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Ann Kim: Meet the Mäverick


If the essential ingredients for little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice, Ann Kim clearly got a heaping helping of that spice. When WÜSTHOF was seeking chefs who were at the cutting edge of cuisine, there was no doubt that this pizzeria maven was an ideal example.

Her family arrived in the United States from Korea with the determination to build a new life for their children. Although Kim’s parents were hoping she would study medicine and become a doctor, her fiery side fit in more with preparing the perfect argument. She was accepted into Columbia University, but once in New York City, she realized her passions were pulling her in another unexpected direction. She craved a bigger stage—a literal stage.

Kim returned to the Twin Cities and soon found herself in full make-up trouncing upon the stage with the Children’s Theater Company. From there she made another surprising leap into owning and operating a restaurant, with no formal culinary training at the height of the Great Recession.

It’s hardly a natural path, but the result is a char-kissed revelation. She threw herself into learning everything necessary to perfecting this humble dish and invested in the best tools to get the job done, from the enormous copper pizza oven to knife kit.

Ever since her first restaurant Pizzeria Lola opened (and the subsequent Hello Pizza) fans have pledged to follow her wherever she leads. Both kitchens are fueled by saucy inspiration and brought to life with the assistance of her WÜSTHOF knives. Nothing else will do for preparing produce besides her favorite, WÜSTHOF CLASSIC 8” Vegetable Knife. It’s sleek steel and extra sharp edge makes for quicker prep times and the perforated edge keeps those moist veggies from sticking.

While her pizzas can be ordered with strictly traditional toppings, it’s the Korean spice that she incorporates that sets her pies apart. Kimchi adorns some pizzas and the Korean Cowboy sub has slightly sweet, spicy gojuchang in the sauce and pickled vegetables up top of the meatballs crammed into crusty bread.

No matter what she’s making or where she’s going, Kim is exceptional and forging her own path.

This post is presented by Wüsthof Wusthof

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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