Top Chef Contestant Beverly Kim was a fan fave from the start of season 9. She wowed us with her modernist Asian dishes inspired by her mom and warmed our hearts with her sweet personality. Chef Kim was underrated by several of her fellow chefstestants, but after packing her knives and leaving the competition she returned after her victory in Last Chance Kitchen. Chef Beverly Kim is keeping busy providing the windy city of Chicago with fine dining as Chef de Cuisine at aria.
Chef Beverly Lee took some time out of her busy schedule to talk kimchi, coriander, and Madonna.
(Eric Rankin, Interviewer) What seasonal ingredient are you using a lot of right now at Aria?
(Chef Beverly Kim) Although we are at the end of the season, I’m currently using a variety of radishes: Breakfast, Daikon, Korean and Watermelon.
(ER) Is there a special dish your mother made that inspired your style of cooking?
(BK) Kimchi! In fact, at aria, we use my mother’s original recipe.
(ER) Can you tell us your favorite dish you made in Last Chance Kitchen?
(BK) I am proud of all of my dishes. Each dish was precious for different reasons.
(ER) What is your favorite spice to cook with?
(BK) It is difficult for me to select just one because I love spices. My top two are coriander and cumin.
(ER) Are there any dishes you made in Top Chef challenges that you might make again?
(BK) Absolutely! Many of the dishes inspired me. The short rib dish and coconut broth with snapper are currently on my menu at aria.
(ER) Favorite music to rock out to in the kitchen?
(BK) On occasion, I’ll rock out to Madonna in my kitchen at home.
(ER) If you were to go on a culinary cruise, what three countries would you want to go to?
(BK) In Asia I’d travel to Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. If I were traveling in Europe, I’d want to visit France, Italy and Demark.
(ER) Were you familiar with any of the chef contestants before this season of Top Chef began?
(BK) I knew the restaurants, but I didn’t know any of them personally. Yet, I was one degree away from a few of them.