Asian Fusion, Korean Mexican Fusion, I just don't like the term fusion. Does everything that is a combination of 2 elements fusion? When Run D.M.C. came out with "Walk This Way" in 1987, was that fusion (music)? Absolutely not! It was still rap music/hip hop. Many years later, Linkin Park came on the scene combining "heavy metal" and hip hop. Was that fusion? Of course not, it was a form of metal (not here trying to define heavy metal). When I think of fusion music, I think of horns, calypso, or something you can play on a keyboard.
When I think of Asian Fusion food, it implies something more Chinese in nature. But they don't want to call it Chinese, because Asian might sound "better" or be more marketable. What is Asian Ribs? Perhaps, it's Chinese or Vietnamese, but one would not call Kalbi, Asian Ribs. Kalbi is kalbi. PF Chang's is probably the epitome of Asian Fusion, because their food is neither Chinese or American. I don't even know if it is Americanized Chinese Food that you find at the local takeout joint.
On the Food Network, Seonkyoung Longest won the Restaurant Express competition and got to "own" or be the executive chef of a restaurant. They decided to call it Jayde Fuzion. As a Korean American, I was definitely pulling for her to win (and am still a big fan of hers). But when she or the powers at be decided to go away from her Korean and into the realm of fusion, I knew it would be doomed.
I don't know the specifics, but all I know is that she is no longer a part of that restaurant. And I'm pretty sure that if she cooked and marketed Korean food, we would still be hearing about that place.
So let me bring this back to Kimchi Smoke. We are not fusion. My recipes are rather simple. I smoke brisket, beef ribs, shoulder clod, pork shoulders, pork ribs, and chicken. The beef rubs are basic salt and pepper and more of a memphis style rub on the pork. For the chicken, I rub it with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Pretty straight forward.
For the most part, I'm doing Southern style of barbecue: Texas for the beef and Memphis and Kansas City for the pork. Then, I do what every Korean and most Korean Americans do, we eat it with kimchi. And we have some Korean dishes that has cheese, but does adding cheese, even if it's American Cheese, make it fusion?
Many (American) BBQ sauces incoporate soy sauce, or even tamarind, which is more Carribean or Indian. Many (Southern) rubs contain cumin, which orginates from India. But the word fusion is not given to these.
Kimchi Smoke is about the way Korean Americans have been eating for the last 30 to 40 years. We don't eat fusion food. What Koreans are good at is making things better. And for food, we make it better by eating it with kimchi. As a Korean American, I'm not half Korean and half American. I'm 100% American and 100% Korean. 100% plus 100% is equal to 100%. So please don't call me fusion and don't call my food fusion!