A Korean-American chef has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious 2024 James Beard Awards, a significant recognition in the culinary industry.
Among the semifinalists in the Best Chef: California category, six chefs hail from Los Angeles, including Jihee Kim, owner of Perilla, a banchan (Korean side dish) shop.
Drawing inspiration from her childhood, Kim started offering traditional Korean side dishes and dosirak (bento boxes) in 2020. Kim, raised in Busan, South Korea, enjoyed traditional Korean cuisine prepared by her grandmother, a restaurant owner for over 40 years, and her parents who continued the culinary legacy.
After studying at the Culinary Institute of America in San Francisco, Kim opened her banchan shop in Southern California, infusing it with the unique flavors and memories of her Korean culinary heritage. Perilla LA offers a variety of side dishes, including cucumber kimchi, seaweed stems, and pickled peppers, along with dosirak options like bulgogi and mushroom rice bowls.
The James Beard Foundation annually recognizes outstanding restaurants and chefs across the country. This year’s James Beard Award finalists will be revealed on April 3. The winners will be announced and the awards ceremony will be held on June 10 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
BY YEJIN KIM, HOONSIK WOO [email@example.com]