Milwaukee chef teaches Korean cooking classes and hosts pop-ups – Advice Eating

Kristine M. Kierzek

Jenny Lee’s kitchen will always have soy sauce, garlic and ginger. The building blocks of her Korean cuisine were also the main ingredients in the first recipe her mother taught her when she moved away from her home in La Crosse.

While working as a journalist in upstate New York, Lee started a food blog. Eventually she switched gears, went to culinary school and started working in restaurants. She gained experience with Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Tom Colicchio and in Milwaukee with Sanford’s Justin Aprahamian.

When she became a mother herself, her cooking took a new direction. In 2019, she founded Perilla Kitchen, teaching Korean cooking and doing pop-ups in the Milwaukee area. Her classes are currently scheduled through local recreation departments at Nicolet High School in May and June and at Franklin’s Forest Park Middle School in June, July and August.

Korean Spicy Pork Belly (Dwaeji bulgogi)

Blogger Beginnings

I lived in upstate New York and started a food blog while I was a news reporter. … I was always thinking about food and what I would cook.

My husband worked as a paralegal in New York City. One day he said, “Why don’t you just go to cooking school?” For real? It would be a pay cut. He was so supportive. “You talk about food all the time. … I went to the International Culinary Center, then called the French Culinary Institute. … They had a good internship program. I ended up at Roberta’s in Brooklyn. I was totally green. I was super slow, the kitchen was small. …

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