vongerichten, who also happens to be a PBS food show host who grew up on Korean food, is currently planning a bibimbap pop-up in partnership with Tavalon Tea founder John-Paul Lee. Called BibiFresh, it looks to turn the Korean rice dish into a build-your-own-bowl/salad/lettuce wrap experience using premium ingredients like quinoa, shiitake mushrooms, salmon, and bellflower root; kind of like Chipotle, but Korean-ier.
For now, BibiFresh is still experimenting with the concept, and will do two pop-up restaurants in New York City before deciding whether or not to open up a permanent location. But they have competition: Bibigo, a Los Angeles fast-food bibimbap restaurant, recently announced plans to open up a ridiculous 1,499 locations around the world in the hopes of turning it into the “McDonald’s or Starbucks of Korean food.” (Their plan, not ours.)