Folks on Instagram know him as Chef Greg. Based in South Florida, he’s a member of the legion of young chefs of Haitian descent who are experimenting with Haitian cuisine, giving it mainstream presentation, while keeping its flavor intact. Keep scrolling down to read all about Chef Greg and his journey as a foodie and culinarian!
Kreyolicious: Tell us about yourself.
Chef Greg: About myself? Well, let’s say that [I’m] still a mystery I have yet to discover…But I grew up with my mother and my grandmother. Watching them cooking was beautiful and they had always let me be in the kitchen with them which was probably the happiest moments of my childhood.
Kreyolicious: When you were little, what sort of messages did you get from your surroundings about a man in the kitchen?
I didn’t know my dad until I was four years old but my grandma and mother always told me to be true to myself, do what’s makes me happy but most of the kids in the neighborhood would tease me. They thought I was gay since I didn’t care much about other things other than cooking [Laughter], but I did not care. I knew who I was.
Kreyolicious: Who taught you to cook?
I learned how to cook from my grandma who I miss dearly.
Kreyolicious: Scientists are always discovering new planets. What if you were chosen for a mission and had to stay goodbye to your friends and fam. You decided to cook them a dinner. What would you make?
Kreyolicious: What if you could create a committee of advisors…made up of chefs and food influencers? Who would you choose and why?
I would choose Paul Bocuse. I hope someday to be just like him. I haven’t met him, but I study his work a lot which is why I believe so much on fresh ingredients when cooking. Gordon Ramsay ’cause of his high demand [for] perfection.
Kreyolicious: You been to Haiti?
Yes. I grew up in Haiti, but the last time I was there it was on my 18th birthday.
Kreyolicious: Have you ever had a bad cooking day? If so what led to it and how did you resolve it?
Yes I have. My cooking is based on my emotions, so if I’m not happy with my mother or my girlfriend, then I’ll have a hard time to keep going…If I hear from my mom or my girlfriend, then I can recover from anything.
Kreyolicious: What do you consider your biggest triumph?
I don’t care much for triumphs, but I gotta say it brings me joy seeing the plates going empty in the dishwasher each time I send them out. I love when I see my customers with a big smile after eating…but if I have to choose I’d say closing Halloween night dinners without any complaints ’cause it’s my busiest day of the year.
Kreyolicious: Do you think Haitian cuisine can get as mainstream as Chinese and Mexican food?
Absolutely! I believe Haitian cuisine has the potential to be bigger than any of the names cited, but it’s all up to us Haitian chefs not to change the ingredients. Simply present it in best possible way as most people eat with the eyes.
Kreyolicious: Did you receive any formal chef training?
Yes. And still learning.
All images are courtesy of Chef Greg, and are his intellectual property.
CLICK HERE to follow Chef Greg on Instagram and see gorgeous photos of his scrumptious dishes.
CLICK HERE to read interview and profiles of other chefs of Haitian descent.