goop Kitchen’s Chef on Memorable Recipes, Cookbooks, and Music
goop Kitchen, our very own delivery concept, is now dishing out lunch and dinner at five locations in California: Our OG Santa Monica spot has been holding it down, and now we’re also serving the valley, the South Bay, Beverly Hills, and Costa Mesa. It’s also open for pickup orders—and the Curry Chicken Salad Summer Rolls and Coco Chocolate Chip Cookies are worth driving across town for. But let’s rewind. When we decided to venture into the food space with goop Kitchen, we knew we needed someone really special at the helm. Someone who had serious skills, who was aligned with our core values, and most importantly, who understood that eating for wellness is just as much about pleasure as it is about health. We were fortunate to find all that and more in chef Kim Floresca.
She’s had an impressive and enviable career, working at top restaurants around the world including El Bulli, Per Se, and The Restaurant at Meadowood. She knows how to get a restaurant off its feet—she and her husband opened and ran One Restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for three years before moving back to California.
Her interest in food was sparked at a young age. “I was a military kid, and we traveled around a ton,” she says. “I lived in Germany for four years and was so excited to experience that food. My parents would always take me to markets to try the local fare, in Germany and in surrounding countries, like France.” And then Floresca had a particularly memorable meal: “A relative made me the worst dinner I’ve ever had. It made me wonder, Why would anybody want to eat like this?” That experience served as a what-not-to-do lesson. Floresca learned how to cook, via the Food Network at first (“That helped me see that food prepared at home could be really delicious,” she says) and, eventually, in culinary school. She used Thursday night family dinners to try out new recipes. “Some were great successes, and some were complete failures. Luckily none were as bad as that initial meal,” she laughs.
As soon as we started working with Floresca on the goop Kitchen menu, we saw how and why her career has been shaped by her curiosity: Making healthy food taste incredible is not always an easy task, and she approaches that kind of problem-solving with real creativity. And her food does taste incredible. She’s a self-proclaimed perfectionist—always tweaking, refining, looking to make things better. But the thing that makes her beloved is her generous collaborative spirit, which has shone in every stage of the process, from R&D to training and cultivating team culture.
Kim Floresca Answers the goop Food Survey
What’s your favorite item on the goop Kitchen menu?
It’s our teriyaki bowl. We have worked so hard on that sauce—trying to find the right ratios without using refined cane sugar. It’s really good.
Tell us about the first recipe you ever mastered.
Chocolate cake. I think I was eleven. It was the recipe on the side of the Hershey’s cocoa powder can. I remember not wanting to use oil, so I used applesauce, and I thought it was the best. I don’t know that I’d think that now, but it’s definitely one of my favorite food memories.
Your most used ingredient?
Green onions. For some reason I love them in everything. Charred. Raw. They give you a fresh bite of onion without being too sharp.
Do you have any food aversions?
I do not like beets. I think it’s a childhood thing, maybe I had a bad experience with them. I mean, I’ll eat them, but I’d prefer not to. I love cooking them though!
When someone says “comfort food,” what comes to mind?
I have too many to list. But I love a good pot of rice with this sauce called finadene—it’s a Guamanian thing. It’s lemon juice, soy sauce, chopped green onion, and a little bit of bird’s-eye chili. That sauce on rice is a really good childhood dish.
Is there anything you’re sick of making?
I don’t think so. I just have this restless perfectionism. I’m trying to make it better and better every day, and my mind won’t let me settle. So even though we have a great teriyaki recipe that I’ve worked on probably hundreds of times, for me, I keep asking, How can I make it better? How can I make it more interesting? Can it be a base for something new? I don’t see it as being tired of making something. There’s always more to learn every time you make it.
Which kitchen tools should every home cook own?
A great chef’s knife. A good set of pans. I’m not just saying this, but I really like the goop Home cookware set. My mom even saw my set and bought them, too! Beyond that, build out a good pantry of basics. Make sure you have a great olive oil that you love, good salt, different spices that you like.
What do you listen to while you cook?
Queen for prep. We love Queen. And the Killers when we’re running behind and need a second wind.
Jeremy Fox’s On Vegetables is one of my favorites. It’s approachable but also very progressive. He’s one of my idols. Again, not just saying this, but GP’s books are amazing. I’ve cooked out of them for many years. They’ve always been a great inspiration for clean eating.
What are five things you always have in your fridge?
1. A jar of pickles. It can be pickled vegetables or just dill pickles—those are my favorite.
2. A jar of really good French Dijon mustard.
3. I usually have some homemade oat milk. I toast the oats beforehand and add cacao to the mix and use it in my morning coffee. It’s a little bit of work to make, but it’s pretty simple, and the result is so luxurious.
4. Date and nut truffles to curb my sweet tooth.
5. Leftover rice for making soup or fried rice or to have with the finadene sauce I mentioned earlier. I’ll even turn it into dessert with a little coconut milk for a quick rice pudding.
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