Name/occupation:
Duke Kim, chef/owner, Duc's
705 N. Century Ave., Maplewood; — (651) 738-8116

Age: 34

How did you pick your current location?
The restaurant is family operation. We picked this location because of 3M. On Jan. 9, we celebrated our seventh year.

What's your favorite restaurant?
Figilo. Before we had kids, my wife and I would go there to eat after closing the restaurant. That was the only place that was open late. My wife loved the calamari. They have the best pork chops, too.

What's your cooking philosophy?
If I'm not able to eat it, I won't serve it.

Who in the food business do you most admire?
Emeril (Lagasse). He's the best. Even made pho (Vietnamese soup) on his show. I was impressed.

What's the most bizarre food you've ever eaten?
Nothing is bizarre to me. I'm willing to give everything at least one shot. The only two things i don't have a taste for are goat cheese and blue cheese.

What was the first meal you ever cooked?
When I worked at Forepaugh's, the guys there taught me how to make a walleye almandine.

What's in your refrigerator at home?
A lot of baby food, milk, fruits and juice. Most of the food we have is from the restaurant. We don't even cook at home.

What's your favorite junk food?
I like grapes. That's not really junk food. Sometimes, I have Godiva chocolate with almonds or Doritos.

Where is home to you?
Minnesota. I love it here. The people are the nicest.

If you weren't cooking and running a restaurant for living, what you would be doing?
I told my wife that when I retire I'd love to work at a golf course.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, I'll be able to open another restaurant. My long-term goal is stay in this business. This is what I've wanted to do since seventh grade.
– Gita Sitaramiah