Executive Chef, Kaley Laird, got her culinary education from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York and focused on baking and pastry. She felt that choosing to focus on pastry at the CIA would allow her to delve deeper into the science and art of baking than if she chose to work on the savory side of culinary arts. After she completed her training at the CIA, Kaley rounded out her studies with Restaurant Entrepreneurship at Niagara University. She's spent much of her career working in pastry and chasing Michelin restaurants in order to observe and absorb as much experience as possible. The journey culminated in her position as Executive Chef at a mainstay of culinary delight in Uptown Charlotte - Mimosa Grill. Laird is only the second woman to ever lead the kitchen in the restaurant's 30-year history. Chef Kaley is really enjoying the people that she gets to work with daily at Mimosa Grill and the structure that is in place. She feels that the small management team allows for excellent communication and understanding between the entire team and helps to create the perfect blend of a sound corporation that has a small, personable feel. Mimosa Grill is part of the Burke Hospitality Group which also owns Harper's, Taco Molino, Horace's Hot Fried Chicken and One Catering.
Mimosa Grill opened its doors in 1996 when Uptown Charlotte had limited dining options and gathering places for evening socializing. The Uptown area has developed into a thriving neighborhood, and Mimosa Grill continues to remain a favorite among locals and visitors alike thanks to the inviting space and delicious, modern, Southern-inspired cuisine.
Mimosa Grill has been a longtime restaurant partner with Springer Mountain Farms and has featured many incredible dishes over the years like this current menu offering of Grilled Springer Mountain Farms Chicken Sandwich served with brown sugar sriracha bacon, caramelized onions, local lettuces and mayo on a locally sourced sandwich bun.
Mimosa Grill began working with local producers, growers and food artisans long before the farm-to-table trend exploded. Their lunch and dinner menus showcase their local connections and show off beautiful Southern food and drink with global influences and modern twists that have blossomed in the melting pot of the Charlotte food scene under Chef Kaley's direction. "I want us to continue to create menus that are very farm centric, but with a slightly more modern presentation for a new dining experience for our guests," says Laird.
Mimosa Grill is located at 327 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28203
Hours of operation: Monday - Friday 11:30 - 9, Saturday Brunch 11-2 and Dinner 5-9, Sunday Brunch Only 10:30-2
Book at table online at Resy.com
We asked Chef Kaley to DISH on upcoming events and her favorite ways to give back to the Charlotte community.
What special events do you have coming up at Mimosa Grill for the holidays?
Mimosa Grill is a festive space to celebrate holidays and special events. The staff is preparing for a special New Year's Eve menu and is currently taking reservations.
Their weekend brunches are also legendary! The brunch menu has something for everyone from Stuffed French Toast, Crab & Pimento Cheese Puppies to Mimosa Staples like the BYOB Fried Chicken Sammie. If you want to host your own event at Mimosa, they also offer private dining space and catering services.
What charitable organizations have you worked with recently?
I've really enjoyed working with Cookies for Kids' Cancer and Chefs for Kids' Cancer this year. It's an incredible non-profit organization that helps bring awareness to cancers specific to children by inspiring supporters to Be Good Cookies - getting involved and raising money for much needed research. It takes my passion for pastry and uses it for such a great cause.
Cookie's for Kids' Cancer is a national 501(c)3 non-profit and is committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved, and less toxic treatments for pediatric cancer. Pediatric cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S.