Around the Kitchen in 3 Questions: John Kunkel

Staff Writer
The 50 Eggs Inc. CEO discusses the influence of his travels on his creative process
Wagstaff Worldwide
Wagstaff Worldwide

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is one of the restaurants owned by 50 Eggs Inc.

The Daily Meal caught up with 50 Eggs Inc. CEO John Kunkel to learn about how his travels have influenced his work. According to their website, the company is a "multi-faceted, full-service creative firm focused on developing irrepressible brands and unparalleled experiences within the culinary, hospitality, and entertainment industries." They own and operate several former James Beard Award semi-finalists for Best New Restaurant located in Miami Beach, Fla., including Yardbird Southern Table & Bar (2012) and Khong River House (2013). In addition to these establishments, the restaurant group also includes Swine Southern Table & Bar located in Coral Gables, Fla. The latter is explicitly inspired by Kunkel’s former home in Southeast Asia.

The Daily Meal: What has been your most inspirational food experience while traveling?
John Kunkel: I am constantly inspired in my travels, but each time have returned to Southeast Asia I am most inspired. I spend most days in the markets just tasting, watching and taking it all in. 

TDM: What’s your favorite kitchen souvenir from your travels?
JK: Spices every time I return to Thailand.

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TDM: If you could eat your way through one country, which one would it be and why?
JK: Thailand, particularly in the north because there is so much to choose from. After living in Southeast Asia for more than three years I have a special place in my heart for that part of the world.