Can you tell us a bit about your background? Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Haiti in 1987, I arrived at the age of 13 on the island of St. Martin with my father to study there.
How long have you been a Chef? What inspired your decision to become one?
I obtained my BEP cuisine diploma in 2007 and was appointed Chef in 2013. It was by accompanying friends during their CAP cuisine that my passion for cooking began, but it was above all by working with many incredible cooks that I was able to become a Chef and earn the opportunity to share my own cuisine.
What do you like about life in St. Martin?
St. Martin is my adopted island: I grew up and built my life here. It is an island with a mixture of cultures and many natural and cultural riches, including (of course) gastronomy. I myself participated in the operation organized by the office tourism on the theme of Tamarind, an ingredient with which I had never worked. It was a real pleasure to discover my recipes with this particular ingredient. I think that challenge reflects the essence of St. Martin: always something new and exciting to discover.
What do you like to do when you have a day off?
When I'm off, I like to go see my friends, rest and taste the cuisine of other Chefs.
What ingredients do you prefer to cook with? What are your favourite dishes, both to prepare and eat?
It’s tough to pick a favourite ingredient. I like to cook with everything without limitation, creating a mixture of flavours, and always adding my little touch. It is a real pleasure to share my cooking. I have no preferences: I prepare my dishes according to my desires and especially the desire of my customers. I know how to adapt!
Is there a particular ingredient or dish that embodies the flavour and spirit of St. Martin and why?
There are no particular dishes; everything is appreciable. Depending on the restaurants you visit, you’ll have the opportunity to sample the full breadth of global cuisine: French, Caribbean, Asian, Indian, etc. The spirit of St. Martin is that diversity: every flavour and cuisine has a home here.
If a visitor was only spending one day in St. Martin and could only have one meal, what would you recommend?
In my restaurant, certainly the tuna tartare with avocado or the fillet of triggerfish with its citrus sauce.
Do you share with visitors who want to take a little flavour of St. Martin home with them?
I can share everything: it’s actually quite common that I share my recipes with customers. I’ve even gone as far as having a customer reproduce one of my dishes in the kitchen with me. In doing this, I learn from them too, as they then share a recipe from their home with me. It’s one of the most rewarding ways to learn.
On your next trip to St. Martin, stop by and ask Chef for a recipe!