Katy Kim mixes orange lavender marmalade into Greek yogurt, swipes whipped miso butter onto artisan bread and adds fig jam to thyme-infused ice cream. For this Weinberg fourth-year majoring in Art History and Political Science, food is an opportunity to make “something out of nothing” and simply be creative.
Kim started her first Instagram food account, @cakesniffing, during the pandemic to share her original food creations. With more than 300 posts and 5,000 followers, the account has helped Kim find a community within the home cooks of Instagram. But recently, she switched her focus to a second food account, @eatlettuceboy. It began as a to-go shop run from her apartment where students could buy one of Kim’s unique baked goods, salads or toasts every week.
But since the start of Winter Quarter, Kim said she saw an opportunity to make more complex recipes through a themed monthly supper club consisting of a three- and four-course meals at her apartment. She held May’s supper club on June 1, where the first five NU students to sign up got the chance to meet new people while eating Kim’s original recipes.
“Usually for cooking, unless it's baking, I don't follow recipes,” Kim said. “I just like to open my fridge, see what I can make and just try it. I feel like if you taste as you go, you can just figure out what needs to be added to it.”
Kim said May’s menu included spring labne with rhubarb, roasted red peppers, dill and pita; ramp butter bucatini with mint and zucchini; tamarind skillet shrimp with pineapple; miso roasted carrots with carrot top topping; and tiramisu semifreddo.
In February, she made creamy milk ice cream with strawberry jam. In April, her dessert was homemade spiced ice with a plum jam swirl, served with a shaving of gouda.
“I like weird ice cream,” Kim said. “I don't want to eat boring ice creams. So, I finally got an ice cream machine…and the ideas just come. Even now, I'm thinking, ‘What if I made cream cheese ice cream with black pepper? Or honey?’”
Communication third-year Hannah Yang is one of Kim's roommates. She said she gets to be the lucky taste tester of some of Kim’s products and watch her creativity in action. Before she met Kim, she didn’t know how to cook. Now, she also rarely uses recipes.
Last year, the two would cook weekly dishes together. Yang still remembers making an apple crisp with Kim one week.
“I don't like eating apples, and I don't like eating cinnamon, [both of] which this recipe had an abundance of – but it just tasted so good,” Yang said. “And it was so easy to make…I feel like Katy is always pushing me to try new things that I normally wouldn't eat, which is great.”
Weinberg second-year Amanda Tsuetaki said she loves the twists that Kim adds to her food to make it special. She’s also inspired by how Kim is able to weave different aspects of food and art into her life.
“I think she's one of the most interesting people on campus,” Tsuetaki said. “Being able to do things like F&F [Form and Function Marketing], which is a pre-professional club, but also working very deeply within the Block, which is Northwestern’s art museum – it’s super cool to see that she has so many different interests and how they intersect.”
In addition to @eatlettuceboy, where she runs her supper clubs, Kim also has an art account, @pocketvisuality. In March, she decided to combine both Instagram feeds into her main account, @cakesniffing, where she posts about food, art and life.
Communication second-year Andrew Chang, who attended Kim’s first supper club and is on the executive board of Form and Function Marketing club with her, said he loves seeing how Kim combines her interests in art and food, even just by displaying her personal art taste in the room where she hosts supper clubs.
“I'm always curious to know what the next theme will be or what types of flavors she incorporates,” Chang said. “She’s not making normal dishes. It's experiential. It's different. It's unusual food combinations that somehow always taste so good. I don't know how Katy does it because the food she makes is phenomenal.”
Even though Kim will be moving abroad next year to do a master’s degree in art history, she plans to continue running her Instagram accounts as well as her supper clubs.
“I'm just excited [that] as I grow older, I know it's something that I'll keep going,” Kim said. “It's something that's fun for me and I think things you do outside of school – those are the more important, creative things to just develop as a person.”