Juno Kim

Chef and stylist, Juno Kim Cater­ing

Vancouver Magazine - - DESIGN CITY - —As told to Sam Nar

He may have made his name on In­sta­gram, but food stylist and chef Juno Kim (@jun0k) is a de­sign pow­er­house off­line, too. Be­sides run­ning his epony­mous cater­ing busi­ness, he’s also shap­ing the vis­ual lan­guage of our food ex­pe­ri­ences through work on film and TV projects (iZom­bie), print fea­tures (Western Liv­ing) and pop-up din­ners (or brunches—Kim doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate) all over the city. His tex­tured, colour­ful dishes, each served up with­out pre­ten­sion, spot­light not just the joy of cook­ing but also the power of a vis­ual feast to bring peo­ple to­gether.

Why is de­sign im­por­tant?

I think de­sign can be pow­er­ful. From an in­tel­lec­tual stand­point, for ex­am­ple, most de­sign­ers can de­sign a door han­dle in a way where peo­ple un­der­stand that you have to push or pull with­out ex­plic­itly telling them— good de­sign is some­thing that we maybe take for granted at times.

How would you de­scribe the de­sign scene in Van­cou­ver?

I think the tal­ent is here; we just have to de­velop that cul­ture and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for it. The way to keep pro­gress­ing our scene in Van­cou­ver is to keep the tal­ent here and make sure that we help each other grow, be­cause we are a younger city com­pared with New York, L.A., Toronto.

How do you think your work specif­i­cally has made an im­pact on the city?

I think where I may have had a bit of in­flu­ence is through my love of col­lab­o­rat­ing. I love work­ing with other peo­ple—cel­e­brat­ing each other’s strengths and even weak­nesses at times.

I think ev­ery in­dus­try ben­e­fits from peo­ple com­ing to­gether and work­ing to­gether rather than be­ing ul­tra­com­pet­i­tive, and so I try to do my part to cel­e­brate our com­bined love of cook­ing food.

What does a food stylist do?

We usu­ally make the on-cam­era food you see when you see a movie scene where peo­ple are din­ing or there’s food on the ta­ble. We’re the ones that cre­ate the food that’ll match the script and the con­text. We also cre­ate dif­fer­ent food­scapes that will trans­late re­ally well for print me­dia.

What do you love most about styling foods and be­ing a chef?

I like the abil­ity to take a bunch of in­gre­di­ents and trans­form them into some­thing they weren’t be­fore.

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