Eunice Byun is the co-founder and CEO of Material Kitchen, which creates sleek kitchenware for modern home cooks. Prior to building her own business, she worked in a number of different industries, including finance and early start-ups.
Q: What are three words people use to describe you?
A: Dreamer, discerning, empathetic.
Q: What inspired you to start Material Kitchen?
A: Too much junk in my NYC apartment kitchen! My co-founder Dave and I were in awe of the sheer amount of kitchenware that people accumulated but rarely loved. We wanted to create something that people cherished and took pride in, both because of its beauty and its function.
Q: How would you describe your design style?
A: Minimalist with a twist.
Q: What is one thing you learned as the co-founder of Material Kitchen?
A: How many highs and lows you could experience, all in one 24-hour period.
Q: What is your favorite dish to cook?
A: As the weather gets colder (and as a San Diego girl), I’ve been loving lamb tacos. The warming spices of cumin and chile powder pair beautifully with ground lamb, which we top off with a quick pickled radish and jalapeño slaw. An added benefit is there are always leftovers for a taco salad the next day.
Q: What’s your favorite type of flower?
A: I love ranunculus. They feel a little never-ending to me with all their layered petals.
Q: Name your favorite comfort food?
A: Kimchi-jjigae with a hot bowl of rice. My mom makes the best variations of kimchi-jjigae, which is a stew of ripened kimchi with tofu, pork and vegetables. It has such depth of flavor and thankfully, my husband makes a mean version of this dish!
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from your mom?
A: To never be afraid to ask for what you want. The worst that could happen is they say no . . . and then you find another way.