Ann Kim is a James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur in Minneapolis. After immigrating to the United States from South Korea in the 1970s, she grew up around her mother and grandmother’s traditional Korean cooking, utilizing staples such as fermented bean paste and kimchi.
She graduated from New York’s Columbia University with a desire to pursue an acting career. After spending eight years going through the ups and downs of that pursuit, she decided she wanted to bring the great pizza she used to eat in New York to the Twin Cities and opened Pizzeria Lola in 2010. Her second restaurant, Hello Pizza, is an East Coast-inspired slice shop. Her most recent restaurant to open, Young Joni, was named a 2017 Best New Restaurant in America by GQ and Eater and was Minneapolis Star Tribune’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year.
In 2019, Ann received the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Midwest” and continues to delight customers with her eclectic wood fire-inspired menu at Young Joni. With her background as an immigrant and a story similar to that of Whilma Frogoso, Ann could not be a more perfect mentor this season.