Kimberly Lallouz (better known as Kimberly LaBlues) is a busy chef and owner of two restaurants: Miss Prêt à Manger and Monsieur Restaurant+Bar. She is a master mind who never stops working on new menus, exciting projects and fun business avenues. Her playground? The kitchen.
Kimberly has successfully built her businesses from scratch and is not planning on stopping anytime soon... and that makes her Montreal's ultimate boss girl.
How did you get into restaurant business?
I've always loved feeding people from a very young age - having a big Jewish family meant lots of cooking, and it definitely had an effect on me! Spending time with my grandmother as a child as well.
The business aspect came with a bit of guts and keeping my mouth closed about what I was doing until I got it done, to avoid too many opinions… some that could have swayed me away from following my dreams even if they weren't as glamorous as my fashion industry days.
As a boss girl, what would be your word of advice to other female entrepreneurs who look up to you?
I believe in making things happen for yourself, don't sit around waiting for someone to hand you an opportunity. Once you decide what makes you happy and get a taste of working in the domaine you love, go out there and get it! Nothing should stop you from making things happen. You may have ups and downs but focus, live, do what you love and don't dwell on the negative out there. I feel support when surrounded by the right people. Being an entrepreneur can be difficult - sometimes a little extra difficult simply because I'm a female but I choose not to focus on any of that. I just rely on good friends and (unofficial) mentors that I trust to get advice from.
Do you eat at restaurants other than your own? If so, what are they and why do you enjoy them?
Yes! I even travel to eat! But in Montreal, we have awesome cultural diversity - which means it’s actually hard to choose. I enjoy revisiting old classics and discovering new restaurants the same. Keeping one's ear to the ground is important.
But the best part of eating out in Montreal for me is visiting my friends… so lately I’ve been going to Jatoba, Foxy, Ichigo Ichie, Soubois, Le Red Tiger… can’t wait to try Le Mousso, and go see my friends at Montreal Plaza… ahhh the list goes on…
They say that men are intimidated by successful women. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
Firstly I wouldn’t call myself successful just yet - still working hard on my book of life! But yes, overall I agree… you must be familiar with this issue. ;)
I’m a hopeless romantic, waiting to meet the exception to the rule!
Are there any future projects you’d like to talk to us about?
Yes, I'm opening a restaurant in Griffintown in a couple of months with and old friend, Massimo Caporusso. It’s called Bird Bar and will serve amazing fried chicken. We have such great front of house and back of house teams lined up, we’re really excited to be in the neighborhood.
1800 Notre Dame west you can Follow us on Instargram, Twitter or Facebook to keep updated. @lebirdbar
Where did you celebrate New Year’s?
In NYC with my siblings! We had some Brooklyn pizza with left over truffles and bubbles before heading to a warehouse party in Williambsurg, followed by dancing at a dive bar. Was an early night but a lot of fun.
Do you think anyone can be taught to be a good cook or it’s more of a talent that you’re born with?
Absolutely, one or the other! Or both!
Tell us about your trip as a chef to Tulum. Was it more business or pleasure?
It was a pleasure to work there, cooking for the Voyage Balnéa yoga retreat guests. I consider myself lucky, because my mother, who lives in Europe, also came with my sister. So when I wasn't cooking (all day), I got to spend quality time with them. Also made a really great new friend, my sous-chef there, Stepanie Audet.
I think we'll be working on some new projects in the future and hopefully heading to the next retreat with Stephanie Emond!
What are your 2016 resolutions?
I don't make resolutions because working on yourself should be a daily thing and finishing something you start is important.