Over at Chicagoist, L. Stolpman has a sit-down with Beverly Kim, executive chef at haute-Chinese South Loop restaurant Opera, who is one of the youngest and most accomplished female chefs in the country.
Along with a bevy of mouthwatering photos, there’s also a revealing look at the path required to go from a fresh-faced culinary school grad to a chef with the kind of creative freedom that Kim now has: from an early start at the Ritz, to grueling work at Charlie Trotter (“It was very intense; I worked about 90 hours a week. I got into two car accidents, falling asleep at the wheel because I was so tired.”), to hard time at a catering company, it’s not an easy road to the top.
The key quote from the article, in our opinion, is the kind of advice that’s so solid that it can apply to any position, not just one in the kitchen: “You have to put in your time and show them that you can do everything better and faster and you have to treat them with respect and in the end, you have to stand up for yourself. If there are people giving you shit, I don’t stand up for it.”
Chicagoist Grills Opera Chef Beverly Kim (w/ Bonus Food Pr0n) [Chicagoist]
Opera [Official Site]
[Photo: Opera’s Mongolian beef with asparagus, via Chicagoist]