Keum Sook Park displayed an affinity for baking — and in particular, pastry — at a very young age while sampling the delicacies from her mother’s kitchen in her native Korea.
Sook took this passion with her to New York City, studying baking and pastry at the Institute of Culinary Education and the French Culinary Institute. She interned in prestigious kitchens under giants like Jacques Torres, Johnny Iuzzini, Eric Bedoucha and Michael Laiskonis, eventually landing a job at the famed Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
At the Pâtisserie, Sook produced stunning creations alongside luminaries like chef Rutilio Olivera, one of the most innovative pastry chefs in the country; the talented and gifted chocolatiers Bertin Ventura and Juan Feliciano; and master French bread baker Mario Cisneros, who perfected his skills at Payard and Maison Kayser. When Payard closed, Sook assembled these world-class artisans to open Sook Pastry in Ridgewood NJ in March 2011.
The pâtisserie had since become the beacon for exquisite French pastries, chocolates, and breads in Bergen County, with a huge following and a reputation for unwavering excellence. To complement the sumptuous sweets, the bakery offers an enticing array of savory selections for breakfast and lunch, including crêpes made in front of eager customers, with fillings like chicken with mozzarella or smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers.
As her contribution to the "Feed the Frontline and Helping Those in Need” program, Sook sends hundreds of nutritious crêpes daily to food pantries, soup kitchens, and hospitals all over Bergen County, a social commitment for which Sook Pastry had received the Jefferson Award for Charity from the Governor of New Jersey.
Keum Sook had appeared on "Watch What Happens Live" with Andy Cohen on Bravo and on Good Morning America on ABC; had received awards as a “Trailblazer in Business and Labor” from Bergen County, and through the years, a vast number of articles had been written about her and Sook Pastry in various publications, from local to the New York Times.