Genie Kwon decided to leave her work as executive chef to open her own business. When she began thinking of her career post fine dining, owning a bakery was a definite option. But an important aspect of that had to include a creative outlet for her husband, chef Tim Flores, who Kwon had met when they both worked at Chicago’s GT Fish & Oyster. This is how Kasama, a modern Filipino restaurant and French-American bakery, was born, an establishment which had passed inspection the day before the first Chicago-wide covid-related shutdown. The timing surprisingly turned out to be ideal as it allowed the couple to pivot quickly to take-out as well as take their time buying supplies for the restaurant. Kasama now has one Michelin star among its other accolades.
Kwon’s resume also includes stints at Oriole, Eleven Madison Park, and The Peninsula Chicago.
“We always knew that there was going to be daytime counter service/bakery element to it. We also knew we needed to have savory food to help drive the business”
Featured in so good #28