Ann Kim will make you question everything you know about pizza and still leave you craving for more. Her Minneapolis restaurants, Pizzeria Lola, Hello Pizza and Young Joni have topped countless top restaurant lists, and led her to recently win the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Midwest. A Korean immigrant, she brings her heritage to the forefront while topping it with cross-continental flavors and charring it all to 800-degree perfection.
Ann used to think her name would be up in lights on Broadway. But when acting wasn’t everything she’d hoped, she turned to a different icon of New York: pizza. Upon returning to Minneapolis, she read everything about the cheesy stuff, and even studied under a literal pizza world champ. When it was time to open her own eatery, she certainly had trepidations. However, instead of buying that Jimmy Johns in Cottage Grove, Ann took the plunge. It certainly has worked out for her—and Minneapolis food scene at large.
If my work has made what’s been a traditionally narrow path a little bit wider, a little bit more inclusive, that will be my greatest achievement.
Creativity has always driven me. To me, I just left one stage, the theatre stage, for another one.