Meet Kim Calvo
Kim Calvo is an Open Water Diver, professional chef, busy entrepreneur, and savvy business woman. She has an extensive background in restaurants, culinary competitions, catering, corporate dining and being a private chef. When she’s not underwater you will find her creating and serving the most amazing food from her famous food truck, which could be located at either her local neighborhood, city plaza, pool, or market, regional winery, sporting event, movie shoot, or private function.
If you’re fortunate enough to secure a reservation for her private Supper Club events, you will enjoy some of the freshest, most delicious and unique pairings of entrees and wines you’ve ever experienced. To keep up with her, you need to follow Kim on Twitter or Facebook, and check out her website at The Seasonal Palate.
Kim, how long have you been scuba diving?
I’ve been diving for seven years.
What is your current scuba certification?
I have an Open Water certification.
What would you describe as your most memorable dive?
My first dive in Turks & Caicos. We told the dive operator that this was our first ocean dive, and they took us out just beyond the reef. The dive operator said that we would be the last two off of the dive boat and there would be somebody waiting in the water for us. The instructors jumped in, and told us at about 10 feet down we would see a volcanic tube that we would slip through and pop out of at 60 feet. I turned and said to my dive buddy, “did he say swim through the tube?” This was nothing I had done before so it was a little nerve-wracking, but we hopped in the water and did it. I was so close to the diver in front of me (in the tube) that literally his fins were right next to my mask. So, we popped out of the tube and it was just this blue abyss! I looked down, and the first thing I saw was a shark, which was about six-feet long right below me.
How deep were you then?
We were at 60 feet, and the dive instructor turned and gave me the signal of the shark, and I nodded my head, “I see it, I see it!” It was a fabulous dive, but it was not exactly the type of dive where you jump off the back of the boat and kind of piddle around amongst the coral that we thought it might be. It was very exhilarating but great fun.
Describe your worst dive?
My worst dive was not something that actually happened to me, but to my dive partner who was on her first ocean dive in Belize. The dive instructor, instead of staying with her and keeping an eye on her, just jetted away underwater! So, it was very difficult even for all of us to keep up with him.
What was your depth underwater?
We were probably at 75 or 80 feet, which was pretty deep for a first dive. We went down and my buddy stayed with me, but because they did not really do a checkout dive and she had not been in the ocean before, she was not really weighted properly and she was too light. As she breathed through her tank then, she became too light and she breathed so much air trying to chase down the dive instructor to signal to him that she was too light and she needed to go up. The instructor never turned around. As a group, we were all kind of looking at each other, and I was trying to keep up with my buddy so she would not be alone, and she just started going up. She got to about 25, then 15 feet and was too light, and she surfaced right away.
Was she okay?
We were concerned whether or not she would get the bends. It was scary, needless to say, and we were worried, but she did not need anything other than a little oxygen while we were on the boat, just as a precaution. Our dive instructor really just wanted to say that it was the fault of my dive buddy’s new BCD and that was the problem, and otherwise she would have been fine. They chose not to take any responsibility for not staying with someone who was brand new underwater, and that was a little disconcerting.
This really emphasizes the importance of having a good dive buddy, doesn’t it?
Absolutely. I thought to myself that if I had surfaced too quickly, I could do it somewhat controlled and I know I would not panic and could get up there and tell the dive operator on the boat what was going on, but it was just really careless on their part, and this was really too bad.
From there on out, we just did shallow dives right inside the reef so my buddy would feel comfortable and not get panicked about going back out again. If you have a really bad experience as a new diver, it can ruin you for life and you never want to get back in the water. That was really not a fun way to start a dive trip with a friend and do something that she had not done before.
Where would you most like to dive that you have never been yet?
The Cayman Islands.
What is your favorite piece of dive gear or your favorite gadget you use for diving?
My dive computer. Even though it is getting to be a little bit “old school”, I love it. In fact, it is something that before I actually learned to dive, I had seen someone’s dive computer and it just fascinated me. I learned all about it and how it worked, and this guy went and stuck it in a sink of water and showed me what went on, and I thought that I had to have one of those. I like the idea of a dive computer and the safety of it and having all of that information literally at your reach.
What is the latest dive gear that you purchased?
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not diving?
I enjoy listening to music, reading, cooking and golfing.
What is something that people may find surprising about you?
When I was young, I was afraid to put my head under water!
So tell us what you do for a living.
I own The Seasonal Palate, which is a catering company, a food truck and private chef service.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the dive community?
Being underwater and hearing your own bubbles is the most relaxing place there is…it takes you out of your own head and allows you to enjoy another environment that many others are not as fortunate to experience.