MINNEAPOLIS — For almost a decade, chef Ann Kim has connected Minnesotans with her bold, spicy and authentic pizzas, but now, the whole world has the chance to get to know her.
Kim is one of the six chefs featured on the new season of “Chef’s Table: Pizza.” Shortly after she won her James Beard Award in 2019, she was approached to be on the show, but COVID halted its production until August of 2021.
“I have a theatrical background so storytelling comes natural to me, but I have never had to tell my story,” Kim said.
The creator of Pizzeria Lola, Hello Pizza, Young Joni and Sooki and Mimi says talking about her personal life on camera was out of her comfort zone. Kim immigrated to Apple Valley with her family from Korea at 4 years old. The docuseries walks you through the hardships and struggles she endured growing up in a predominantly white suburb with parents who spoke little English.
Kim pulls back the curtain on her personal life like never before, walking you up to the point in which she discovered her knack for non-traditional pizza recipes.
“They (Netflix) wanted to share the story of who I am, and I realized it was because of being authentic and true to who I am,” Kim said. “I feel like I am able to connect with a lot of people. So for me, it's not about success, it's about this journey.”
Netflix highlights Kim’s unconventional style of pizzas, like the "Lady Zaza," which includes kimchi, as well as the eatery's popular seasonal pizza featuring pickles and potato chips.
“The pickle pie was a special we were running at the time of filming, and they liked it!” Kim said.
She says the pickle pie is back on the menu at Young Joni in honor of “Chef’s Table: Pizza.” The unique pie has fresh Wisconsin whole milk mozzarella cheese, fontina cheese, homemade pickles, fresh dill, homemade ranch, charred onions and Old Dutch potato chips. Kim says it was inspired by deep fried pickles at the fair.
“It might be sticking around, who knows?” Kim joked.
Other chefs on this season include Chris Bianco (Phoenix, Ariz.), Gabriele Bonci (Rome, Italy)f, Franco Pepe (Caiazzo, Italy), Yoshihiro Imai (Kyoto, Japan), and Sarah Minnick (Portland, Ore).
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