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A Rising Star: Atomix’s Ascent to the Top of the Culinary World


 Atomix, a 14-seat basement counter restaurant on the edge of Koreatown in Manhattan, has rapidly ascended the ranks of the culinary world. It soared into the top 10 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants by leaping 25 spots in just one year, earning the Villa Massa Highest Climber Award in 2023. This remarkable achievement also crowned Atomix as The Best Restaurant in North America, an impressive feat for such an intimate and unassuming venue.

Secret Weapons: Chef Junghyun ‘JP’ Park and Ellia Park

The driving force behind Atomix’s success is the dynamic duo of Chef Junghyun ‘JP’ Park and his wife and co-owner Ellia Park. Both hailing from Korea, the Parks have accumulated extensive culinary experience across the globe before settling in New York. Their journey began with the opening of the more casual eatery Atoboy in 2016, followed by the upscale Atomix in 2018, and their newest venture, Naro, in late 2022.

Chef JP Park is celebrated for his innovative approach to Korean cuisine, seamlessly blending traditional flavors with modern techniques. Ellia Park, with her exceptional skills in hospitality and restaurant management, ensures that every guest’s experience at Atomix is unforgettable. Their combined expertise and dedication have positioned them as leading figures in the culinary world.

The Atomix Experience

Atomix offers a well-paced 12-course tasting menu that features Korean-based but highly original plates. Each dish is meticulously crafted to provide world-class flavor and texture combinations, reflecting the Parks’ commitment to culinary excellence. The presentation of each course is equally impressive, served in beautiful bespoke ceramics accompanied by an explanatory card that provides accessible information on the ingredients, origin, and inspiration behind the dish.

Cheongukjang By Atomix

Fermentation and other classic Korean techniques are central to Atomix’s culinary approach. Dishes vary from sea urchin with steamed carrot cake to kohlrabi with yellow beetroot and mussels. One standout dish features sea cucumber served with shrimp and egg over rice, while another juxtaposes just-grilled wagyu with cold noodles. This careful attention to detail and innovation ensures that every meal at Atomix is a memorable culinary journey.

The Philosophy Behind Atomix

The name ‘Atomix’ is derived from the ancient Korean word ‘ato,’ meaning ‘gift.’ This concept encapsulates the Parks’ mission to offer a thoughtful and brilliant take on modern Korean cooking in the heart of New York City. Their approach is unflashy yet profoundly sophisticated, aiming to provide guests with an exceptional dining experience that is both unique and deeply rooted in Korean culinary traditions.


Atomix’s success is not only a testament to the Parks’ culinary skills but also their ability to create an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality. The restaurant’s dedication to providing an exceptional guest experience was recognized last year when Atomix received the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award. This accolade reflects the warmth and attention to detail that pervades every aspect of Atomix’s operations, from the welcoming environment to the meticulously crafted dishes.

Acknowledgment by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy

Atomix’s rise to prominence has been acknowledged by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, which comprises 1,080 international restaurant industry experts and well-traveled gourmets. This recognition not only highlights Atomix’s excellence but also underscores the importance of honoring the old guard while celebrating new and innovative culinary ventures. The Academy’s list is renowned for telling stories about legacies and spotlighting the evolution of the culinary arts.

At this year’s ceremony held at Wynn Las Vegas on June 5, the excitement was palpable as Atomix’s achievements were announced. Among the notable moments was the recognition of Rasmus Munk’s Alchemist restaurant in Copenhagen, which was named No. 8, showcasing the global diversity and talent within the culinary world.

Atomix’s Impact on the Culinary Scene

Atomix’s ascent has had a significant impact on the culinary scene, both in New York and globally. The restaurant has set a new standard for modern Korean cuisine, demonstrating that traditional flavors can be innovatively reimagined while maintaining their authenticity. This achievement has not only brought Korean cuisine to the forefront of the international culinary stage but has also inspired other chefs and restaurateurs to explore and experiment with their cultural heritage.

The success of Atomix and its recognition by prestigious culinary institutions serve as a beacon for aspiring chefs and restaurateurs. It illustrates the importance of passion, dedication, and innovation in the culinary arts. The Parks’ journey from Korea to New York and their subsequent achievements highlight the possibilities that arise from blending cultural traditions with contemporary techniques.

Community and Sustainability Initiatives

Beyond their culinary achievements, the Parks are committed to supporting their community and promoting sustainability. Atomix sources many of its ingredients locally, supporting regional farmers and reducing the restaurant’s carbon footprint. This commitment to sustainability is reflected in the menu, which emphasizes seasonal and locally-sourced produce.

The Parks also actively engage with the local community through various initiatives. They host culinary workshops and events that aim to educate and inspire the next generation of chefs. Additionally, they support local food banks and other charitable organizations, ensuring that their success contributes to the well-being of the wider community.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Atomix

As the restaurant continues to garner accolades and recognition, the future looks bright for this rising star in the culinary world. The Parks remain dedicated to pushing the boundaries of Korean cuisine, constantly innovating and refining their approach. Their newest venture, Naro, promises to further expand their culinary repertoire and influence.

Atomix’s success story is a testament to the power of passion, creativity, and hard work. It serves as an inspiration to chefs and restaurateurs worldwide, demonstrating that with dedication and a clear vision, it is possible to achieve greatness in the culinary arts. As the restaurant continues to ascend, it will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy on the global culinary stage.

In conclusion, the  rise to the top echelons of the culinary world is a remarkable achievement that reflects the talent and dedication of Chef JP Park and Ellia Park. Their innovative approach to modern Korean cuisine, combined with their commitment to hospitality and community, has set a new standard for excellence. As Atomix continues to evolve and inspire, it will undoubtedly remain a shining star in the world of gastronomy.

Tania Mukherjee
Author: Tania Mukherjee

Tania Mukherjee is an author. Immersing herself in the world of Entertainment and expressing her thoughts along with her feelings through the power of the written word. With a deep passion for writing, she finds solace and fulfillment in conveying her ideas to others.

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