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Women chefs highlight of upcoming Creole Food Festival 


Chef France Michel
Chef France Michel prepares a salad. She will be among a lineup of women of color at the Creole Food Festival on Saturday, March 18. (Courtesy: Epic Catering Facebook)

MIAMI — Chef France Michel plans to cook tassot cabrit, rice with sweet beans and a salad when she makes her debut at the Creole Food Festival on Saturday, Mar. 18. When she does, she will be part of the lineup of all women chefs of color being highlighted in honor of Women’s History Month.

“For me, it’s not just to cook for everybody. It’s an honor for me as a woman to promote Haitian food,” said Michel, whose catering business is based in Miami.

Creole Food Festival co-founder Fabrice J. Armand said organizers were intentional about featuring female chefs of color in an attempt to support small businesses and close the gap of disparity in the culinary industry. In 2021, 17 percent of chefs and head cooks in the United States were Black, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women made up 22.8 percent of chefs and head cooks in 2021.

Hosted at the Ancient Spanish Monastery, the festival will feature cuisine from the American South, the Caribbean, Latin America, South America and Africa. It is set to run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Michel cooks with recipes that are a fusion of her family recipes and culinary school in Haiti, and is looking forward to learning from the other cultures as well.

“When you work with other chefs from other countries, it’s an exchange of taste,” Michel said. “I can walk over to a table selling Jamaican food and ask,‘why did you use this?’ or ‘what do you use the coconut for?’”

“Cooking is my way to connect with people,” Michel added. “I’m very excited to meet other chefs, taste their food and to let them know more about Haiti.”

Other Haitian chefs expected at the event include Rose Jean, Christina Coupet and Cynthia Verna. 

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