Rising Star Chef Beverly Kim of Parachute - Biography
At 16, Beverly Kim started her career at Chicago’s Ritz Carlton. Encouraged to pursue a culinary degree at Kendall College, she graduated and went on to work for Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris at Prairie Cafe, and for Takashi Yagahashi at his eponymous restaurant, all the while intermittently traveling to Korea to study cuisine. Kim eventually became executive chef of Opera and then Aria in the Fairmont Hotel. She also became a chef instructor at her alma mater and was a finalist on season nine of “Top Chef.”
Johnny Clark got his start in restaurants at 15 in Cincinnati and later enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. After graduation, he spent years honing his craft at restaurants like La Côte Basque and Town in Manhattan. Clark also did stints at Aureole in Las Vegas and Pigali’s in Cincinnati, and staged at the famed Le Chateaubriand in Paris. Two things would bring it all together for Clark: working in Korea for Chef Im Ji Ho at Sandang, and reaching out to his wife-to-be, Kim, when he moved to Chicago.
After reading about Kim in a magazine, Clark reached out to bond over Korean cooking. A relationship blossomed, the couple married, and, with a growing family, they decided to open Parachute in 2014, creating a style of Korean-American cuisine all their own. Parachute was named “Restaurant of the Year” in 2014 by Eater Chicago, “Chicago’s Best New Restaurant 2015” by Chicago Tribune, and was a 2015 finalist for James Beard’s “Best New Restaurant.”