Join J. Kenji López-Alt and New York Times staff writer and essayist, Eric Kim. Kim is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home, and he has amassed a devoted following with his NYT Cooking videos and Food52 column.
New York Times staff writer Eric Kim grew up in Atlanta, the son of two Korean immigrants. Food has always been central to his story, from Friday-night Korean barbecue with his family to hybridized Korean-ish meals for one—like Gochujang-Buttered Radish Toast and Caramelized-Kimchi Baked Potatoes—that he makes in his tiny New York City apartment. In his debut cookbook, Eric shares these recipes alongside insightful, touching stories and stunning images shot by photographer Jenny Huang.
Playful, poignant, and vulnerable, Korean American also includes essays on subjects ranging from the life-changing act of leaving home and returning as an adult, to what Thanksgiving means to a first-generation family, complete with a full holiday menu—all the while teaching readers about the Korean pantry, the history of Korean cooking in America, and the importance of white rice in Korean cuisine. Recipes like Gochugaru Shrimp and Grits, Salt-and-Pepper Pork Chops with Vinegared Scallions, and Smashed Potatoes with Roasted-Seaweed Sour Cream Dip demonstrate Eric’s prowess at introducing Korean pantry essentials to comforting American classics, while dishes such as Cheeseburger Kimbap and Crispy Lemon-Pepper Bulgogi with Quick-Pickled Shallots do the opposite by tinging traditional Korean favorites with beloved American flavor profiles. Baked goods like Milk Bread with Maple Syrup and Gochujang Chocolate Lava Cakes close out the narrative on a sweet note.
In this book of recipes and thoughtful insights, especially about his mother, Jean, Eric divulges not only what it means to be Korean American but how, through food and cooking, he found acceptance, strength, and the confidence to own his story.
Eric Kim is a New York Times staff writer and essayist born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. His debut cookbook, Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home (Clarkson Potter, 2022), was an instant New York Times Best Seller. A former digital manager for the Food Network, contributing editor for Saveur magazine and senior editor for Food52 (where he amassed a devoted readership for his “Table for One” column), he now hosts regular videos on NYT Cooking’s YouTube channel and writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine. Eric taught writing and literature as a graduate fellow at Columbia University, and his essays have been featured in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine and The Best American Food Writing. He lives with his rescue pup, Quentin Compson, in New York City.
J. Kenji López-Alt, the director of this year’s Community Curated Series, is an American chef and food writer. His first book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, became a critical and commercial success, charting on the New York Times Bestseller list and winning the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for the best General Cooking cookbook. In 2023, he won his second James Beard Foundation Award for the Single Subject category for The Wok: Recipes and Techniques, his definitive guide to the science and technique of cooking in a wok.