Chef Sang Yoon Is Back in His Element, Playing Ice Hockey at TSC

Original article by By JEN MURPHY, Wall Street Journal
Updated Dec. 21, 2015 3:49 p.m. ET

After years away from the sport, the Los Angeles chef is back on ice playing forward on the Red Menace

Sang Yoon likes to be in a hot, fiery environment, or he likes to be on ice. Six days a week, the chef and restaurateur is behind a stove or in a test kitchen developing new ideas and dishes for his Los Angeles-area restaurants, including Father’s Office gastropubs and Lukshon, a Southeast Asian eatery.

When the stress rises, Mr. Yoon, 46, heads to the hockey rink. “I go there to cool off—literally and figuratively,” he says. “It’s a great way to get the bad stuff out of your system rather than take it out on people you work with.”

Mr. Yoon says he grew up watching the L.A. Kings hockey team “obsessively.” He joined a hockey team at age 7 and played goalie. “I loved the gear of the goalie, but also, there’s something satisfying about denying people what they want,” the chef says.

He continued playing recreationally through college but stopped making time for the ice when he took his first executive-chef position at Michael’s in Santa Monica in 1997. (“It was too hard to make night games,” he says.)

His sous chef persuaded him to take up tennis. (“You don’t need a team,” Mr. Yoon says. “And there are more tennis courts in L.A. than hockey rinks.”) He took lessons and played regularly for a year and a half—and then gave it up. “I hated it,” he says. “I was just horrible.”

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