Born in South Korea, adopted as a baby, and raised near Detroit, Kim has always had a strong interest in food, especially its ability to express love and help her relate to her native culture.
Kim came to Raleigh 20 years ago and worked in sales and marketing for a software company before she started catering and selling dumplings at farmers’ markets. She was the manager of the Western Wake Farmers’ Market when it launched and stayed on board for three seasons.
Kimbap – located in Raleigh’s Seabord Marketplace – is the self-taught chef’s first restaurant and marries Kim’s love of Korean food with her passion for local ingredients. The menu includes dumplings, stews, hot pots, Korean barbecue and chicken wings, and homemade kimchi.
Kim has done dinners featuring whole N.C. hogs, and, in the summer, she uses locally grown peppers to make Korean hot sauces.
Although it also plays on Kim’s name, Kimbap is named for the Korean version of sushi – white rice, bulgogi, takuan, spinach, carrots, and odeng wrapped in roasted seaweed.