Embassy of Haiti Welcomes Celebrity Haitian Chef Jouvens Jean to Washington! 

As part of the Haitian Embassy’s culinary diplomacy series, we are pleased to welcome Celebrity Chef Jouvens Jean to Washington during the weekend of February 10th for a memorable Haitian culinary experience.

In collaboration with the Embassy, the Smithsonean will host Chef Jouvens for a cooking demonstration “Cooking Up History” at the National Museum of American History on Saturday, February 10, where he will prepare a Haitian recipe while sharing about the traditions behind its ingredients and culinary techniques. Shortly after the demonstration, a dish inspired by the demonstration will be made available to the thousand of guests who are expected to tour the museum that day for purchase at the Café.

On Sunday, February 11, the celebrated Chef will join us at the Embassy as a guest Chef for our next cooking class.

About the Chef:

Talented, charismatic and determined, self-taught Jouvens Jean possesses a professional and personal background to impress most, with a slew of top-notch cooking gigs under his apron, and a line-up of respectable accolades – including winning Food Network’s Cut Throat Kitchen season 6, 2014 and also Food Network’s Chef Wanted season 13, 2013 and receiving a proclamation for his own Jouvens Jean Day on June 28, 2013 from the mayor of Miami-Dade County.

Born and raised in the Bahamas to Haitian parents, Jouvens spent his formidable years devouring seafood plucked straight from the turquoise waters of Nassau. Summers were spent sampling fresh conch salad on the beaches and working the ins and outs of local super markets and construction jobs with his father.

In the summer 1993, Jouvens’s parents moved him almost 200 miles west to Miami, Florida for better opportunity and education. Jouvens began cultivating a deep interest in cooking, when a close friend, working at a local red sauce Italian restaurant, helped him land a job working under the table as a prep cook.  For two years he kept his mouth close, eyes and ears open and learned the fundamentals of the kitchen.  From 1997 – 1999, Jouvens career gathered momentum, first at Coco Pazo Café in South Miami, where he was named chef de partie at the young age of 19, and then at Kiss Café in Coconut Grove, where he held the title of sous chef.

Jouvens truly honed his craft after landing a position as chef tournant, overseeing all cooking stations at the famed Baleen restaurant at Grove Isle, where he served under esteemed chef Robin Haas until 2002. Eventually finding his way to Atrio at the Conrad Miami Hotel, a well-received Latin-Asian concept headed-up by then acclaimed Executive Chef Michael Gilligan, Jouvens was appointed executive sous chef, leading the restaurant in culinary competitions as well as designing and executing a dinner at the famed James Beard House in New York City.

Amidst all of this growth and professional acumen, Jouvens attended Florida International University, where he also served as a teaching assistant in the school’s cooking classes. Jouvens had the prestigious opportunity to serve as culinary instructor in the study abroad program in Tianjin China at FIU-TUC (Tianjin University of Commerce). He also served as assistant culinary coordinator for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s popular Bubble Q in 2007, and graduated with a B.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2008. In 2009, the W South Beach hotel selected Jouvens to take the roll as executive sous chef of the hotel.

Jouvens’s first break through roll was in 2010 as Executive Chef/Partner at the dual concept, Mediterranean/Japanese Restaurant & Lounge, Sawa, at Merrick Park in Coral Gables.

After numerous well-deserved nods;

  • 2007 Michael E. Hurst Student Forum and Salute to Excellence Award
  • 2008 Outstanding Leadership Award from Florida International University
  • 2011 Legacy Magazine Honoree of The Top 40 Under 40 Leaders of Today and Tomorrow
  • June 28, 2012 officially proclaimed by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, as Jouvens Jean Day
  • 2012 Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Black Hospitality Initiative Alumni Achiever Award
  • 2012 Seafood Chef of the Year, Most Innovative Dish of the Year and Gold Medal Winner in the Individual Competition for the Taste of the Caribbean
  • 2012 ProStart Pineapple Award FRLAEF Industry Participant of the Year

and a very successful three years at Sawa, the young chef was once again struck with the opportunity and challenge of opening Starwood’s luxury resort property, St. Regis Bal Harbour as the Chef de Cuisine of outlets. Known as “the most anticipated opening of 2012” by Forbes Magazine, Jouvens was challenged with operating four of the St. Regis Bal Harbour’s six food and beverage outlets, a challenge he gracefully conquered.

In 2013, the thriving go-getter was sought out by restaurateur Hurbert Baudoin to take the helm of his Florida Keys landmark restaurant Pierre’s at Morada Bay. At nearly the same time, Jouvens made his national debut on Food Network’s popular Chef Wanted television program where he competed and won the chance to head the kitchen of the then soon-to-open Nikki Beach in Ibiza, Spain. Jouvens turned down the position to stay at Pierre’s where he could be closer to his family.

Chef Jouvens truly came into his own by launching the Pierre’s menu of classic French dishes with strong Caribbean influences using locally sourced ingredients. The menu quickly gained notoriety for being innovative, well executed and on-trend. In 2014 Jouvens was once again sought out by the food network to compete in the popular Cut Throat Kitchen hosted by Alton Brown. And once again chef Jouvens came out the victor and won the cash prize in which he used to start the Chef Jouvens Foundation.

As the saying goes “home is where the heart is” so in 2014, Chef Jouvens made a culinary pilgrimage to Haiti, back to his roots to do research for his up and coming book highlighting Haitian gastronomy.  His book, Tap Tap Diaries, will be published in late 2018.

During his time in Haiti Chef Jouvens set the proverbial bar of food & beverage for some of the islands’ best hotels and restaurant establishments from Hotel Kinam to Hotel Karibe to the Marriott Hotel Port Au Prince as a consulting chef. In 2016, he opened the very hip and chic JoJo Restaurant at the Evergreen Plaza in Port au Prince where he held the position as Executive Chef.

In the midst of all of his culinary accomplishments Jouvens serves as a sergeant in the Army Reserves.

Click here to learn more about the “Cooking Up History” Program.