Recently, celebrity chef Ron Duprat and former model Fayola Nicaisse visited Haiti to examine conditions six months after the devastating January 12, 2010 magnitude 7.0 earthquake centered near PORT-AU-PRINCE. Overcome by the deplorable post-earthquake living conditions and hunger still rampant in their homeland, Duprat and Nicasse became more determined than ever to do something to address the still existent near famine conditions. Chef Duprat has partnered with Bergeron Land Development, Inc. to establish a culinary center in Haiti in an effort to help alleviate hunger in affected areas.
Duprat teamed up with Nicaisse - who is the founder of the highly-successful ébène organic skin and hair care line - shortly after the earthquake in a common love for their country and their eagerness to contribute to relief efforts. To meet their collective goal they are also currently working on expanding her line of skin care products. A percentage of the products' proceeds will benefit their continued relief efforts in Haiti.
"Ron is an amazing chef," Nicaisse commented. "I asked him to develop new flavors for my product line. Chef Ron and I will collaborate and build from there by borrowing from his culinary expertise to add flavors and scents to soaps and lotions in my ébène Skin and Hair Care line." She continued, "The idea is to incorporate extracts and spices from different Haitian cultural dessert dishes to share a little taste of home with our customers, while contributing to a great cause."
While in Haiti, Duprat prepared a dinner at Caribe Hotel; visited shelters; met with young entrepreneurs from the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF); and served meals at the Food for the Poor feeding center.
Extremely disturbed by what he found, Duprat said "We went to L'hopital general [Haitian community hospital] and cite soleil [Sun City, an extremely impoverished and densely populated commune located in the PORT-AU-PRINCE metropolitan area] it's inhuman." He also visited a chicken farm as he plans to partner with Perdue, one of the nation's leading poultry companies, to obtain training for Haitians to learn to raise chickens for their own consumption, but most importantly to establish businesses and create jobs. Duprat explains, "This effort is a marathon, not a sprint."
ABOUT CHEF RON DUPRAT:
A fierce competitor on Bravo TV's sixth season of "Top Chef," Chef Duprat has cemented himself as an expert in exotic flavors - often incorporating his own Haitian Creole influences with French-Asian Fusion cuisine. The Celebrity Chef chose the culinary profession as an outlet passion, and also for the tradition that fills the storybook of world cuisine.
The community-minded chef is a board member of FLIPANY (Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth), an organization that provides affordable physical activity and nutrition programs for youth. Duprat is vice president of the Black Culinary Alliance (a nationwide non-profit, educational and networking organization of hospitality and food service professionals); a member of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative that addresses solving the challenge of childhood obesity; a member of No Hungry Kids; manager of Real Men Cook Miami, a subsidiary of Real Men Charities, Inc.; and a member of Basil Magazine's Chef Council.
ABOUT Pan American Development Foundation (PADF):
Created in 1962 through a unique agreement between the Organization of American States (OAS) and the private sector, the Pan American Development Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization 501(c)(3) that creates public-private partnerships to assist the least advantaged people in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Having worked in every country in the region, PADF engages community-based groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national, state, and municipal governments, and the private sector in the process of implementing appropriate solutions for sustainable development. Through these partnerships, PADF seeks to achieve excellent and lasting programmatic impacts in creating economic opportunities, promoting social investments, strengthening communities and civil society, and preparing for and responding to natural disasters. www.imunitedforhaiti.org
ABOUT Food for the Poor, Inc.
Food for the Poor ministers to spiritually renew impoverished people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Established in 1982 as a 501(c) (3) corporation, the organization's goals are to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children we serve. Food for the Poor raises funds and provides direct relief assistance to the poor, usually by purchasing specifically requested materials and distributing them through the churches and charity organizations already operating in areas of need. www.foodforthepoor.org