Minneapolis restaurant queen Ann Kim makes the New York Times, slips new restaurant name

Ann Kim serving fierceness.

Ann Kim serving fierceness. Star Tribune

It's time to worry other cities will try bribing Ann Kim to move.

Last month, Kim, creative force behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza in Edina, was name-dropped in Vogue magazine, which spent ink gushing on a group of women leading a "food revolution" here.

Today brings more out-of-town coverage for Kim, who'll be the subject of a lengthy feature in tommorrow morning's print edition of the New York Times. The story's online today, and features the same kind of devilishly candid talk we've come to expect for the chef who went viral for tweeting "fuck fear."

For starters, Kim admits she's a little anxious about all the breathless press over her plans to open a Mexican joint in the former Lucia's space in Uptown.

In truth, she's just "a Korean that grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis who tried this tortilla that made me cry," and she's still figuring out the menu at this prospective restaurant, now more than a year in the planning. (It does now have a name, Sooki & Mimi, should eager Uptowners feel like setting a Google alert.)

The Times delves into Kim's transition from an acting career to opening three restaurants with husband Conrad Leifur. Young Joni, their most recent, is described as a "genre-bending" venture that's turned Kim into a "star," and not just locally.

The story also highlights other chefs and restaurants (Gavin Kaysen's Spoon & Stable and Daniel Del Prado's Colita, to name two) that have thrived, the Times observes, catering to "an adventurous dining public" and a bevy of chefs who ain't as white and dull as you'd expect in a "Scandinavian stronghold."

Photos show Kim herself feeding a 'za into the wood fire oven, and diners at Young Joni. (A note to the randos shown dining in one photo: You could've at least dressed up if you're going represent Minneapolis in the Times.) 

The profile's worth a read for some revelatory passages about Kim's complex relationships with her family and culture -- or cultures, plural, both as a Korean and a Minnesotan -- and her thoughts on how how to love other people's foods without appropriating them.

But because this is the New York Times, and we need to occasionally make fun of them, here's this:

Ms. Kim alluded to her sometimes painful career path in an emotional acceptance speech at the James Beard Awards ceremony in May. “My journey has not been easy, it has not been linear, it has not been conventional,” Ms. Kim said. She described the courage it took to change professions with an alliterative pairing of an expletive with the word “fear.”

Fuck, New York Times. The word was “fuck,” and you'd be a lot more fun if you used it like Ann Kim does.


Read the profile here.