Chef Kimberly Lallouz, well-known in Montreal for her successful restaurants : Bird Bar, le restaurant du MAC, Monsieur Restaurant + Bar and her catering company Miss Prêt à Manger, is qualified by her peers and agent as a “traveling chef”. But what does that mean, exactly?
« It means that I love to get out of my restaurants, a get out of town, moreover the country, to cook, she explains. I love to showcase what the Montreal food scene is all about, and bring in my suitcase some local delicacies (curd cheese, bagels spices, maple syrup, etc.). There is something very scary but yet very interesting to get out of my comfort zone to cook with ingredients I don’t know, a team I don’t know, in a kitchen I am not familiar with, and to recreate some of my signature dishes, with a local twist.»
Kimberly cooked in Spain, Italy, Australia, the United States (Miami, New York, Los Angeles), the Cayman Islands for the Cookout (where she met Anthony Bourdain) and already two times in Mexico, where she will be again very soon for a pop up she is doing in Punta Mita. « I am very excited about this one because it is the first time I am cooking for a hotel, taking over a restaurant and a kitchen on a resort. My next culinary adventure will take place from November 28-December 3rd at the very sexy and cool (like me, laughs) W Punta de Mita where I’ll be a guest chef for the event Taste of Autumn Culinary Weekend.»
Kimberly stayed at this funky beachfront boutique hotel of the well-known W Hotel brand in Punta de Mita, a “boho cool” peninsula located in the Mexican state of Nayarit, about 16 km north of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. Punta de Mita is one of the most exclusive communities in Mexico that is still undiscovered by Canadian travellers. But because it is located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and an hour and a half drive from the closest international airport, Puerto Vallarta, it is still a “well kept secret” for travellers wanting amazing food, great beaches and luxury hotels. To get there from Montreal, travellers can travel with Aeromexico, who flies from Pierre-Elliott Trudeau to Puerto Vallarta (with a connection in Mexico City) daily.
« It is true that Punta de Mita is not the first destination that comes to mind when it comes to Mexican vacations, agrees Kimberly. But it should; I was there last December, and I stayed at W Punta de Mita – that is how it all started – and I absolutely loved it. The resort is unbelievable, very funky, very artsy, super cool, with a perfect surf/boho vibe that I liked very much. The destination itself is less crowded, with amazing beaches and, of course: delicious food. I wouldn’t of accept to do a pop-up event there if I didn’t like the food and the ingredients we find in the Nayarit’s markets.”
Kimberly will arrive on November 26th in Punta de Mita to shop and finalize her recipes. She already went few times to meet with local chefs, chat with producers and vendors and finalize the last details with the kitchen team at W Punta de Mita. She will cook for an entire weekend at the hotel and, for that matter, had to create one cocktail, two dinners, one lunch and one brunch menu.
« It is a lot of menus, but it will be fun. The hotel is promoting the event and it is reserved for a maximum of 30 guests. Invitees can purchase the package with the hotel where I’ll be creating all the recipes in addition to going to the market and doing a cooking demonstration with the guests.»
Why did W Punta de Mita chose Kimberly Lallouz to be a guest chef? «It was destiny, said Carlos Obregon, Marketing and PR Manager for the hotel. She visited as a guest, and had prior collaborations with W Hotels. We knew it was a perfect fit for the Thanksgiving culinary concept we wanted to build. Kim has French – Canadian influences, a market that is growing in our region. She’s authentic, bold and innovative, which are all attributes that we can definitely align with at W Punta de Mita.»
For more information about Taste of the Autumn Culinary Weekend with Kimberly Lallouz at W Punta de Mita visit the event website.
by Catherine Maisonneuve