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Meet the Instagramer: @tchakayiti on the cuisine of Haiti

We’re following Annick Mégie, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, whose blog champions the cuisine of her homeland.

By National Geographic Traveller Food
Published 31 May 2021, 08:00 BST, Updated 2 Jun 2021, 11:41 BST
One of the pictures on Instagram page — a hot habanero (or scotch bonnet) sauce, a mixture of ...

A hot habanero (or Scotch bonnet) sauce — with a mixture of vinegar, salt, pepper, shallots and onions.

Photograph by Annick Mégie

What kind of food did you grow up with?

Typical homemade Haitian food, which mostly consisted of meat (poultry on Sunday), plantain or root vegetables, and rice and beans.

Describe Haitian food culture.

It’s a fusion of the cultures we’ve come into contact with — French, Indigenous, African and Middle Eastern. Our spicy Haitian cuisine is a labour of love and patience. We spend hours prepping food, which we season heavily with epis, our spice blend, and scotch bonnet. We find every excuse to host extended family dinners.

What are your favourite Haitian dishes to cook?

Dishes that take hours to prepare and are rich in flavour, like tchaka (corn, bean and pork casserole) and kalalou djon djon (beef or pork okra stew with djon djon, a mushroom endemic to Haiti).

Where do you source your ingredients from?

Locally. Street markets for organic vegetables and fruits, and grocery stores for everything else.

What’s the one Haitian dish everyone should try?

Lambi boucane. It’s fresh conch grilled in its shell and served with a hot sauce only the fishermen know the recipe for. It’s hot, spicy and vibrant, just like our cuisine.

Who’s your culinary hero?

My great-grandmother. She shared her love of food culture with my grandmother and her sisters, and then it was passed down to me.

Where do you like to eat in Port-au-Prince?

Street vendors for fried shrimp or pate kòde (Haitian empanadas), Magdoos restaurant for my Middle Eastern cravings, and Le P’tit Creux restaurant for Haitian food.We’re following Annick Mégie, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, whose blog champions the cuisine of her homeland.

A passion fruit mousse topped with caramel and seeds.

Photograph by Annick Mégie

Annick's top four Instagramers to follow

1. @jecuisinecreole
Leslie’s recipes from Guadeloupe have helped me see many ingredients in a new light, and also inspired many of my creations.

2. @jessicainthekitchen
Jessica’s mouth-watering vegan food always leaves me hungry, even though I could never be vegan.

3. @thebiteshot
Joanie Simon is a food photographer and educator who shares her tips and tricks. She’s helped improve my photography skills.

4. @cheflemaire
Haitian chef Lemaire does great work in elevating our cuisine. We’ve never met, yet he’s one of my main supporters.

Follow Annick on Instagram

Published in Issue 11 (spring 2021) of National Geographic Traveller Food

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