Tim Flores grew up just outside of Chicago with his parents, who immigrated from the Philippines in 1975. His first experience in professional kitchens was polishing dishes at GT Fish & Oyster between college semesters in Iowa. Flores returned to Chicago and transitioned to GT’s kitchen, where he met his future partner, Genie Kwon. In 2016 they helped open Oriole, a fine dining restaurant in the West Loop. In July of 2020, Flores and Kwon opened Kasama, a bakery and restaurant that serves modern Filipino food inspired by the dishes Flores grew up eating. Meaning “together” in Tagalog, Kasama is a reflection of both Kwon’s and Flores’ culinary backgrounds. In 2022, Kasama earned the first ever Michelin star for a Filipino restaurant. Also in 2022, Flores and Kwon were listed among Food & Wine Best New Chefs.