Serving up Korean flavors in Ann Arbor since 2016, chef Ji Hye Kim of Miss Kim has earned a national accolade.
Kim was named one of Food & Wine magazines Best New Chefs in America for 2021. The prestigious awards were announced on Thursday.
“Inspired by Michigan ingredients and memories of her mother’s cooking, this best new chef offers lessons in the history of Korean cuisine interspersed among layers of flavor and texture,” Food & Wine wrote of Kim.
Miss Kim restaurant is part of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. Kim, according to its website, grew up in Seoul, South Korea, and her food is rooted in Korean tradition and paired with working with local farmers to building in locally grown flavor.
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“We want our restaurant to be a bright, fun, and easy place to be for all our guests,” according to the website. “Our service aims to be helpful, informative, warm, and enthusiastic — everything you’ve come to expect from Zingerman’s.”
Kim along with the other Best New Chefs in America will be featured in the October issue of Food & Wine magazine, out Sept. 17.
The 33nd annual Best New Chefs list will be available at foodandwine.com.
“We’re confident that this year’s class will also leave their stamp on American cuisine,” Hunter Lewis, Food & Wine editor in chief said in a news release. “All the more remarkable for delivering excellence during a pandemic that has gutted the industry, the 2021 Best New Chefs represent some of the most dynamic cooking in the country, and they are leading with respect, intent on changing the culture of restaurants for those who work in them as well as for those who dine.”
The prestigious award has been given out for more than 30 years. Chefs are chosen after a months-long selection process of nominations. Food & Wine’s restaurant editor, Khushbu Shah, travels the country searching out the most “promising and most dynamic chefs cooking right now.”
Chefs who have been in charge of a kitchen for five years or less are eligible.
“This is an industry that was built on a shaky foundation, and the global pandemic put a spotlight on every single crack,” Shah writes in the Best New Chefs feature story. “But through these cracks, real leadership emerged. From coast to coast, the 2021 class of Best New Chefs is reinventing what it means to lead in the kitchen while cooking the food that matters to them most. Restaurants may no longer look the same, but with this class of chefs at the helm, I am excited to see—and eat—what the future holds.”
Kim is the 5th Michigan chef to be named to the list. Previous chefs earning the title are: Lena Sareini (2020) formerly of Selden Standard, Chef Kate Williams (2018) of the then Lady of the House in Corktown, Takashi Yagihashi (2000) while at the former Tribute restaurant in Farmington Hills and Keith Famie (1989) while at Les Auteurs, an American Bistro in Royal Oak.
Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Sue Selasky and send food and restaurant news to: 313-222-6872 or [email protected]. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.
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