My name is Rufina Kim. I am a resident physician in the wonderful field of family medicine, currently living in Kingston, Ontario.
First and foremost, I would like to dedicate this blog to my mother, who, among many things, was a fantastic cook. She tragically passed away at the very young age of 39 when I was just blooming into my teens. I never learned to cook when she was around, so I had to teach myself what I know today.
I was born in Seoul, South Korea. If you’ve ever been to Korea, you would quickly realize that it has a vibrant culture that, like many places in the world, revolves around family and food. Large family gatherings during my childhood involved bountiful feasts where we would eat until we literally could not even look at food anymore. These are fond memories I treasure, being no longer able to see my extended family as frequently since moving to Canada.
People often ask me how I got into cooking. When I moved out to live independently for university at age 17, I had absolutely zero skills in the kitchen. My diet consisted of take-out, fast food, instant noodles, and packaged frozen foods — on repeat. It wasn’t until age 19 or 20 that I noticed the cumulative effects of my teenage habits, when I could not fit into an old pair of shorts. At that time, I was in an unsatisfying relationship and a place of daily self-abhorrence. When the button would not reach its intended hole on those shorts that I was trying on in preparation for the encroaching summertime — that was the singular moment that defined my commitment to improve the way I feel about myself.
With the help of a few close friends, I became familiar with the gym. I also began to cook my own meals, but this was a much slower and more iterative process that occurred over the years and which is still ongoing. It opened a whole new world of knowledge and skills, rich in history and culture, that I am constantly fascinated by to this day.
Initially, cooking was about eating well to stay fit. Many more layers have been added to this hobby since, rendering it an integral part of my self-identity. It is a creative outlet through which to express myself and inspire others. It is a meditative activity wherein mundanities become life itself. I find perfect peace in the act of chopping vegetables or grocery shopping. I relish the empowerment found in perusing through and then choosing each ingredient that will ultimately nourish my body. Cooking has become a non-negotiable part of my life that nothing can ever take away from me. It keeps me grounded through the toughest of times.
Three years ago, I created my Instagram account to showcase my creations as well as to learn from other people. I have grown tremendously as a home cook and as a person since then. Now, I wish to focus on integrating my cooking with writing through the many recipes that I saved, annotated, and developed into my own. I look forward to this journey and hope that it inspires you, too, to just keep cooking.