For Angela Kim, eating is one of the greatest forms of entertainment. The 27-year-old would prefer a foodie pen pal grub (obtained through a special exchange program in which bloggers mail food to each other) over a pair of Louboutins any day. "Food is one of the greatest commonalities we have as humans," says Kim. "I just love the smiles that I get when I share my food with my family and friends and get positive reception from people across the globe. It puts me on a natural high that nothing beats."
A year ago, Kim started her food blog, the Squishy Monster (www.thesquishymonster.com), which features videos of recipes reflective of her American/Korean heritage. Of all the tutorials on her blog, the Korean barbecue pizza is her most popular post to date. In creating the recipe, she fused her love of Korean food with familiar flavors from her Southern upbringing — she was born in Texas and grew up in Charlotte.
Creative Loafing: How did you decide on the focus of your blog?
Angela Kim: I want to inject and manifest myself into the dishes that I create. It is important to me that I maintain my Americanness and my Koreanness. So I make fried pickles, but then I also make kimchi fried rice. So, it's across the board, but it directly reflects who I am as an individual. That's something that sets me apart from a lot of other blogs, because a lot of people have tunnel vision on a particular item, but I do everything because that's who I am, that's what I eat, that's where I'm from.
What are your hopes for the future? Do you have plans to start your own business?
In the future, I would love to turn my blog into a book, but right now I'm just putting all my energy into the blog through archiving my recipes, doing cooking tutorials and meeting amazing people. For the time being, I am going to continue to work on my blog by putting all my emphasis and effort into that and trying new recipes and more and more greater things. That's what I hope to do in the mean time. But I hope to be on the Food Network one day.
I read on the website that you also distribute food to those in need around town. Can you tell me more?
The Pack Away Hunger is an initiative that I started and try to do every Sunday. It's just me and my friends. We pool together whatever money we can spare and we just make 50 sack lunches; with a drink, a cookie, a bag of chips or pretzels and we basically just get in a car and drive around Uptown Charlotte and distribute them. It's amazing how many people go unnoticed underneath bridges, sitting at bus stations and back behind abandoned houses.
[Taking food to those places] is not the safest thing to do, I know, but I take my guy friends with me and we just give out the sacks. The people you meet are amazing and they are so thankful that you gave them a cold bottle of water and a sandwich. I always try to write an inspiring message on the bag, like "You're thought of," "You are loved," "You are not forgotten," or "We care about you," or something like that. That's another inspiration for me, too. I would love to be able to give back to my community more one day and host dinners for the people who are less fortunate in Charlotte.