"I get inspired from the food I grew up with in Haiti. Such an amazing array of flavors and ingredients."


What made you want to become a chef?

I still think that till today, this profession chose me, and not the other way around. Never did I think of choosing being a chef as a career, but I always loved to cook. It wasn't until my last year of high school working with my cousin who was a chef did I consider cooking as something I could do for the rest of my life. 
Who has influenced your cooking style or your philosophy on food?
My cooking style has been influenced by Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse who are my favorite Chefs on television. They used ethnic food as a platform and really bring bold flavors into their dishes. Once I understood that food from my country could be used as my own platform, I started focusing on bringing Haitian food to the forefront. 
What inspires you or where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspired from the food I grew up with in Haiti. Such an amazing array of flavors and ingredients. 
What is your favourite method of cookery or preparation?

What is your favourite ingredient?
An indigenous black mushroom from Haiti called Djondjon.

What is your favourite kitchen tool?
My Chefs Knife
What is your favourite section in the kitchen to work on during your apprenticeship?
I love making sauces. 

Where you like to eat out?
I love street food. 

What would you like to see change with the cook schools?
I think students coming out of culinary schools don't really have a clear idea about this industry. They want to be stars right away. 

Your advice to young chefs?
Learn, learn, learn. You will realize very quickly that's the biggest asset you have. 

What do you look for when hiring staff?
Someone who is hungry to learn, attitude. 
What would you like to see change in the industry?
I would like to see recognitions for Chefs and restaurants across the board. It's great to have the 50 best restaurants/Chefs in the world, Michelin stars but what about the rest of us. 

How do you deal with awkward guests?
I love awkward guest. It gives me an opportunity to educate. 

What is your first memory of food that blew your mind?
The ham my grand-father use to make at Christmas time

What is your favourite escape to relax?
Cooking for friends and family, I get in this zone, it's an amazing feeling. 
What drives your ambition?
The opportunity to change things. 

What is your signature dish?
I have many, but that has won me lots of recognition is my Kreyol paella with seafood and the indigenous mushroom found in Haiti "djondjon"
How do you motivate your team?
Show them that I am one of them always. 

How do you think restaurants should be rated?
I don't know, but I think there should be multiple categories

If you had to build the best kitchen team who would be in your kitchen all stars?
I would choose a couple of my best boys : Chef Jouvens Jean, Chef David Destinoble, Chef Dimitri Lilavois, Chef Stanley Fabre and my kitchen team in Haiti at Canne a Sucre.