Chef Bill Kim and Yvonne Cadiz-Kim are both highly respected throughout the hospitality industry. Recently, Chef Jaime Laurita and I had a Kitchen Chat with this dynamic duo. As chef/owner of Urban Belly and chef/partner of Crate & Barrel’s The Table at Crate, Chef Kim is navigating the new normal. Carry out is the main focus for Urban Belly, and Chef Bill and Yvonne have amplified the process for controlling the restaurant’s environment to keep everything sanitized and to keep everyone safe.
Charity has always been close to the heart for Chef Bill and Yvonne. To help address food insecurity that Chicago residents are facing during this pandemic crisis, Chef Bill and Yvonne have teamed together with Common Threads and Top Box to help make and deliver family meals. They are also volunteering for Greater Chicago Food Depository.
When asked about the changing landscape for restaurants, Yvonne replied, “We know that restaurants will not be the same. There will no longer be communal seating. And social distancing will have to become part of the Restaurant DNA for the next two to three years.” However, with their insight and foresight, Chef Bill and Yvonne adapt well to challenges and changes within the industry. They opened Urban Belly in 2008 and led the trendsetting space concept for restaurants. Chef Kim is grateful that Urban Belly has partnered with the outstanding Cornerstone Restaurant Group. Together they are evaluating what the future of restaurants will look like in the next phase. Diversification of business is a key consideration. And social media plays a pivotal role in the expansion of a virtual marketplace.
Foodie friends, these are challenging days as we all try to navigate the new normal. Reach out to friends, family, or someone in the community if you need help. You are not alone. If you can help support local restaurants, please order carry-out and please donate to local food pantries.
Please stay healthy and safe!