Morgan Pritchett
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How Did I Miss “The Kia Kitchen” During the Pandemic?

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The Kia Kitchen logo
Prepare your taste buds for some Kia-inspired meals
Photo: Kia

I’ve been writing about Kia for a few years now and I’d like to think I’m keyed into what the brand is up to most of the time. From K-pop collabs to sponsoring esports tournaments, I can confidently say that I probably know more about what Kia is doing than most of my fellow writers on The News Wheel. But I must admit that I have just now discovered something that occurred during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s… amazing. As a way to keep Kia fans entertained, the automaker’s U.S. PR manager, Neil Dunlop, created The Kia Kitchen.

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In an interview with Forbes, Dunlop said, “I thought of The Kia Kitchen because I missed interacting with our media friends. The relationships I and the rest of the Kia team have built are valuable to us and we wanted to reach out in a fun and different way. And, we thought it was especially important now that the world is reeling from the pandemic.”

What is The Kia Kitchen?

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but when searching for photos on Kia’s media site, I saw the words “The Kia Kitchen” overlaid on an image of a countertop, which immediately caught my attention. As a self-proclaimed foodie who grew up watching Emeril Lagasse, Julia Child, and many more, the idea of an automaker doing anything related to food was intriguing. What I discovered by clicking on the image was incredibly amusing.

A total of 13 videos were filmed by Kia employees from April to July, creating recipes inspired by Kia vehicles — complete with themed names. It starts with Dunlop making the Georgia Peach Smoothie, an homage to Kia’s manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia. From there, we see a variety of styles and effort levels given to each of The Kia Kitchen videos. From Shamit Choksey’s throwback ’80s sitcom intro to Denisse Montalvan’s daughter helping her make Hybrid HabaNIRO Guac, many of the videos are entertaining.

Kia HabaNiro Concept New York Auto Show exterior
The Kia HabaNiro concept debuted in 2019
Photo: Kia

However, some took a different approach and focused on highlighting the Kia lineup instead of the food they were making. It also seems like each person was given free rein to the amount of editing and transitions to put in their videos, which resulted in a jumble of homemade, albeit endearing, clips.

Here’s the complete episode list (and recipe names):

  • Episode 1: Georgia Peach Smoothie
  • Episode 2: Soul-ful Cookies
  • Episode 3: Hybrid HabaNIRO Guac
  • Episode 4: Telluride Tater Tots
  • Episode 5: Seltos, Son of Hercules, Greek Omelet
  • Episode 6: Kia Dilla
  • Episode 7: “Give It Everything” Nachos
  • Episode 8: Super Simple Stinger Sausages
  • Episode 9: “Give It Everything” Cereal
  • Episode 10: Frozen Forte Banana Bites
  • Episode 11: Kimchi Fried Rice
  • Episode 12: Grilled Bratwurst
  • Episode 13: Telluride Turkey Burgers

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How can you watch The Kia Kitchen?

Strangely, none of these videos seem to have ever seen the light of day outside of Kia’s media site, which likely isn’t visited by the everyday consumer. There’s no sign of them on any of the Kia social pages or even on its YouTube channel. They might’ve been sent in an email newsletter to Kia owners… Or perhaps they were only made for Kia employees, in which case, I have to wonder, “Why not just send them privately?” But thankfully for you, I’ve downloaded all of them and have compiled them into a whopping 43-minute video below. Bon appétit!

Watch: All 13 Episodes of “The Kia Kitchen”