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KiNiMi Kitchen may only have launched five years ago, but it has already garnered an extensive following thanks to owner Kirbee Miller. The enigmatic entrepreneur has a career in the healthcare industry by day, then moonlights as a culinary expert, offering cooking classes, pop-ups, and even her own artisan popcorn line. Once you’ve seen Kirbee in action as she lends her passion to cooking and baking, one thing is clear: Her heart is in the kitchen. Please welcome this week’s FACE of Nashville, Kirbee Miller.

Kirby Miller looking to the side and laughing.

Meet our newest FACE of Nashville, KiNiMi Kitchen’s Kirbee Miller!

What is your first culinary memory, and what “fed” your passion for cooking?

I started cooking and baking at a very young age. I have always loved the creative process of making delicious food. Growing up in Michigan in a “cooking family” and surrounded by neighbors with various cooking styles, I had a diverse training ground — whether it was assisting my mother as she made her famous peach cobbler, watching my neighbor roast peppers for her delicious stuffed peppers (known around the neighborhood), or taking in every detail as my aunt made her legendary seafood gumbo. Each session in the kitchen was invigorating! I recall sitting for hours looking through cookbooks with fascination. I would select a variety [of them] from my mother’s baker’s rack, find a quiet place — often behind the couch with a blanket — and get lost in my own culinary world of imagination and possibilities.

One of my first memories in the kitchen involves learning to season food by how it “looks.” The correct amount of seasoning had a certain blend of color and texture. The intuitive aspects of cooking appealed to my love of creativity. The fact that I could create delicious and memorable dishes with my two little hands left quite the impression on my 5-year-old brain!

Kirbee Miller preparing a dish.

Kirbee describes her cooking style as intuitive and inclusive. “I have spent years learning and experiencing foods that span the cultural spectrum,” she tells us. “I love exploring various techniques and spices and crafting my own unique style.”

What inspired you to begin KiNiMi Kitchen?

We often rush past people; we don’t “see” them. Food is an equalizer. It’s a beautiful way to create delicious and inclusive spaces that foster connection. That’s what inspired KiNiMi Kitchen — the desire to cultivate meaningful connections that are nourishing on many levels. The concept of the “kitchen” transcends physical space. My goal was to build a brand that represents the safety, wisdom, warmth, and direction often experienced through the conversations that traditionally take place in the kitchen. My intention is to allow people space to discover and become more of themselves. I want to use the way that I’m designed, partnered with my life experiences, to be of service to build community.

What can guests experience through KiNiMi Kitchen?

KiNiMi Kitchen is a multi-dimensional concept where guests can experience private and corporate culinary experiences. [I do] television appearances, event hosting and moderating, and keynote speaking about resilience and reinvention. I’m also excited to share a new membership offering that will launch soon, where people who are interested in exceptional culinary experiences, conversation, and connection can find community!

What do you hope people learn when they book one of your curated culinary experiences?

I hope people learn the gift of being present and accounted for in the moment without having to “qualify” to be there. I always say there are two important requirements to be a part of one of my experiences: One, are you human? Two, do you get hungry? That’s it! During the time we spend together, my intention is for each person to learn delicious and nourishing recipes and experience meaningful connections. Nourishing that will sustain well after the session is over.

Tell us about your popcorn line, KiNiMi Pop!

Yum! KiNiMi Pop is an extension of my culinary creativity in the form of artisan popcorn. I enjoy creating food that invites you to pause and savor, and each flavor is intentionally designed to be a one-of-a-kind snacking experience. Popcorn is one of the most common snack foods, and I accepted the challenge to transform the blank canvas of the kernel! KiNiMi Pop has made its way around the globe and even landed in the VIP Grammy bags last year. It’s a go-to favorite for corporate and personal gifting as well as a fan favorite for luxury popcorn bars at events and weddings.

Black-and-white close-up of Kirbee Miller

“Entrepreneurship has not been a smooth road,” says Kirbee. “However, one of my favorite quotes by Haruki Murakami says, ‘And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.'”

What comfort food recipe do you go back to time and time again when you need a pick-me-up?

I love this question! I love to put on a good playlist and make homemade soup when I need to re-center and come back home to myself. The type of soup is dependent on the weather and my mood. The overall soup prep process of chopping ingredients and smelling the vegetables and spices combined over sizzling heat is soothing and creates joyful anticipation that instantly boosts my mood.

What is your go-to Nashville restaurant if you don’t feel like cooking?

There are a few spots I love in Nashville. On the top of my list is The Café at Thistle Farms! The Egg Stack (a brilliant combination of pesto, egg, feta, and arugula with a touch of sriracha on sourdough) and Lavender Lemonade is my go-to combination for an amazing flavor that hits the spot each time.

Kirbee Miller holding a platter of food

“The core mission of KiNiMi Kitchen is to use voice and creativity to connect people through conversation, culinary experiences, exploring, and creating memories,” explains Kirbee.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice is from my mentor at a distance, Oprah (I have not met her. Yet.). She has a quote: “Nourish what makes you feel confident, connected, contented. Opportunity will rise to meet you.” This has helped me when I’ve felt overwhelmed and lacked clarity. This simple “recipe” has helped me know that I don’t have to hunt down opportunities and force certain circumstances. Instead, my responsibility is to focus inward and carefully nurture the circumstances that make me feel confident, connected, and content. What is meant for me will NOT miss me!

Faith, family, and friends notwithstanding, what are three things you cannot live without?

I love that you covered the bases with the essentials. Beyond faith, family, and friends, I need soul-moving music, the ability to travel, create, and of course, unforgettable food.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Kirbee! And special thanks to Leila Grossman for the photography. 

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  Meet more inspiring women from across the South by visiting our FACES archives!

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