Chef Kimberly started her professional career in the fashion industry yet she always had one foot in the restaurant business. Coupled with her love of cooking from a very young age & desire to please, she chose to hand in her high heels for a pair of kitchen clogs and switch industries, as she knew what she was passionate about and yearned to be living it daily.
She opened her first venture in 2010 with Miss Prêt à Manger, local product emphasized take out counter and catering company in Montreal serving about 500 people daily.
Needing more space to better serve her patrons, she opened Monsieur Resto + Bar right next door - followed by the catering companies Petite Miss Prêt (a non-profit division serving children in daycares with lower household incomes), Miss Tennis (which was the biggest restaurant at the Rogers Cup for 6 years), the MAC Restaurant (situated in Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Art) and Birdbar (Montreal’s premier fried chicken & champagne restaurant in Griffintown with HENDEN (the speakeasy hidden behind the grow wall in the basement of Birdbar).
Originality of the dishes, freshness of the organic produce, fair market prices combined with the love of her craft makes all of her restaurants fan favourite dining experiences in Montreal. She has starred in her own cooking show on the Quebec food-related network called Zeste in 2016 « Les Garden-Partys de Kimberly » and is currently working on many projects.
1. As the driving force behind three successful Montreal restaurants and a few amazing catering companies, your passion for culinary arts
is apparent. What drew you to this industry initially? What do you love most about this industry now?
Coming from a very large family, I was always surrounded by food, big family events and home-cooked meals. That most definitely was the first thing that drew me to the industry. Having studied marketing and journalism and beginning initial career in fashion, this is really a passion project and makes it easy to explain why I still love the industry now. I am a people pleaser and a giver; what better way to express those desires more than through the love of food and events?
2. The world of catering can be very diverse from handling intimate coffee meetings to large events like weddings and even in-home parties. Which types of events do you most enjoy catering? Why?
I truly love doing them all. From starting off someone’s day on the right foot with the perfect breakfast catering, all the way to personalized menus for weddings. There is no type of catering that I do not enjoy.
3. Who do you admire within the culinary community?
I admire all the warriors out there that still work like they mean it, create like they love it, and apply themselves like they are cooking the last meal they’ll ever cook! With that said my hero (who stopped cooking to become more of a food writer and television journalist) is Anthony Bourdain.
Alive; I would say admire different people for different reasons, one of which I can say has become a friend, is still a mentor and someone I admire is Alain Passard.
4. What would you make if you had the opportunity to make them brunch?
Oh boy! I feel like I would be nervous to make him brunch. If I did, assuming that he was in town visiting and sleeping on a Sleepenvie bed, I would insist on serving it to him in bed (haha, not to be confused with me being in bed with him, cause that is not what I am suggesting ;)).
I would make him a healthy and easy start to the day with a nice green juice, a small chia pudding with pureed frozen mango, bee pollen, unsweetened toasted coconut, toasted almonds and berries. A small steel cut oats bowl with micro arugula, coconut milk, crispy quinoa and fresh fruits of the day and a small bran-based muffin with carrot, cinnamon and walnuts. OBVIOUSLY a wonderful coffee to go with that. He can get pastries when he’s back in France!
Here is my recipe for Overnight Oats:
4 cups of oats, rinsed and covered with water overnight
following day, rinse again and portion in bottom of deep plates or soup bowls (need
surface area for presentation)
1⁄4 pint of micro kale
200 g toasted almonds
100 g toasted (& then crushed) macadamia nuts
100 g organic cocoa nibs
100 g goji berries or dry cranberries
1⁄2 peach per person (2 peaches) sliced, squeezed with lime and dusted with freshly
2 strawberries per person (8 total) sliced
place each topping in lines in desired order, drizzle with a little maple syrup ☺
5. We noticed at Le Birdbar that you have a few delicious benny options. For those of us that don’t have your culinary expertise, what are three tips you have to create the perfect benny at home?
There are a few tricks I use; one of which is adding vinegar to the water and starting a little tornado with your spoon before dropping the egg in to poach. I also put a timer on--no need to reinvent the wheel! When you know how long it takes to make a poached egg, you know. Lastly, you want to be cracking that egg in a small glass bowl first to catch any pieces of shell that you may have trouble finding if you crack it directly into boiling water.
The other tip I can give you is that no combination is a mistake--keep on trying different combos, sauces and no-sauce benny’s (ie: melted cheese, melted VEGAN cheese, spicy tomato sauce or sautéed veggies as a topping to the traditional sauce) and just make it your own!
6. You’ve just gone out for a night on the town with your best buds; everyone comes back to yours and they’re starving. What’s on your midnight snack menu?
Hehe yeah, not to sound cliché but I would make a one-pan poutine! So that everyone could jump in there and have some, family style. But the reality is I don't have that stuff on hand at my house. So, who doesn’t love a little fried chicken ?
Here’s how we make it at Le Bird Bar:
Deep fried chicken - Brine
- 1 whole chicken – split in 10
- 8 cups water
- 2 tea bags (I usually go for English breakfast or Earl Grey)
- 3 bay leafs
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup kosher salt
6 cups of ice
- Chicken split in 10 (2 wings – 2 breasts split in 2 each – 2 drumstick – 2 thighs)
- In a pot put the water, tea bags, bay leafs, sugar and salt, whisk a little (make sure not to break the tea bags)
- Bring to a boil and let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Strain the liquid in a container, and add the ice. ****
- Let the liquid come to room temperature and add the chicken pieces.
- Brine for 12 hours (in the fridge).
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken pieces.
Deep fried chicken - Flour
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
|- Mix all ingredients together|
7. What’s your secret to sweet dreams?
I try to make sure I'm actually IN BED when I feel sleepy, rather than on the couch, and that my screens are OFF, my humidifier is ON, and the DND settings of my phone are on as well ;).
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ABOUT MISS PRET A MANGER
Miss Prêt à Manger is a trendy space with gourmet groceries & a daily changing menu of ready-made, farm-to-table dishes. Located at 1104 Rue de Bleury, Montréal, QC H2Z 1N4.
ABOUT MONSIEUR RESTO + BAR
Monsieur Resto + Bar is a farm-to-table bistro fare & burgers are served in this restaurant & bar with a relaxed vibe. Located at 1102 Rue de Bleury, Montréal, QC H2Z 1N4.
ABOUT LE BIRD BAR
Le Bird Bar is a contemporary eatery that pairs fried chicken & cocktails and offers weekend brunch & vegan options. Located at 1800 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3J 1M5.