Seoul-born restaurateur Simon Kim fulfilled his lifelong dream of opening a game-changing Korean restaurant with the arrival of COTE in June 2017. Under his leadership, COTE’s unprecedented marriage of Korean barbecue and classic American steakhouse elements has earned it numerous accolades including the James Beard nomination of Best New Restaurant and a two-time nomination of Outstanding Wine List. COTE has the distinction of being not only New York
City’s first Korean steakhouse, but also the world’s only Michelin-starred Korean tabletop grill restaurant. Known for his creative and polished execution, Simon maintained his Michelin star for six years over two consecutive restaurant concepts. A Crain’s 40 Under 40 honoree and recipient of the Next Generation Award from the NYC Hospitality Alliance, Simon began his hospitality career at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, while studying Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada. He would go on to lead the front-of-house team at Blue Fin in New York City, work with Jean-
Georges Vongerichten at both Matsugen and The Mark, and open his first Michelin-starred restaurant, Piora, at the young age of 31. Now with COTE, Simon brings his singular vision for Korean cuisine to the world stage. Simon opened COTE Miami during Winter 2021, on the heels of a global pandemic. As an industry leader throughout 2020, Simon and his team worked tirelessly to give back during this time of need. With the restaurant financially strained and limited to
delivery operations, COTE donated 3 percent of sales (of $25,000) to City Harvest who, in turn, feed our most vulnerable neighbors. Partnering with Frontline Foods, Simon & COTE pledged $10,000 and 1,000 meals, personally delivering them off at hospitals for healthcare workers. In light of the uptick in violence against Asian Americans in 2021, Simon worked with Korean American Community Foundation, Apex For Youth, Asian Americans for Equality & Coalition for Asian American Children + Families to support Asian American communities. Through hosting numerous
events at COTE and fundraising campaigns, Simon was able to raise over $50,000 for these various organizations. Simon has been recognized for this social work by being nominated for Good Morning America’s Inspiration List. As a board member of the National Restaurant Association, Simon continues to look for ways to innovate and better not only the hospitality industry, but the future as a whole.