I love Maryland. I have only been here for two years but it seems that everyday new things keep popping up in and outside of Baltimore that make me proud to live here. When the deputy press secretary at the office of the governor in Maryland reached out to be regarding our First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who is creating a new video cooking series called Yumi Cooks, I knew I wanted to learn more about it.

Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Maryland Governor  

First Lady Hogan is not only the first Asian American first lady in Maryland but also the first Korean American first lady in the country. And she has created a cooking series where she is sharing her love for cooking and her Korean culture and sharing with the state of Maryland and beyond. 

The inspiration behind this project came after South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics, First Lady Hogan said that "this allowed me the opportunity to share a bit about my home country’s cuisine with the people of Maryland. Food is known to bring people together, and I hope these recipes do exactly that.

Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Maryland Governor  

For her, "food is about home, family, and spending time together, as well as a great way to connect with and understand others." I also didn't know but in Maryland, we have many communities of Korean-Americans–this project allows First Lady Hogan to not only share her culture but also connect with more people in Maryland. 

Aside from the Yumi Cooks video series, First Lady Hogan is also sharing her Korean recipes at event such as the Buy Local Cookout which is a part of an initiative put in place by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission to "encourages all Marylanders to eat at least one locally grown or raised product each day of the Buy Local Challenge Week, which is always the last full week of July." This year, First Lady Hogan made homemade kimchi burgers for the cookout...sounds like the perfect fusion of her Korean-American background to me

Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Maryland Governor  

Growing up in an Italian-American household, I can relate to the love and sense of community that come around food. The beautiful thing about food is the universal language of it. Cooking, sharing food with others, and just learning about others cultures through food is a means of connection and serves as a bridge between people who are seemingly different from one another. Be on the look out for more episodes of Yumi Cooks and more delicious Korean dishes! 

First Lady, Yumi Hogan, hopes to "everyone will see just how easy – and tasty – Korean food can be. Hopefully, this will develop interest and appreciation for other ethnic foods too!" I will leave you with that, I don't think it could have been said any better myself.