Student Spotlight: Soo Kim


We’re excited to spotlight our Pro Pastry student, Soo Kim who began our Pastry Programs last Fall.

What specifically drew you to pursue pastry arts?
My career path is based in the creative arts and because of that, there are a lot of unknowns. I found that baking is very specific, and yet still very creative. I started to give scratch made baked goods, as gifts, and saw the smiles and amazement on peoples’ faces, I wanted to do more but also realized how basic and limited my knowledge was. I had questions and wanted to learn more… much more than what the internet had to offer.

What cooking experience did you have prior to going to pastry school?
Ha, not much! Growing up, I tried to watch or help my mom, but she would just kick me out of the kitchen. The most I helped her was cleaning and setting the table. I didn’t start cooking/baking (…or experimenting with…) food ’til I went to college… trial and error and setting off the smoke alarm a few times…

What is a typical day like for you at CulinaryLab?
A typical day?… hmmm… We watch Chef Colleen do demos of many different things (Such as blackberry lime sorbet, baguettes, chocolate truffles, lemon tarts) and I try my best to replicate it. And when the weekend comes and I’m at home, I practice what I learned at school.

What has been one of your greatest highlights and biggest challenges since you began your pastry education?
Wow… I’m not sure I’ve had a greatest highlight yet… but that could be me being overly critical… lol! My mom and my aunt love the breads and my dad and friends love the chocolates… that’s a highlight, yeah?… As far as challenges… everything?… ha! Seriously though, it would be breads and chocolate because you can’t really “hide” any mistakes with decorations.

What advice do you have for those thinking about attending pastry school?
Advice?… hmmmm… if you love and have a passion for cooking and want a career in the industry, give it your 110%, but if it’s something you just enjoy or think would be fun, just take basic cooking classes… like the home cook courses that are offered here.

What is your favorite dish to bake?
Hee hee hee…. Well, so far, focaccia because I love, LOVE, eating it, & pastry cream because you can use it to make everything… like cream puffs…

What is your favorite type of cuisine to cook/eat?
Hmmm…. Anything that has carbs…? lol! I love focaccia, pot pies (using that amazing flaking dough recipe), cream puffs, pasta, tarts…

What is your must-have tool in the kitchen?
Whisk, heat resistant spatula, and a bench scraper.

What’s your favorite cooking method and/or fancy cooking term?
I like the word “sabayon” because it sounds so fancy, though I can’t say it’s my favorite cooking method…lol! If I had to pick a method, it would just be baking because as it’s doing its magic, the yummy smells fill the room.

What has been your favorite experience at pastry school so far?
Hmmm… well… it’s not actually cooking related, but my favorite experience has been meeting the amazing people at the school- my classmates, students from the other classes, previous students, the staff, and the chefs. It’s like a big family… not like “Leave It to Beaver” or “Shameless,” but definitely a nice middle ground.

If you could only eat three meals for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Does breakfast, lunch and dinner count?… kidding!… sort of! Pizzas, any type of croissant sandwich (mmmm, they should make burgers with croissants), and, normally, I would say salads (I love a really good salad), but now that I’ve learned to make cream puffs (thank you, Chef Colleen), it’s a toss up… a cream puff salad?… hahaha!

What is your ultimate end goal and plan for when you complete your culinary education?
My ultimate plan would be to have a catering company specializing in desserts, of course, and a small, very specialized, store front with an East Coast feel. Not your typical bakery that has just about everything under the sun. As for what exactly, you’ll just have to come out to the grand opening (wink wink).