5 Questions with Kimberly Parris (video)

Kimberly Parris

This week on Sweet Han’: Caribbean Cooking with Sarina our guest cook is Kimberly Parris.

A Jill of all trades by nature, Kimberly got her start studying criminal justice in college before deciding that she was better suited for education and psychology. Her change in direction came in handy as she moved through the ranks, eventually running programming for various nonprofits. During this time, Kimberly got the culinary itch, and, with her daughter and her family’s support, went back to school for culinary management. Having completed the program with the former New York Restaurant School, she branched out once again to create the culinary social purpose business K. Parris Enterprises LLC, and managed to work with such names as Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child, the cast and crew of Chicago: The Musical, and, most notably, with both celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito on the pilot of Bravo’s “Rocco’s Dinner Party”, where she was the first winner, as well as being featured on the popular Food Network show “Chopped”.

Troubled by a family situation in particular, where some young women that were a little older saw their value in ‘catching and keeping a man’, Kimberly created the nonprofit organization herDIVAspot (DIVA being acronym for Divine Intelligent Voices of All ages), a year-long program based on the national core standards for education, with programming that includes self-esteem and acceptance, financial literacy, community advocacy, identity and development, just to name a few.

To date, Kimberly is the face of the “CaribDiva” brand – food, words, love and soul – where, through her passion for food, her love of words, and her desire to help, she can provide tasty French inspired Caribbean meals and easy entertaining techniques to the masses, use her words to promote food and love, and use her soul to help other young women in need. Visit her website (premiering January 2013) at www.thecaribdiva.com.

Social Media Site: www.thecaribdiva.com

TG: Who are some of your heroes/role models? Why have they touched/inspired you?
KP: I love my grandmother, she was one of the people
that taught me to cook, and she’s such a trooper…it didn’t matter what was
happening to her, she found a way to thrive in spite of it all. My brother
is my other role model – so many people are able to do exactly what they’ve
set out to do as kids…but he has and is thriving.

TG: What is your most prized possession and why?
KP: I don’t actually have any prized possessions…possessions are relative and dispensable. I
have prized people and that’s really about it.

TG: What is your favourite ingredient to cook with?
KP: I have a thing for cilantro! It’s versatile and flexible and I love its flavor.

TG: What do you like most about TriniGourmet?
KP: Our Trini culture is constantly underrated by a lot of things: underexposure, confusion with Jamaican culture, etc. To that end, I love that Sarina is bringing Trini culture to a bigger audience in such a creative way.

TG: If there’s one dish from Trinidad & Tobago that you think people
should try what would that be?
KP: You gotta try some roti and some doubles!

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