When she was 10 years old, Jihye Kim was helping her mother prepare meals — kimbap, mandu dumplings and the half-moon rice cakes called songpyeon — for family celebrations and Korean holidays in Seoul.
More than just casual time spent in the kitchen, that early cooking experience as a kid taught her Korean foodways.
It also sowed a seed and helped inspire Kim to open LooBapBap, located between Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, in 2021.
“I was interested in my mom’s food, so I was always standing beside her when she was cooking,” says Kim, who came to Canada in 2009.
“She cooked for family and friends who visited. In late autumn, like most Koreans, she was doing kimjang (the process of preparing kimchee, the preserved, fermented vegetable dish). We always did it together.”
For more about Kim and LooBapBap, please visit Waterloo Region Record.