By Ron Duprat
If it seems like I’m egocentric or boosting with braggadocio, I am far from it. There’s a mission, a purpose behind my boundless ambition–I want to give back. I can still remember cooking with my grandmother in Haiti. We cooked the fish we caught and used fresh produce from my father’s garden. I learned at a small age to live and eat well on a small budget. My parents dreamt of a medical school; but my memories in the kitchen propelled a different path for me. I believed I could do more with food as a chef to solve problems and bring people together than I ever could as a doctor. Inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela and the messages of Martin Luther King, I absorbed their life stories and committed myself to making a difference through food. In my eyes celebrity and philanthropy goes hand in hand.
One of my fondest contributions is my involvement with the Black Culinarian’s Alliance (BCA). I am an active and proud member of BCA– a mentoring, educational and networking society for chefs and other restaurant professionals of color. I try to instill in students some of the following lessons: what it means to be a chef of color in fine dining in a predominately white industry, menu creation, what it takes to succeed in fine dining, the restaurant world’s responsibility to fight hunger and the American restaurant world’s debt to immigrant creativity. This knowledge marks a real stride forward in the lives of budding chefs.
The unique tastes, smell of simmering sauces and feelings created alongside my grandmother are things that cannot be taught in a sterile classroom but is learned by immersion. I wish to instill similar memories and guide students toward a successful journey. It comes with the territory, as food is not only designed to nourish us but serve as a lifelong memories .Haiti isn’t known as a destination of any kind, but I tell people to look at how Haiti used to be the top tourist destination in the past and hopefully Haiti will be able to realize that status again and with that the other beauties of Haiti, including the food will be able to be recognized and cultivated
I hope to change that because Haitians have been enjoying great organic food since the beginning of time. The entree is home grown and the salad as fresh as can be when it reaches your table. You cannot ask for any better. Haitian food is the best-kept secret. Some my favorite Destination in Haiti La Coquille (great and authentic Haitian food, The View (gives you that US fine dining experience, and La Papaya (nice elegance). Everyone must taste the Lambi, drink Prestige and Barbancourt, and experience soup joumou, Moulin Sur mere Cotes des arcardins, Abacabay ,Port Morgan il a Vache, Gelee Les Cayes, Labady Cap Haitian ,Karibe Hotel the New Kinam Hotel ,Debbouze Jacmel ,Ile De la Tortue La Pointe-Ouest,Cormier Plage Cap –Haitian ,Anse D’azur Grand Anse Jeremie,Anse a Raisins Ile de la Gonave,La Trompeuse Aquin, , Best Western Premier La Souvenance , La Reserve , Folies Gourmandes in Pétion-Ville., Ti Phanie Restaurant, a Table De Caius, Chicken Fiesta