LIFE&STYLE

[Herald Interview] Chef without restaurant but 1 million diners

By Im Eun-byel
  • Published : Jul 4, 2019 - 16:22
  • Updated : Jul 4, 2019 - 16:26

Though she does not have a restaurant, there are still nearly 1 million diners who enjoy Gabriela Kook’s food around the globe.

More widely known as Kook Gabie, or Gabie Kook, Kook, 30, is a content creator, who shares her life via YouTube. Her videos have diverse subjects from lifestyle to beauty, but she is most well-known for her recipe videos.

“Everything led me to cooking and eating,” Kook said during an interview held at the Grand Hyatt Seoul on Wednesday as a part of the 10th Culture Communication Forum organized by the Corea Image Communication Institute.


Gabriela Kook (Courtesy of Kook)

“Food was like the only thing that really connected me with my friends, my non-Korean or Korean friends. It is my passion,” she said.

Though she first started the channel with mostly Korean subscribers -- having made her name through a local TV show “Master Chef Korea 3” in 2014 -- the proportion of non-Korean subscribers has been increasing steadily. As of July, 59 percent of her nearly 940,000 subscribers are Koreans and the rest are from all around the world.

Recipe videos are the core contents of her YouTube channel. But video clips about herself, allow her to be more engaged with her subscribers.

“A lot of people who watch me are international couples, long distance couples, people who of Korean origin but don’t live here. They like to watch me because they can relate to me,” Kook said.

Though Korean, Kook lived in here only for two years. She was born in Argentina, and has lived in Spain and the US. She studied at Le Cordon Bleu in France. Since 2015, she has been living in London with her “Korean Englishman” husband, YouTuber Josh Carrott.

When asked what was the most touching moment that happened on YouTube, she went back to the “I am a Third Culture Kid” video uploaded about a year ago. Third Culture Kid, or simply TCK, refers to people raised in a culture that does not belong to their parents or their nationality. 



“I shared my story about not growing up in Korea and how my identity was like everywhere,” she said. “There are many people who grew up like that. They do want to have an identity. I saw so many replies like ‘Oh, I did not know that I am a third culture kid.’”

As a chef, Kook often gets questions about opening her own restaurant. But she is sure that running a restaurant is not the right dream for her.

“People think that my passion must be to open my own place, but actually it is not. I thought that I would want to, until I worked at a restaurant. The reality was like ‘Wow, this is not what I want,’” she said.

“There are people who really enjoy the thrill of being pushed to cook. But I am not that kind of a person, I am more relaxed and freestyle. I do not think I can enjoy cooking the same thing every single day. That is what you actually do when you are in the kitchen,” she said.

Kook often wonders what will happen after YouTube, however.

“What would I do if I do not post videos on YouTube? I have no idea actually,” she said. “But I think I would still be in the media because I really enjoy visual stuff, and at the same time I like food. It is not like I just like cooking and that is it.”

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)