Chef Gabe Kennedy won the last season of ABC’s The Taste, but he won us over at Ora.TV years ago, when he was an intern during Larry King Now’s very first season. Since then, he went on to not only cook his heart out on The Taste, but also brought his food skills to underprivileged areas in Haiti through the non-profit organization Concern Worldwide. Above, Gabe joins his old boss for a chat about his adventures since leaving Ora.
Below, Gabe recounts some of his experiences traveling in Haiti from his blog and discusses how cooking is a universal language:
Day 1: Eggs Benedict and the Slums of Port-au-Prince
I arrive in Port-au-Prince and the humidity hits me like a brick, a sheer change from the cold New York winter. I am greeted by the Concern Worldwide team — Crystal, Kieran, and Ricardo. We exchange hugs and immediately the adventure begins. … We continue to meander through the streets, stopping to say hello to street vendors, looking at Concern’s programs and connecting with Grand Ravine residents. It’s nothing less than amazing. It is now time to venture to Nerline’s cooking school. … The initial idea was to teach these women how to prepare eggs benedict, a dish that uses cheap ingredients and transforms them into a delicious and often expensive menu item. The translator tries his best to explain what we are about to do and the madness begins.To read the full blog, click here.
Day 2: Coconut Chicken Curry In Haiti's Voodoo Heartland
Today we venture a few hours north of Port-au-Prince, to the village of Saut d’Eau. We weave our way through the cityscape of mainly shacks and through the other slums that were set up post-earthquake. Eventually we make it onto a road that runs parallel with the beautiful coastline. … As we arrive in the village of Saut d’Eau, a small oasis in a desolate environment. The roads are paved and people seem to be better off than the rest of what I have seen. The Concern office used to be the weekend retreat of the Duvaliers many years ago, where they used to throw lavish parties. It is now the center of change and positivity. … Concern provides them with a weekly stipend for projects that will better their life as well as materials for a garden and to build a more sturdy home. I am unsure if it is our presence, but there is a sense of apathy that is hard to describe.To read the full blog click here.
Day 3: A Budding Tourism Industry
The drive back to Saut d’Eau from our hotel is filled with church music, as we pass people dressed in their Sunday best. We venture to the new community ‘swimming area,’ part of Concern’s tourism program. It is beautiful to see the community coming together to build something for domestic tourists and locals. Water is diverted from the spring to fill the pool. The area will host vendors, family, and guests alike. … It is time to visit another project that Concern is undertaking. We visit a B&B that was built for a woman in the community. The undertaking is sizable but a lack of resources and infrastructure makes the process of building it long and arduous. The B&B is clean, organized, and rigged for power and running water. She tells me that she has only had one guest in the last year. Although that is slightly disheartening, she remains optimistic.
To read the full blog and learn more about Gabe’s work in Haiti, click here.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.