This Q&A first published in the Spring 2015 print edition.
Get to know “Chef Alain Lemaire”
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born and raised in P-au-P Haiti until I graduated from high school and moved to Florida to pursue my education in Culinary Arts.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
A: I always had an interest in food. I always found it fun and interesting to showcase what I can do, especially because I am an entertainer at heart.
Q: What is your favorite food memory?
A: My all-time favorite would have to be my grandma cooking back in the day. The flavors were on point, fresh
and exquisite. Until now, I cannot duplicate them. That’s how good they were.
Q: Where were you trained and how difficult was your training?
A: I received my education at Johnson & Wales University. However, I’m becoming a chef through experience in the field.
Q: How do you get your inspiration?
A: “What drove me was the desire to be a better chef, make money and enjoy life. This entire attitude changed in 2012 after a trip to Haiti. Nowadays, my inspiration is Haiti. I get my inspiration from her: the ocean and the fruits she bares, the beautiful scenery, the mountains and all the organic vegetables, the people and their never say never attitude, our culture and how rich and colorful it is. My inspiration and motivation comes from Haiti because every day I work hard to show to the world what she has to offer, what resources, both material and human, she produces.”
Q: Favorite kitchen equipment or gadget?
A: Aside from my knives, which can do so much, I really would have to say a combi oven. It can be used as an oven, a steamer or a combination of both, hence the name ‘combi oven’.
Q: Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?
A: The best reward is to see your guests smile, laugh, close their eyes, and sigh while enjoying your dishes. Priceless!
Q: Best cooking tip for a novice just getting into the business?
A: Work non-stop on your craft, get to know who you are and find your identity.
Q: Who in the food world do you most admire?
A: I have to say Bobby Flay. I love his methods and techniques and the fact that he is an expert in Tex Mex. Aside from him, I like Gordon Ramsey from Hell’s Kitchen because of his no b.s. attitude.
Q: What do you think is the most challenging ingredient to work with?
A: I would say octopus because of its texture. If you screw it up, there’s no saving it.
Q: Do you have a favorite wine?
A: I would rather say that I do have preferred varietals such as Merlot from France and Sangiovese from Italy.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
A: Five years from now, I do see myself touring the world and showcasing the beauty and richness of Haiti’s culture. In ten years, if God allows it, I can see myself running a very successful business, having multiple cook books and TV shows.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I enjoy going to outdoor events or to the gun range. It helps me get rid of stress and relax.
Q: What do you most love about your career as a Chef?
A: The fact that I am doing what I love the most, and making others happy while I do it, is satisfying enough to me. But, you add the travels and meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures then that is the icing on the cake.
Q: What’s your ‘Last Supper’ meal?
A: Last supper meal would have to be a juicy Kobe beef steak wrapped with apple wood smoked bacon, a creamy truffle mac and cheese and jumbo buttered asparagus with a Hollandaise sauce.
Q: How can people book you?
A: To book me, you can contact me directly at email@example.com or my PR firm SAVA PR firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Where can people find you?
A: I reside in South Florida but the world is my kitchen
Q: What do you have going on?
A: I am currently working on several personal projects such as an e-book and a cooking show.