While most of us in Miami have grown up on a steady stream of Cuban fare, the delights and taste infusions of Haitian food are harder to come by. That's a shame, because a good Haitian meal has many of the staples we love--beans and rice, fried plantains, goat, pork--plus bold hits of African and French influences.
If you're curious and looking to expand your palate, The Haitian Culinary Alliance will be offering up food, drinks, music, and more at the 2nd annual Taste of Haiti event this Saturday.
"We felt the need for an event like this event," says Alain Lemaire, chef and co-organizer of ToH. "There's nothing in the U.S. that is geared toward Haitian food and we thought it was something we could do as far as uplifting our culture."
Since the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, the country has been battling to rebuild its image. Too often on the news we see images of ravished cities, gangs, and undernourished children. But there is resilience about Haiti and its people, a determination to create rather than stay static, which is obvious in their cuisine.
"There's nothing else in the U.S. like this," Lemaire says. "Nothing that is geared specifically toward Haitian food."
Traditional items such as griot, fried pork, rice and beans, and soupe de Grimond, a thick, pumpkin soup, will be available for purchase. But there will also be plenty of chefs with creative and innovative offerings.
Last year, for example, the winning dish of the cook-off was a cassava-crusted snapper, served over black mushroom polenta with a tomato and chayote salad.
Delicious food, family fun, music, not to mention a cook-off a la Chopped? As they say in Haiti, se la pou la. Come experience it.
The Haitian Culinary Alliance, the offices of commissioner Jean Monestime, the city of North Miami, the Consulate General of the Republic of Haiti in Miami, and the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida are all to thank for the event.
If you go:
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Saturday May 10, 2014
MOCA Plaza, 770 NE 125th Street, Miami, FL 33161