Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor had just opened Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta nine years ago when an ice storm threatened to freeze the produce in their walk-in cooler, which sits precariously outdoors. Intent on using up what they could, Lee did what her Korean ancestors had for centuries: She chopped the cabbage and tossed it with garlic and peppers. But instead of letting the mixture ferment to become kimchi, the chefs tucked it fresh into a pork sandwich for one of their very first specials. “Mixing it with smoked meat really cuts through all the richness,” Taylor says. Not unlike the coleslaw-topped barbecue that some Southerners swear by, the contrasting combo was an instant hit and exemplified what the couple had set out to do when they opened the restaurant together. Rather than emulate a style of barbecue, they decided to do it their way, juxtaposing smoked meats with the bright flavors of the Korean pantry.
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