April 20, 2024 1:44 pm

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America Korea United holds Christmas brunch at Lynnwood’s Fogo de Chao

LYNNWOOD, Wash., December 20, 2023—Approximately 50 people gathered together for an America Korea United Society (AKUS) Christmas Brunch Saturday, December 11, at Alderwood’s Fogo de Chao steakhouse in Lynnwood.

The event opened with a few words by Sam Sim, Vice President of AKUS and the King County Republican Party before Elder An, Presiding Elder for AKUS, led the room through a morning prayer in Korean. Following this a short video was shown discussing the United States’ and the Republic of Korea’s longstanding relationship since the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty in 1953 after the events of the Korean War.

America Korea United
Sam Sim, Vice President of AKUS. Lynnwood Times | Kienan Briscoe.

For nearly 70 years this treaty has led to Korea’s prosperity, assisting in raising its GDP to 429.2 USD bn in March, 2023, compared to 398.1 USD bn the previous quarter. However North Korea’s increasing threat on national security, paired with their frequent testing of nuclear missiles led to the founding of AKUS – the America Korea United Society – in 2021.

America Korea United believes that Chairman Kim Jong Un’s regime avoids espionage and continues to pursue communist reunification on the Korean Peninsula with military force. Furthermore, the organization believes North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula and the world.

Efforts to pursue ‘peace on the Korean Peninsula’ without North Korea’s denuclearization are continuing.

According to its website, AKUS is a 501c3 non-profit independent organization established to promote democracy in Korea and the United States. AKUS is a civic group that pursues stronger Korea-U.S. relations through cooperation in society, culture, education, and other private sectors. America Korea United is an international organization located in Korea and several states and cities in the United States.

A core value of the organization is democracy, which AKUS believes gives people political and economic freedom, a comfortable lifestyle, and peace without fear and threats. Through AKUS the non-profit aims to help Korea and the U.S. save democratic values for global citizens.

America Korea United
Young Lee, AKUS Seattle President. Lynnwood Times | Kienan Briscoe.

Following the video, Young Lee, AKUS Seattle President, took the mic to speak a few words in both Korean and English. The purpose of Saturday’s event, Lee stated, was simply to “have a good time.”

“We are all Americans in different ways, whether you’re Chinese-American, you’re Italian-American, Irish-American, and we are contributing in positive ways in America and that’s what America is all about,” said Lee.

Kory Khan, Vice Chairman of the King County Republican Party, then took the mic to call for a short moment of silence in remembrance of Eina Kwon – a woman and restaurant owner who was gunned down in the streets of Seattle back in June.

Kwon was eight months pregnant when she was shot alongside her husband on June 15 after being stopped in their vehicle on 4th Avenue and Lenora in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. They were both on their way to work. She was 34 years old. The motive of the shooter remains unclear, and witnesses stated the attack seemed to be unprovoked.

“We must make every effort to keep our communities safe and must remain relentless in our efforts to take guns off our streets, increase law enforcement and behavioral health resources, advance community-based solutions to gun violence, and hold those who cause harm accountable for their actions,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement.

Khan then introduced Matthew Patrick Thomas, Chair of the King County Republican Party.

America Korea United
Matthew Patrick Thomas, Chair of the King County Republican Party. Lynnwood Times | Kienan Briscoe.

“If you look at Washington State, it’s not the same state you came to, or your parents came to. There’s crime, there’s drugs, there’s homelessness, and education is starting to go down,” said Thomas. “We need more Korean Americans involved in politics and police-making in Washington State because you bring an entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, family and faith – these are all things that could solve our state’s woes and our problems.”

Speaking of Korean-Americans involved in politics and policymaking, Mukilteo City Councilman Jason Moon was also in attendance at last Saturday’s event.

America Korea United
Mukilteo City Councilman Jason Moon. Lynnwood Times | Kienan Briscoe.

Myung Park, Executive Director of International Education at Pierce College District, was next to speak some words of encouragement.

America Korea United
Myung Park, Executive Director of International Education at Pierce College District. Lynnwood Times | Kienan Briscoe.

“Vision alone does not cut it. You need to share it and once that vision is shared you need to incubate it,” said Park. “AKUS believes in democracy and AKUS believes in spreading AKUS across the world; Believe in that value system, never forget it and run the organization as mission-driven.”

Concluding the speaking segment of the brunch was Snohomish County-based former Washington House of Representative and retired Naval Officer Doug Roulstone.

“The Republic of Korea and the United States share a many common fundamental principles. We believe in government based on democratic rule by leaders elected by our citizens. We also believe in strong families and that’s the strong foundation of community. We believe in the unalienable rights given to us by God. And we believe in Judaeo-Christian moral principles that are the basis of the foundation of our country,” said Roulstone. “Based on these common principles it’s not surprising that the Republic of Korea and the United States have developed a very strong friendship and a binding alliance.”

America Korea United
Naval Officer Doug Roulstone. Lynnwood Times | Kienan Briscoe.

Roulstone continued that Korean Americans play an important role in American society, including the four Korean Americans that represent our nation in Congress. In south Snohomish County more than 5% of the population are made up by Korean Americans with many of them owning small businesses, contributing to the local economy.

It wouldn’t be a brunch without food and it was time to dig in to Fogo de Chao’s delicious brunch menu complete with cuts including sausage, New York strip, Wagyu Ancho (Ribeye), and pork loins.

Lynnwood’s Fogo de Chao opened up in Alderwood back in April, 2023, offering the latest high-end dining experience for residents and visitors.

“We are really excited to have Fogo de Chão as part of the Alderwood family,” Jerry Irwin, Senior General Manager of Alderwood, told the Lynnwood Times. “As we look at elevating both the dining and shopping options, I think Fogo de Chão fits right into that. They’re amazing partners, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have them with us.”

The restaurant features an open-air churrasco grill in the heart of the dining room where guests watch gaucho chefs demonstrate the culinary art of churrasco as different cuts of meat are prepared and grilled over an open flame.

In the main dining room, a white Carrara Market Table offers small bites such as charcuterie, Brazilian street corn, roasted peppers, and salads, all included in the Churrasco Experience. The Lynnwood location also features an outdoor dining patio, soaring wine displays, dry aged meat lockers for in-house aging and a lively indoor bar, ideal for all-day happy hour each Saturday and Sunday.

Fogo de Chão was founded by Brazilian-born Arri and Jair Coser, who opened their first restaurant, a wood structure in the countryside of Porto Alegre, in 1979. The brothers grew up on a traditional Southern Brazilian farm in the Serra Gaúcha where they learned to cook in the churrasco grilling tradition. The Cosers eventually left the countryside of Rio Grande do Sul to travel to Rio de Janeiro and Sāo Paulo to pursue formal training, all while developing the original Fogo concept. They opened their first U.S. location in Addison, Texas, in 1997.

Fogo now has 74 locations worldwide, including the U.S., Brazil, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Mexico.

Lynnwood’s Fogo de Chão is located at 18602 Alderwood Mall Parkway, Suite 1110. It is open from Monday through Thursday, from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 4:30 to 10:00 p.m., Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. To bring the Fogo experience to you, Fogo To-Go Catering is also offered at the Lynnwood location.

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