MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The women behind three beloved Minneapolis restaurants were featured in a Vogue article this week highlighting the city’s developing food scene and the fact that all three women were finalists for the prestigious James Beard Award for best chef in the Midwest.
The article, titled “Meet the Women Behind Minneapolis’s Food Revolution,” features Ann Kim of Young Joni, Jamie Malone of Grand Café and Christina Nguyen of Hai Hai. All were finalists for last year’s coveted James Beard Award, and Kim won the title.
In the article, which was one of the most shared on the fashion website this week, the chefs spoke about growing up in Minnesota and what drew them to the culinary life. Of course, there was a mention of Minnesota’s notorious weather.
Kim, whose family moved to Apple Valley from South Korea when she was four, said she was embarrassed as a kid when her parents made spicy and fermented Korean foods from scratch.
“Growing up in a pretty white community, all you want to do is assimilate,” she told the magazine. “You don’t want to be different. You don’t want to be eating foods that are funky and stinky, and so as a child, it was mortifying for me. But because of growing up with that, I am the chef that I am today.”
The article highlights the fact that the Twin Cities are increasingly diverse and that Minneapolis has been listed as a top city for working women.
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Nguyen told the magazine that although she’s not a very emotional person, she was “a little overcome” when she saw that she, Kim and Malone were all nominated for the equivalent of a culinary Oscar.
“I got a little choked up,” she said. “I feel like those lists every year are kind of the same people, and for three women from Minneapolis to be nominated just felt huge.”