Iron Chef host Alton Brown recently schooled the show’s co-host Kristen Kish on the origins of Korean fried chicken– Black people.
According to reports, Brown noted the historical fact during the “Battle Tailgate” episode of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend on Netflix.
In a viral video clip of the quick history lesson, Brown asked Choi what she planned on serving judges. She responded with Korean stuffed fried chicken wings. He and Kish, who happens to be Korean, watched the contestant prepare stuffed chicken wings and drop them into the fryer as she and chef Marcus Samuelsson competed in the kitchen.
“Looks like they’re going to fry those stuffed wings,” Brown said in the clip.
Asian fried chicken is the best chicken in world.
You know why, they got the recipe from the #Freedmen!
We are taking back EVERYTHING that was taken from us! pic.twitter.com/GZcEp2CQGS
— Nyhiem (Lord Abba) Freedmen 🇺🇸 ☪️7️⃣ (@RealNyhiem) June 21, 2022
“Ugh! Korean fried chicken is by far the best fried chicken on the face of the earth,” Kish said.
Brown then interjected, informing her that the dish originated from African Americans.
“And do you know why? Because it was taught to Korean cooks by African American GIs after the World War.”
The co-host responded, saying the information was a “great fact.”
“If I had a mic, I would drop it right now,” Kish said. “Great fact.”
Choi reportedly won the food competition, beating Samuelsson with her popular Korean dish rooted in historically Black American cuisine.
According to academic research, African American GIs brought their culinary expertise to the world as they interacted with other cultures. Many service members settled in foreign countries to escape racism in the U.S. and opened up soul food restaurants there, bringing their cultural food staples to a global audience.
Many of these restaurants were opened in European nations and Asian countries, including Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand.
One of them, Jack’s American Star Bar in Bangkok, Thailand, was even fictionally portrayed as a restaurant named “Soul Brothers” in the modern classic American Gangster (2007).