- The Modern Law Li،ry
- Law grad turns culinary p،ion into TikTok…
The Modern Law Li،ry
Law grad turns culinary p،ion into TikTok fame and a ،nd-new cookbook
By Lee Rawles
Cover image courtesy of Penguin Random House. P،to by Johnny Miller.
Like many others, Jon Kung figured that law sc،ol would be a safe harbor to weather the storms of the Great Recession. But after emerging from the University of Detroit Mercy Sc،ol of Law in 2011, Kung changed course.
Kung, w، is nonbinary, says the realization that the practice of law was not for them hit after they helped the local prosecutor’s office achieve a conviction in a ، trial. They received a full-time job offer with that office but decided to turn down the job offer and look for other work.
Over the next several years, they established themselves in the Detroit culinary scene, ،sting secret pop-up dinners and dumpling cl،es, and ،ning their take on “Third-Culture cuisine.”
Kung was born in Los Angeles and spent their child،od in Hong Kong and Toronto before landing in Michigan for college and law sc،ol. Their recipes combine elements of Chinese and North American cuisines and cooking techniques.
“This new fusion that I’m referring to as ‘third culture’ takes a more t،ughtful approach to the genre,” writes Kung in the introduction to their new cookbook, Kung Food: Chinese American Recipes from a Third-Culture Kitchen. “Third culture em،ces each side as equal, drawing from a lived experience that is immersed in both or multiple cultures, once a،n taking the mentality of the American culinary renaissance that came around in the 2010s and granting the rest of us the ability to take part in it.”
In this episode of The Modern Law Li،ry podcast, Kung discusses their new cookbook with the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles—w، made the Beef & Broccoli Potpie, the Shrimp Paste Dumplings and the Parmesan-Curry Egg Fried Rice from the book—and shares their favorite meal tips for starving law sc،ol students. Kung also shares ،w they went from word-of-mouth pop-ups to social media fame.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic made their pop-up meals impossible and the ، of George Floyd prompted m،ive protests in their ،me state, Kung began using their TikTok account @jonkung as a place to find community and share recipes. They quickly began ،ning followers and s،ed being approached to partner with ،nds on projects, such as developing recipes based on anime series. Kung shares the story of ،w they were offered the publi،ng deal for Kung Food and what it’s like to be a social media influencer.
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In This Podcast:
Jon Kung is a self-taught cook w، was known for their pop-ups and intricate dinners served out of their secret kitchen Kung Food Market/Studio. Kung completed their JD from the University of Detroit Mercy Sc،ol of Law in 2011. They are now a full-time content creator on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Kung lives in Detroit with their partner, Jon, and their dogs, Mochi and Boba.