Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee


Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee




Los Angeles, CA



Own Words

I didn’t start my writing career wanting to write about Korean food and culture. It happened by accident. In fact, I started my “adult” life, thinking I was going to be a doctor. I was a pre-med student, double majoring in Biochem and Visual Arts when I was in college. After working at a hospital, a cancer research center and a bio lab, I got turned off from the whole medical thing and concentrated on art. I studied painting, conceptual art and installation and have a degree in Fine Arts. I still make a living doing it (It is actually possible, so don’t despair!).

These days, though, I spend most of my time writing. I write about food, travel, film, arts, culture—pretty much anything that isn’t “hard news.” I woke up one morning and decided that I wanted to be a writer. I had been writing ever since I was a little girl and I wanted to do something that allowed me to continue making art, have a flexible schedule but still be able to pay the bills.

I just got lucky that the first story I pitched was to the “Los Angeles Times” Food Section. I’d been reading it religiously every Wednesday since I was 9 years old and thought “Why hasn’t anyone written about kimchi in all these years?” I’m going to do it! And I did.

That was over a decade ago. Since then, I’ve written 2 Korean cookbooks (”Eating Korean” and “Quick and Easy Korean Cooking”), a travel guide for Korea (”Frommer’s South Korea,” the second edition is coming out in May) and I just finished writing “Quick and Easy Mexican Cooking” (don’t want to pigeon-hole myself, as much as I love Korean food).

I love introducing people to Korean food and culture and especially love teaching cooking classes to people who’ve never even picked up a pair of chopsticks. I’ve taken it on as my personal mission to introduce Korean food to the world, one bowl of rice at a time!

Popular Locations

Visit KoreanBeacon.com

Latest From Our Blog


Latest Tweets


Join Our Mailing List

We’ll be sending infrequent emails about new features, fun events, and cool merchandise. Sign up and be in the know!



Sarah Kent

Age 33 | Minneapolis, MN

Caleb Jang

Age 17 | Charlottesville, Virginia
Student at the University of Virginia

Julius Tong Kun Henderson

Age 28 | Glendale, Arizona

James Hong

Age 25 | Fullerton, CA
Perpixel Photography LLC

Matthew Davidson

Age 21 | St. Paul, MN
Full-time Student

Dai Sil Kim-Gibson

Age I was born in 1938. | New York, NY* (Longer description below my "Own Words")
My name card says, “writer/filmmaker.” So I must be that.