Peter Kim ('98)

photo of Peter Kim during his Senior year

Peter J. Kim’s life has been an acculturated one, and as Kim reflects, his time at uni played a major role in his appreciation for world cultures. He joined the French club during his subbie year and participated in his Junior and Senior years as well, taking trips to Quebec, Montreal, as well as an undisclosed location the 1998 yearbook calls “an exotic French island.” With the French club, Kim participated in many cooking related events, such as bake sales, a “French dinner” fundraiser, and dinner + movie events on weekends. During his senior year Kim became the leader of the Teen Awareness Committee, which dealt with teen social pressure and challenges. With TAC, Kim taught an Agora Days class on social issues. After graduating, Peter studied law at Brown university, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2002. While at Uni, Kim was inspired to join the peace corps, taking with him his values for culture, food, and social issues, Kim did public health education work with the Peace Corps in Cameroon. Kim later worked in hunger policy and hunger relief, as well as international disputes with a corporate law firm. Working as an attorney, Kim started going to culinary school on the side, as food had remained an important part of his life. He ran a supper club out of his apartment in Manhattan, went to food events, and met people who had the idea to start the Museum of Food and Drink, or MOFAD. The idea behind MOFAD was to draw connections between culture, history, science, economics, and more, all through the lense of food. Kim viewed this as a magical idea, and began setting up the legal foundations as their attorney. He later quit his job and became the first director of the museum, building it up from a few thousand dollars and no staff, all from a tiny office. The first year of development was devoted to setting the mission and doing strategic planning, until they kicked off MOFAD with a literal boom. The first exhibit was mobile, a two ton breakfast cereal puffing gun from the 1930s mounted to a truck trailer, blasting cereal around the city and teaching people about the history of cereal’s industrial beginnings. From there MOFAD was off to the races, opening a brick and mortar space in Williamsburg Brooklyn in 2015 and doing a string of exhibits on a range of topics including flavor science and the history of Chinese American restaurants. Kim passed the baton in 2020 after covid-19 halted a project on the African American contribution to American food. After having worked on it for three years, Kim views the project as one of his greatest accomplishments, and the museum will reopen with the exhibit next year. Currently, Kim works with pinterest, doing his podcast Counterjam with Food52 on the side. The podcast aims to move the needle on cross cultural understanding and empathy using food and music, two things Kim views as universal connectors and differentiators, key foundations of human culture.

Senior Quote



During his time at Uni Kim participated in a large number of activies, a member of the soccer team, the basketball team, Student Council, French Club, the Gargoyle, Korean-American Club, Teen Awareness Committee, and the Lounge Committee.

A Special Episode

Kim recalls the first episode of his podcast Counterjam as his favorite, due to the episode's extremely personal nature. The episode focused on Korean American culture, featured Kim's mother, as well as a song he wrote himself.