News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Nov. 22, 2017: There is no denying Caribbean nationals operate in all sectors in the U.S. Diaspora and the culinary arts in no exception. Here are seven Caribbean-born chefs you should know:
Chef Ron Duprat
Chef Ron Duprat is a celebrated restaurateur, Top Chef contender, author, humanitarian and executive chef. He was born in Haiti and his “rebirth” of sorts began after he and his family survived a 27-day boat trip from Haiti to Florida when he was just 16. Once in America, Ron Duprat was given an opportunity as a dishwasher in a Little Italy restaurant before quickly moving up the ranks to chef after pursuing education in Paris France and the United States, most notably the Culinary Institute of America.
Chef Ron credits those comforting times in his grandmother’s kitchen as the basis for his food philosophy: fresh, flavorful, seasonal ingredients that create mouth-watering dishes with a nod to his heritage. But he is fueled by a specialty of French fusion spiced with Caribbean flair, Chef Ron has cooked for dignitaries and heads of state, was appointed Culinary Ambassador by Hillary Rodham Clinton, and wrote his own book called “My Journey of Cooking.” He even showcased his signature French Caribbean cuisine to millions of viewers during his appearances on Good Morning America and The View.
Chef Andre Fowles
Chef Andre Fowles is a Jamaican chef who has won the Food Network show “Chopped” and was runner-up in the “Chopped Championship.” He was born and raised in Central Kingston, and trailed his grandmother, Mama Cherry, in the kitchen from a young age—watching her every move. Chef Fowles received his initial culinary training at Runaway Bay HEART Academy and later, once he’d arrived in New York continued his education at the Culinary Institute of America. From 2006 to 2010, he cooked at both Mac’s Chop House as pastry and pantry chef and at Top Shelf Catering as sous chef. His most formative cooking experience was at Round Hill Hotel and Villas Montego Bay under Chef Martin Maginley, where he had the privilege (and challenge) of cooking for Paul McCartney and his family for a week. He has also worked as a chef of Miss Lily’s.
Chef Alain Lemare
Chef Alain Lemaire is an award winning Haitian-born chef and contestant of Food Network’s hit series Cutthroat Kitchen. He is the Co-owner and Executive Chef of Sensory Delights, LLC and Arome Catering, both full service catering companies based out of South Florida and Haiti respectively. He is a graduate of the culinary program at the acclaimed Johnson & Wales University and has since spent most of his career in South Florida infusing the bold Caribbean and Latin flavors into his dishes. Chef Lemaire was the winner of the 2017 Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival Celebrity Chef Throwdown. He is also a huge supporter of education, giving back to the community and the less fortunate and has partnered with Haiti Chefs for Education, World Central Kitchen and Easter Seals South Florida.
Chef Ronnie Vincent
Chef Ronnie Vincent is a Bahamas-born chef and former contestant of Food Network’s Chopped. Chef Ronnie is now executive sous chef at Joe’s Stone Crab on South Beach, Miami. He was raised by a single father who worked three jobs to support his family and after tearing his ACL and having his first child during his sophomore year in college, he decided to not pursue football but instead focused entirely on his culinary career, reading books, teaching himself, and practicing cooking in his own kitchen.
Chef Hugh ” Irie” Sinclair
Chef Hugh A. Sinclair, better known as Chef Irie, is a Jamaican-born chef and South Florida resident who is now the host of “Taste the Islands,” a TV show aired on PBS. He has an associate’s degree in the Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in North Miami and has worked at some of South Florida’s Premier establishments including Turnberry Isle Resort, Charlie’s Crab, Cascades and Bimini Boatyard. Today he fuses the influence of the islands with the influence of his travels through Europe and the Far East.
Chef Troy Tingling is a Jamaican-born chef who is the full time personal chef to NBA All-Star player, Amar’e Stoudemire. Tingling graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and went on to work at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica as well as the Seminole Casino, Wyndham Orlando Resort and Sheridan Four Points in Miami Beach. He has been featured in Men’s Journal Online and is committed to raising awareness of the hardships in Jamaica and bringing joy back to the island in which he was born and loves.
Chef Jose Valines
Chef Jose Valines was born in Puerto Rico and attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in NYC. He is deeply rooted in the farm to table philosophy. He is currently executive Chef at Gigi BBQ Noodles, a modern Asian-fusion diner in Miami.