As a group of women working towards common goals for STYLE Canada‘s brand and business, we understand the value of peer support in the workplace. So, after our last Supper Club at Soho House, we decided to bring like-minded women in business together and feature them in an ongoing series: #LeadingLadies.
Mijune Pak – International television, food and travel personality
SC: Tell us about yourself.
MP: I am an international food and travel personality, founder of Follow Me Foodie, and resident judge on Top Chef Canada and Iron Chef. As an advocate for culinary tourism, The Sunday Times named me one of the “World’s Most Extreme Foodies”. I also judge The Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards, Bocuse d’Or Canada National Selections, Air Canada’s enRoute Best New Restaurants, Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, Taste Canada Awards, BC Product of the Year Awards, Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship, and many others.
I was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., and started my food and travel blog in July of 2009. My hobby quickly turned into a full on career.
Alongside judging and on camera work, I am a curator and host for culinary and lifestyle events, public speaker, collaborator, and spokesperson.
SC: What unique obstacles have you overcome to get to where you are today?
MP: I started my blog in 2009 and I was pretty young. I didn’t go to culinary school and I never worked at a restaurant, and here I was, writing a restaurant blog as a customer. At that time blogging was popular, but it was hard to get respect from traditional journalists or professionals working in the industry. I’m thankful for the teachers and chefs who have taught me so much about the industry and food, and for those who supported me and saw potential. Respect has to be earned and I’m still continuously learning and trying to do better.
SC: What has been your greatest achievement over the past decade?
MP: My biggest break professionally is being signed with Food Network Canada and being a judge on Top Chef Canada. It still makes me teary eyed when I think of the day I found out they wanted me as resident judge. I had validation with other “wins” along the way, but this was the one that made me feel like I was on the right path. It was the validation I needed when I felt like giving up and I am so thankful for it.
SC: What do you love about your industry?
MP: It keeps me creative, curious and excited. I don’t even know if my “industry” is food, media, or entertainment, but it’s a combination and all of them keep me alive. I’m curious about food, so I ask questions about it as media, and then I’m excited to share with you all on my social media and media outlets.
SC: Do you have a side hustle?
MP: Yes! I’m currently working on a jewellery line inspired by restaurants I’ve been to around the world and dishes I’ve eaten. I’ve been working on it for a while and have shown some sample pieces on the show and on my Instagram, but it’s a work in progress. I will eventually have them for sale on my website.
SC: How would friends and acquaintances describe you?
MP: Oh my! So many adjectives come to mind… Bubbly, energetic, expressive, intense, passionate, loving, social, witty, competitive, driven, ambitious, persistent, type-A, creative, crazy… so many.