Chef Bill Kim

Chef Bill Kim

Bill Kim, an Award-Winning Chicago Chef, has “Full Circle” Moment at Triton College

Honored alumnus Bill Kim, an award-winning Chicago chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, said being inducted into the Wall of Fame was a “full circle” moment for him. “Triton gave me the foundation to build a career out of my passion,” he said.

“This is very magical for me,” he explained. “I used to take the Route 331 Bus to Triton every day and now I’m receiving this great honor. Thanks to Triton, I am now a chef.”

Chef Kim immigrated to the United States from Seoul, South Korea, when he was 7 years old, explaining that his family wanted to embark on a new journey in America with better opportunities. He realized he liked to cook when he first arrived as an immigrant, making his family bologna sandwiches and English muffin pizzas.

“I enjoyed cooking for myself and for others,” he said. “Triton gave me the foundation to build a career out of my passion.”

Kim decided to attend Triton after attending a college fair his junior year of high school, realizing Triton had a Hospitality Program. He felt attending a community college was an ideal situation for him since he could stay at home while receiving his degree.

After receiving the educational tools he needed from Triton College, Chef Kim attended Kendall College. Following graduation, he worked with world-renowned chefs, such as Jean Banchet, Charlie Trotter and Pierre Pollin.

His culinary journey continued when he had the opportunity to cook at different restaurants across the country, including Le Ciboulette in Atlanta, and Susanna Foo Restaurant and Inn on Blueberry Hill in Philadelphia. In the Chicago area, he has been a chef at Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant and Le Lan (both in Chicago), and Trio in Evanston.

He has partnered with Cornerstone Restaurant Group (CRG) to open Timeout Market in Chicago and The Table at Crate in Oak Brook, Ill., a partnership with Crate and Barrel. Most famously, CRG has also partnered with him to open Urbanbelly in Wicker Park. “Urbanbelly stands out because it’s affordable, flavorful and accessible,” he said. “We cook without borders.”