As part of its ongoing effort to showcase Haiti’s rich culture and creative talents, the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, DC invited award-winning Chef Jouvens Jean to lead a weekend of Haitian culinary activities in the city. Chef Jouvens – who spent a year traveling throughout Haiti researching how each region of the country uses different techniques to cook food – shared his knowledge and talent with the public on two separate occasions.
On Saturday, February 10th, Chef Jouvens led a cooking demonstration of Haitian cuisine at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. To the delight of the capacity audience, he demonstrated a couple of Haiti-inspired dishes, including an egg roll made with griyo and pikliz. This collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution is part of a broader initiative of the Embassy of Haiti to feature the diversity of the island nation’s cuisine and chefs at major institutions in Washington, DC. In addition to the National Museum of American History, the Embassy has also brought chefs to showcase their talents at the White House and the World Bank, among other notable institutions.
On Sunday, February 11, the Embassy hosted Chef Jouvens at the renovated Chancery for its cooking class series where U.S. diplomats, DC area professionals, and members of the Haitian-American community gathered to learn how to make a 3-course Haitian meal, with a twist. During the culinary experience, Chef Jouvens expanded on the traditions behind the ingredients used in Haitian cuisine. He also demonstrated the versatility of the cuisine by introducing a Kreyol sushi roll made with griyo, diri djon-djon, plantains and pikliz. In addition to the Kreyol sushi roll, participants also learned how to make a cevice, beignet, as well as a Kreyol Mojito.
As a follow-up to this successful culinary weekend, the Embassy will organize and participate in a number of events over the coming months to continue to highlight Haiti’s cuisine. Later this spring, the Embassy will be selecting a chef to represent Haiti at the Embassy Chef Challenge, a culinary competition between over 33 Embassies in Washington DC, scheduled to be held on May 17th at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. As the winner of the contest’s People’s Choice Award in May 2017, Haiti looks forward to defending its crown at the 10th annual Embassy Chef Challenge.