SALT LAKE CITY — A 24-year-old graduate of Culinary Institute of America and recent pastry chef at a two-star Michelin restaurant in New York City is sharing her passion with fellow soldiers while mobilized at Fort Douglas, Utah.
Army Reserve Spc. Dain Shim, a combat medic and native of Seoul, South Korea, assigned to the 479th Chemical Battalion, 415th Chemical Brigade, 76th Operational Response Command.
Shim is mobilized in Utah using her medical skills to monitor the daily health of soldiers but is also making baked goods and pastries each week.
“She made it very clear that she would love to use some of her civilian skills to share the love,” said Col. Diane Godorov, who oversees Spc. Shim and her fellow medics. “I love the Army Reserve because there is the opportunity for you to get to know someone not just in their army career but what they do in the civilian world.”
Of the nearly 150 soldiers deployed to Fort Douglas, there are endless civilian specialties that come within the group. Chefs, cooks, doctors, lawyers, veterinarians and teachers make up the citizen soldiers mobilized with the 76th Operational Response Command.
“I didn’t really expect this kind of opportunity to bake for soldiers while being mobilized so I’m really grateful for it,” Spc. Dain Shim told Fox13. “I used to work at Restaurant Daniel near Lexington Avenue (New York City); it’s a two Michelin star restaurant. The owner Daniel Boulud owns a lot of restaurants all over the world.” Spc. Shim has been baking for nearly 10 years. She gained citizenship by enrolling in a program with the U.S. Army Reserve.
“She was not ordered to do so this, it is of her own free will and she bakes once a week,” said Col. Godorov who helped Spc. Shim gain access to the kitchen at Fort Douglas. “She also baked a cake for the Army Reserves 112th birthday.”
Shim has baked cakes, cookies, pies, special themed desserts for Cinco De Mayo including churros and will continue until she is demobilized from the mission.
“It feels nice to hear all the compliments and very motivating to do this more for people because I’m sure they miss their home,” said Spc. Shim.