3/07/2013 01:00:00 PM

Required Reading: Chef Beverly Kim Goes Back to School

By Sarah Freeman
The perceived afterlife of a contestant on Top Chef is supposed to involve a whirlwind of fame and success, perhaps a restaurant or two followed by a long nap in a pile of cash. Except when it doesn’t, and the hype of a brief reality TV appearance fades, leaving the "celebrity chef" without a job. This was the case for chef Beverly Kim, who appeared on season nine of Top Chef and was portrayed as a feisty female contestant often bullied and belittled by her competitors. After returning to the real world of Chicago, she continued in the kitchen at Aria in the Fairmont hotel before leaving to take over the upscale Asian restaurant BonsoirĂ©e. The restaurant lasted a matter of months before closing, leaving her and her husband, chef Johnny Clark, without jobs.

Unlike how she was portrayed on the show, she did not break down and cry. Instead, she took a job teaching at Kendall College. Students take her class, “Fine Dining Restaurant,” during their sixth quarter of a two-year culinary education. It operates in the school’s dining room that serves lunch and dinner. The dinner menu is designed by Kim, with her signature Asian influences, and executed by the students. "What I didn't realize was how gratifying it can be," Kim told Kevin Pang of The Chicago Tribune. "These students are so eager, soaking up every word you say. You don't always get that running a place where people clock in and clock out." Kim will continue to teach while seeking investors for her own dining concept.

Read the full story here.

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