photography by Heather Smith
CKC’s mission is simple. We exist to teach and spread authentic Korean cooking and food culture across the globe. It’s no secret we like to have fun, and laughter is a key CKC ingredient. But don’t be fooled, our aim is to strive for excellence in recipes and expansive knowledge in Korean cuisine. We may not always take ourselves very seriously, but the cooking itself – we’re not playing around.
The website is designed to make it easy for anyone (and their white cousin-in-law) to learn the art of Korean cuisine. Not real internet or Korean-stuff savvy?? No worries. We’ve got clear steps with photos, dynamic ingredient amounts, search filters, and many other tools and tips that will help you navigate through your Korean cooking journey.
And – this is important – to make sure you don’t confuse crazy with cocky, we really want your feedback and ideas. What works for you? What doesn’t work for you? And how can we make it better? We want your honest opinions and ideas -- good, bad, and crazy. Your input is extremely valuable.
Also, along with your feedback, we would LOVE to hear about you and your cooking journey. Send us your photos, drawings and stories. This will give us a window into your world and your unique experiences.
So don’t hesitate to give us a shout! [email protected]
Where do the recipes come from?
CKC has some serious roots. Not only are the recipes authentically Korean but many have been in Grace’s family for centuries (well, decades at least). Grace’s mother, grandmother and aunt all deserve many thanks. Under such tutelage Grace first steamed her own rice at the tender age of 10. However, her cooking exploits really took off after moving to Canada at age 16, and it wasn’t without some trial and error - and a fair amount of practice. When her two younger sisters moved to Canada too, Korean cooking became pretty much an everyday affair. She also refined her cooking skills by completing a chef training program at George Brown College in 2002. Many years, events, large parties, even weddings (for which Grace cooked), later, she was inspired to start CKC.
Crazy Korean Cooking is infused with the distinct personas and close partnership of one crazy pair. And for Grace Park and Stephanie Maing, it’s more than “partnership.” CKC is fueled by a long, deep -- and yes -- kinda crazy friendship.
Since the day their paths crossed at a church in Toronto in 1995, Grace and Stephanie have sung, danced, laughed, and of course cooked their way into a best friendship where little is hidden. From boyfriends (and break-ups) to personal tastes from fashion to wine – big, bold life events to small, silly things – these two know each other like Koreans know Kimchi.
How did it happen, this CKC trademark combo of singing, dancing and cooking?? Well, it’s partly a secret recipe. However, over the years they sang in church together, danced at a few parties
But don’t let all this closeness and crazy Korean chemistry fool you; Grace and Steph are very different and independent. Stephanie? Introvert. Grace? Not so much -- center of the party. Aside from Korean food, the two have different tastes and preferences in just about everything, including fashion, style… and guys. If you glimpse them strolling down the “ave” together, you might look twice: two Koreans, from two different planets. Even their favorite music is worlds apart.
Speaking of music, the singing and acting streaks have early roots for both CKC ladies. As a child, Steph was trained as a professional vocalist. She is a natural artist with a soft flare for the poetic. Stephanie continues to be a connoisseur of the arts and pop culture, where she is fountain of knowledge. Grace, somewhat similar, always wanted to be a musical actress. From age 7, she would gather her sisters and cousins, and produce shows. Some things don’t change!
Today Grace directs much of her creative energies toward innovation and imagination in the business sector, enjoying the challenge of educating executives how to think differently. And in this creative educator capacity, her diverse clientele ranges to include corporations, government, hospitals and schools. For Grace, the real bottom line is bringing meaningful change to people’s lives. This, along with her passion for food (which led to a chef school degree), is a continuing catalyst for CKC.
Stephanie also leads a busy professional life outside CKC. Pushing the edges of her reserved persona, she excels as a manager in the world of retail. Steph also enjoys the challenge of helping and working with people in the business context, where quality products and great service are tools for bettering people’s lives - and cornerstone values of CKC.
Grace reflects that though she and Steph may not yet have fully realized their childhood professional dreams, those talents and impulses now find something of a unique outlet: a crazy cooking show. And the best for CKC and this crazy pair of ambitious, independent, opposite-natured best-friends-turned-internet-cooking-sensations -- is yet to come. So stay tuned. And stay crazy.