I started cooking as a child in the small town of Ridgefield, Connecticut where I grew up. My parents worked long hours as owners of Liberta’s Spirit Shoppe our family Liquor/Wine business for over 30 years. I loved to play around in the kitchen so this gave me the opportunity to cook for my family and find my passion. I was blessed to have loving parents and an amazing culinary arts teacher in High School that encouraged me to follow my dream.
I started working in the hospitality industry at age 16 at a local country club snack shop and never turned back! I wanted a well-rounded education and hands on is how I learn best! I have been blessed through the years working in some very unique environments including a dude ranch in Dubois, Wyoming during Culinary School. The ranch was located about 3 hours from Jackson Hole and the Grand Teton Mountains. I was the assistant to the main chef preparing 3 meals a day several outside over camp fires in the middle of the Rocky Mountains! One of the best experience of both my personal and career life.
After graduating from Johnson and Wales University with a Culinary Arts Degree in the early 90’s I have seen and experienced a lot and have trained with some amazing talent throughout the years. I have lived and worked in many large cities and small towns around the country, including Wolgang Puck Café at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Real Restaurant Corp from San Francisco’s Fog City Diner Concept in Las Vegas, San Fransisco and Chicago. I have been on the opening and closing teams for several concepts around the country! One of my favorite positions was as Executive Chef for the South Gate Group north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. I reached my goal of Executive Chef by the age of 30 and was running 3 concepts under one roof. We had an American Café, French Bistro and Take and Go bakery with fresh breads, breakfast and lunch. This was my favorite because no matter what crazy creative idea I would have it would fall under one of these concepts. I resigned as Chef when I was 8 months pregnant and my cooks could no longer pass my belly! The opportunity to become a full time mom was available to me and I happily accepted!!
After the birth of my daughter, Lucynda fifteen years ago, my title changed from Chef to Mom! Being a home cook was a new experience for me… no prep cook, no cleaning crew… so it took me about a year to learn the tricks of this, very different trade! Preparing 21 meals a week plus snacks for a family can be overwhelming even for the best cooks. I never have been very good with too much time on my hands so when Lucynda was little and we lived in Minnesota I worked on developing KIM JAMS and would sell them at the Local Farmers Markets. I first created these jams while working with Fog city Diner in Chicago. I have never been a traditionalist so you will never see a one fruit jam with KIM JAMS. They are always combinations such the original Raspberry Peach or Strawberry Grape, Lucy’s favorite!
When Lucynda was two and a half we moved to Cypress, Texas northwest of Houston. Once settled into our new environment I joined a local MOMS Club. In talking to fellow moms, I found that many struggled with preparing healthy meals every day. People are often hesitant to try new dishes and frequently find themselves trying to prepare something in 30 minutes before running off to meetings, soccer games or dance practice. That’s where the concept of Cookin’ with Kim began. My business has taken many different turns since 2007 and now as a single mom it is what supports my daughter and I. I am certainly blessed to awake every day loving my career, making mealtime easier for others while continuing my most favorite job as Lucynda’s Mom!