Kim Stodel is a South African born bartender, writer and entertainer living in Los Angeles, CA. Kim left Johannesburg in 2001 for the US where he received his BA in English lit at UCLA. After college, Kim worked as a professional actor most notably appearing on several national tv commercial spots, NBC’s “The Office”, and starring in several independent feature films such as 2010’s sxsw’s competition pick “Los Chidos” directed by Omar Rodriguez Lopez of “The Mars Volta” fame, and the cult action adventure “The Knights of Badassdom” directed by Joe Lynch and starring Peter Dinklage, Summer Glau and Ryan Kwanten.
In 2010, Kim convinced the bar manager at Bar Chloe in Santa Monica to hire him with no prior experience. He started as a barback and quickly fell in love with hospitality and the craft of making really good drinks. A quick study, he fast moved up to become head bartender. He started entering and winning national cocktail competitions and took over the program of the rooftop pool bar at The Sixty Beverly Hills hotel.
Acting had to be put on the back burner once Kim was given the opportunity to join the team at Providence, one of LA’s most iconic and prized restaurants. He had never worked in fine dining, let alone a 2 star Michelin restaurant, but he knew it was an opportunity to hone his craft and learn from the best.
Since taking over the bar program at Providence in 2016, he has single handedly shaped and refined the style and focus of the bar to one of the most forward thinking and innovative sustainable programs in the city, if not the country. Having access to a world class kitchen helped open his eyes to new ingredients and techniques, but more importantly, showed him how to focus on sustainable practices. Once he began to create drinks using sustainable zero-waste techniques and in harmony with the kitchen by using its by-products, his cocktails began to take on a life and identity of their own. His creativity soared and he was able to pursue a craft passionately and with great skill while attempting to tackle real problems like food waste.
Kim’s cocktails and methods have since been documented and written about in publications including The New York Times, The LA Times, Esquire magazine, Buzzfeed, Forbes magazine, E, The Sierra club and many others.
When not behind the bar, Kim finds joy in cooking, travel, yoga, riding his bike, and playing the ukulele.