Hacker Highlight: Bento

3 min readApr 4, 2020

Featuring: Kimin Lee

Welcome to our Hacker Highlight series! Looking for inspiration on projects to do at home? We wanted to bring you some of the fun and creative projects we saw at HackBeanpot 2020 to help get you thinking about a project of your own! This week we are featuring Kimin Lee, one of the creators of Bento, who talked with us about his experience building Bento 🥙

“Always feel like you’re buying new groceries-and never cooking? Bento can help! Bento allows you to explore recipes you have access to from the comfort of your own home, without having to go buy more.”

Kimin and Shine, creators of Bento

What inspired you to build Bento?

Have you ever opened your fridge, just to close it and to have the cycle repeat 5 minutes later? Our team wanted to tackle two problems that resulted from this. Firstly, the problem of having to throw away any leftover ingredients due to their expiration dates and causing food waste. Secondly, the problem of wasting precious time on deciding what to cook/eat (then ending up eating instant food). We built a program that allows you to search up recipes with the ingredients you currently have. We focused on the user experience, building a simplistic, yet modern UI/UX that is connected to our database of over 40,000 recipes.

Bento search for “strawberries” and the different recipes you can make!

What did you learn along the way?

I learned specific skills regarding the front end and back end development. First of all, I learned how to scrape websites using Beautiful Soup. I was able to store these data into a JSON format to build a database. Secondly, I learned how to utilize various libraries in React such as blueprint and pose. I gained more experience in front end development using React (HTML, CSS, JS). Additionally, I gained hands on experience in software development from scratch.

What part of your project are you the proudest of?

I’m very proud of our UI/UX design and the whole functionality of the product. I really like how the user interface turned out. I think we made Bento very easy to understand and browse through. I’m proud that we were able to complete a functional project with real life applications. I can see Bento being used in people’s daily lives.

Could you talk about how you went about the visual work for your project?

For our visuals, we tried to deliver an almost minimalistic vibe. We decided that it would be best to have a simple design that helps the user utilize the main functionality of Bento. The pose library in React allowed us to implement unique animation designs (such as when the recipes pop up one by one when you search for recipes). Our logo and logo animation was created wit the Adobe Creative Cloud. — Shine will have more insight on this

Anything else you would like to say about your experience at HackBeanpot?

I loved the atmosphere and environment at HBP. Everyone is very supportive and passionate to learn and create something awesome. The HBP staff provided us with any logistic questions and were very friendly. I LOVED the food provided for us as well. I was able to gorge myself with food to replenish my energy to complete our project!

Interested in being featured in our next highlight? Let us know about your project at team@hackbeanpot.com!