The 11th Annual Haitian Ladies Brunch
“It’s More than a Brunch, It’s a Network”
On Sunday, December 4, 2016, Ambassador Paul Altidor hosted over 300 professional women of Haitian descent from the Washington metropolitan area and beyond for a time of empowerment, fellowship, networking and traditional Haitian brunch. These women came from diverse occupational backgrounds, generations, and share different interests. The Haitian Ladies Brunch Host Committee was delighted to see that 35% of attendees were newcomers to the brunch, a 20% increase from last year. Of the new attendees, almost half of them were first time visitors at the Embassy of Haiti.
What started as a simple brunch between five women has grown into a network and platform for Haitian professional women to connect and uplift each other’s accomplishments. “Who would have thought that this would be the outcome eleven years ago?” Mrs. Nadine Duplessy Kearns expressed as she gazed at the Embassy’s filled ballroom. Nadine, also known as the ‘brunch lady’, is the initiator of the event. She relocated to the Washington metropolitan area from Boston in 2000. It all began when she invited five Haitian friends to brunch and arbitrarily the conversations led to the brainstorming and planning of the first annual ladies brunch launched in 2005.
The Haitian Embassy has served as the venue for the annual event for the past four years. . This most recent brunch was particularly special as the Embassy
recently concluded a large scope of renovations and was able to welcome the guests with an art exhibit from Gallerie Monnin. The collection features some of Haiti’s most prominent artists, and each art piece tells a story of the lifestyle, culture and unique history of the island.
The menu was conceptualized by Ambassador Paul Altidor and catered by Embassy guest Chef Magalie Pradel to offer the guests an exquisite culinary experience. It featured Haiti’s classical and traditional dishes such as Mayi Aranso ak Zaboka (Cornmeal with Smoked Herring and Avocado), Bannan Bouyi, sòs mori ak zé bouyi (boiled banana, codfish and hard boiled eggs) Haitian hot chocolate with croissants and fresh fruits and more.
Having left Haiti when she was just ten years old, one guest uttered, “Haiti Cherie!” as she enjoyed a hot cup of Haitian chocolate during Washington’s 40 degree weather. This reaction was common amongst guests from the Diaspora who left Haiti at a young age or were born stateside. Haiti’s cuisine tends to have a reminiscent effect on its children.
Midway through the brunch, the women engaged in a rather brave activity by pulling off the viral social media video craze, the Mannequin Challenge. We invite you to watch the results on our website at http://www.haiti.org/the-2016-haitian-ladies-brunch. We certainly hope you will enjoy it just as much as we did.
To learn more about the Annual Haitian Ladies Brunch or register for next year, please contact the Host Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.