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Using Art to Inspire Food: Chef Jennifer Kim | Raise a Glass

Ever since I was little, I always
knew that I wanted to work for myself. I was the kid that had the lemonade stand outside. I never really knew what
that actual business was going to be you know until I started
cooking and everything just sort of kind of clicked together.
I really find joy in being around places where I can observe
art, be immersed in art. It has so many ties in with food as well
and I do use art a lot to kind of make some of those connections
and those bridges because so much of the staff
are working artists. They’re also their own entrepreneurs
and so amazing to be constantly immersed in this community.
For me, food is a medium for self expression. You
know, art is a medium for self expression and interpretation, but
it’s also really important that other people feel that they’re contributing
to what we’re all doing here. For a woman of color to actually
be a chef or lead a team, you know, they’re just aren’t as many
opportunities. The only opportunities that I can
actually be a chef or be a chef owner is if I just went and
did that myself. It’s challenging in a good way because
it’s also a great opportunity to have you know really meaningful
conversations about how do we move forward and create more
spaces. Not just for women, but also for people of color for people in
the queer community for people who are non binary for people
who have been marginalized and don’t necessarily
feel safe in all parts of this industry. Food is such a large
pervasive part of our lives/ The reason why food is such
a connector is that it’s this huge storytelling piece. I
am Korean, I am American. For the younger parts of my years, I
sort of fell away or like pulled away from like the Korean
aspects just because you live in America and like you already
know that like you may look different and sound different. You
want to try to assimilate as best as you can. I did myself a
disservice by ignoring a really big part of myself. Food was such
a great sort of catalyst. You know it just really opened my eyes
and like really kind of helped bring together sort of where
I am at in my life now Really being able to embrace the fact
that I’m a Korean American, This is the food that like I grew
up eating. This is the food that I think showcases the story
line of where I am now. This is the first place throughout this
entire time of my career where there’s such a huge connection
with the staff. It’s palpable like when you walk into
that space like you just absolutely see how much everyone
cares about each other and cares about the food and cares about
the guests and about the entire experience. I think you know
that’s so much of what makes this such a wonderful and
special place. I raise a glass to the communities we create build and foster.

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