Born in Seoul, raised in Chicago, Chef Bill Kim takes a boldly flavored, borderless approach to every bowl of noodles and plate of dumplings he makes.
A graduate of Kendall College, Kim immersed himself early in his career in classical French cuisine, working alongside such world-renowned chefs as Pierre Pollin, Jean Banchet and Charlie Trotter. In the 1990's, he honed his skills and developed his distinct style at other acclaimed restaurants, among them Susanna Foo in Philadelphia and New York City’s Bouley Bakery.
In 2008, with the opening of urbanbelly, his BYO noodle and dumpling joint in an unassuming strip mall in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, Kim spurred the wave of fine-dining chefs branching into creative casual dining. The following year, he opened Belly Shack in Logan Square, a mashup of Korean and Puerto Rican food inspired by his wife Yvonne’s Puerto Rican heritage. In 2012, Kim brought his take on Korean barbecue, bellyQ, to the bustling Randolph Street corridor, and in 2016, he opened a second urbanbelly in Wicker Park.
Kim’s first cookbook, “Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces,” was released in April 2018. In October 2018, he and Cornerstone Restaurant Group announced plans to open a full-service restaurant at Oakbrook Center in partnership with Crate and Barrel. In addition to developing menus for the restaurant, which is slated to open in spring of 2019, Kim is focused on expanding the urbanbelly brand.