Chef Chris Viaud: Serving up Haitian culture, togetherness through food – Haitian Times

The Haitian Times
Bridging the gap
Chef Viaud and his family use popup to share Haitian culture with their community.
by Michael Cleverley
On Aug. 7, the New England community of Milford, N.H., will receive a special treat when three acclaimed Haitian chefs — Chef Chris Viaud, Alain Lemaire and Sebastien Solomon — come together for A Taste of Haiti at Viaud’s restaurant, Greenleaf.
Gratin lalo lambi, cod croquettes and fried mayi moulen are among a variety of Haitian-inspired dishes on the $125 prix-fixe menu the trio of chefs will prepare.
The event also doubles as one of organizer Viaud’s monthly pop-ups called Ansanm, which means “together” in Creole. He began organizing the pop-ups in 2021 as a way to reconnect with his Haitian roots, while creating space for families to connect. 
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“The cuisine is filled with stories,”  Viaud said, a former Top Chef contestant. “The time involved in the cooking process — from washing the meats with a citrus marinade to ensure the meat is clean, to the ingredients being used, [the] tons of herbs and spices to be prepared — allows a family to connect and talk about the day while preparing the meals.”
Viaud’s family eventually saw this tradition as an opportunity to share Haitian culture with the wider community. So they created the monthly Sunday dinner pop-up out of the same space as the higher-end Greenleaf, a farm-to-table, seasonally-inspired restaurant. 
The Ansanm events showcase Haitian culture not only through food, but also with music and art.
The menu is updated monthly, and cost varies. Check Ansanm’s Instagram account for updates.

The following are some recipes of Viaud’s favorite Haitian dishes.
“Poule Nan Sos” – Stewed Chicken in Creole Sauce
Serves 2-4
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“Diri Kole ak Pwa” – Rice and Beans
Serves 2-4
½ cup kidney beans (soaked overnight)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp epis
2 tsp adobo
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp salt
1 cup basmati rice – rinsed
“Epis” – Haitian Spice and Marinade
Yield about 8 ounces
2 scallions
¼ bunch of parsley
1 ½ oz of garlic
¼ of a large onion
1 tbsp thyme leaves
¼ each of red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers
¼  habanero pepper
1 oz olive oil
juice of ½ lime
salt to taste
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well. Taste and add additional salt if needed and blend again.

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