Crisp, that haven for crunchy yet tender Korean fried chicken, is ready for its close up. The East Lakeview walk-up will be filmed on Jan. 19 during business hours for the Cooking Channel's Unique Eats show.
"They want to see the process of our fried chicken and preparation of our bowls here and a breakdown of how we make our sauces," said owner Jae Lee. During the filming, which will go from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., Lee said they'll showcase a few fried chicken preparations, including the Sassy Seoul and Crisp BBQ dishes. They'll also have them film the creation of their Buddha Bowls, a take on Korean bi bim bop. During the day, producers will spend time interviewing the owners as well as doing Q&As with customers to get their take on Crisp's food.
Lee said he was extremely excited and proud when he got the call from the show's producers. "One of their produceers was traveling through Chicago and they heard someone talk about the best chicken they'd ever had," Lee said about how Unique Eats came to them. "And then they read the article in Travel & Leisure," where Crisp was named as having some of the best fried chicken in America.
Lee said this is a good step for Korean fast food to start gaining traction. From that, they're discussing expanding in Chicago, possibly in Wicker Park, the West Loop or Evanston, and that someone has approached them about taking the concept overseas to Korea. And like a true entrepreneur, he's not doing anything until he knows his food will be prepared properly. "I don't want to go straight franchise and worry about the quality," Lee said. "I want the chicken to taste the same."
As for when we can see the show, the air date is still, well, up in the air.
· America's Best Fried Chicken [T&L]