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Cooking with Fonkoze: 8 Haitian Recipes Celebrating Haitian Culture and Empowering Women

Cooking with Fonkoze

Cooking With Fonkoze Featuring Chef Alain Lemaire

Welcome to the first episode of Cooking with Fonkoze! This series is a heartfelt celebration of Haitian culture, cuisine, and the incredible women in rural Haiti who have been empowered by Fonkoze’s initiatives over the past 30 years. In this episode, Erlantz Hyppolite, the Executive Director of Fonkoze USA, teams up with the renowned Chef Alain Lemaire to create delicious Haitian dishes and discuss the impactful work of Fonkoze. You can watch the video here and get the recipes from the cooking session below.

Meet Chef Alain Lemaire:

Chef Alain Lemaire,  a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, discovered his passion for cooking at a young age, inspired by his mother and grandmother. His love for food grew into a full-blown passion by the time he graduated high school. Alain is the Co-owner and Executive Chef of Sensory Delights, a full-service catering company based in South Florida, and the creator of the brand “Ou Manje Deja?”—a Creole phrase meaning “Did You Eat Yet?”

Chef Lemaire’s Culinary Journey:

Award-wining Chef Alain Lemaire is a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he first discovered his interest in cooking. That interest in food grew out of the need to feed himself what he wanted, and when he wanted it by watching his mother and grandmother in the kitchen, to full blown passion by the time he graduated high school. Alain is the Co-owner and Executive Chef of Sensory Delights, a full-service catering company based out of South Florida. He is also the Owner of the brand “Ou Manje Deja?” “Ou Manje Deja?” is a Creole phrase that literally translates to Did You Eat Yet? I consider this as one of the biggest love languages to exist. In most cultures, it is a welcoming phrase, a way to say that I care about you. Food is a universal language that brings people together. No matter where you’re from, your economic, social, political, religious background we can all get together and enjoy good food. ​

Alain Lemaire has made a name for himself in the culinary world, participating in and being featured as a guest chef at numerous food events and festivals, including the Charleston Wine & Food Festival, New York African Restaurant Week, and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. He has also appeared on popular Food Network shows like Fire Masters, Luda Can’t Cook, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Chopped.

Fonkoze’s Mission and Impact:

Fonkoze has been a beacon of hope for women in rural Haiti, providing financial and non-financial services designed to lift them out of poverty. Their award-winning programs are adapted to the unique needs of each community, focusing on the rural, remote parts of the country. By offering microfinance access and sustainable development programs, Fonkoze empowers the most vulnerable women to transform their lives and achieve economic resilience.

Connecting Cuisine and Culture:

In this episode, Erlantz Hyppolite and Chef Alain Lemaire not only share mouth-watering Haitian recipes but also engage in meaningful conversations about the impact of Fonkoze’s work. Through this culinary journey, viewers are invited to experience the rich cultural heritage of Haiti and hear the inspiring stories of the women who are making strides towards a better future with the support of Fonkoze.

Recipes from the Chef Lemaire Cooking with Fonkoze Episode

The recipes from the video with Chef Lemaire are included here so you can shop for ingredients and make the dishes yourself at home.

Haitian epis


½ lb fresh thyme, chopped

½ lb fresh scallions, chopped

½ lb fresh parsley, chopped

2 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers

6 to 8 fresh garlic cloves

1 yellow onions

6 whole cloves

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup vegetable oil or more if needed

Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

  1. Chop up first 6 ingredients
  2. Add all ingredients into food processor, and blend to a paste with slight chunks
  3. Adjust seasoning

Chef Alain Lemaire’s Pikliz Recipe

Yield: 3 to 4 quarts

Prep time: 30 minutes


1 small green cabbage, shredded

2 jumbo carrots, shredded

4 oz sour orange

4 oz apple cider vinegar

4 oz lime juice

4 oz lemon juice

4 oz white vinegar

2 to 3 Scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped

Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Adjust seasoning
  3. Place in a tight lid container until ready to use

Chef Alain Lemaire’s Griot Recipe

Yield: 10 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes


8 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into chunks

4 oz sour orange juice

4 oz lemon/lime juice

2 scotch bonnet peppers or habanero, cut into halves

4 oz apple cider vinegar

4 oz Haitian epis

Bouquet garni (fresh thyme, bay leaves, parsley stems, whole cloves, peppercorn, garlic cloves tied up in a cheesecloth)

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for frying


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients, salt, and pepper, and pour over pork. Mix well and let marinate for about 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Place everything in a large heavy-duty pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Braise on low heat for about 2 hours or until meat is fork tender but not falling apart. (Can be done in a pressure cooker for 20 to 25 minutes).
  3. Remove from pot and set aside to cool in a large sheet pan, preferably overnight.
  4. When ready to serve, preheat deep fryer to 400 degrees. Drop chunks in fryer and cook until golden crisp on the outside but still juicy and tender inside.

Chef Alain Lemaire’s Poul fri Recipe

Yield: 7 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1hr 10 minutes


7 chicken drumsticks

7 chicken thighs

2 cups Haitian epis

1 ½ tsp kosher salt

1 ½ tsp black pepper

Juice from 1 lemon

1 Qt. vegetable oil for Frying


Method of preparation:

  1. Wash the meat well with lime and vinegar. Rinse, pat dry, and transfer the meat to a large bowl.
  2. Add the epis, salt and pepper (to taste), and lemon juice. Mix well until all the pieces are coated with the seasoning on all sides.
  3. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. When ready to fry, add the oil to the pan or deep fryer. If using a deep fryer, adjust the temperature to 400°. If using a deep-frying pan, allow the oil to come to temperature at 385°.
  5. Add 3 pieces at a time as you do not want to overcrowd the pan or deep fryer, which will lower the temperature quickly.
  6. Deep fry dark meat, 3 at a time for up to 12 minutes. Deep fry white meat for up to 10 minutes depending on the size.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack if serving immediately, or place in a dish and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Chef Lemaire’s Akra Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: 18 minutes


¼ cup Haitian epis

2 malanga

Oil for deep frying

½ scotch bonnet pepper

Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

  1. Peel and cut the malanga into 4 pieces. Set the malanga in a bowl filled with water to keep them looking fresh. Once you peeled all the malanga, rinse the vegetable before transferring it to the food processor. Pulse about 3 times so that the vegetable becomes crunchy.
  2. Next, in a separate bowl mix together the epis, egg, scotch bonnet pepper, and salt. Mix well to combine. Transfer the epis mixture to the malanga in the food processor. Blend until it is well combined but not overly mushy. You should still see small lumps and the mixture will resemble a lumpy paste.
  3. Deep fry the malanga. Start with a portion to test the malanga.
  4. Cook the malanga for 8 minutes, turning once then cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel on a plate and repeat the steps.

Chef Alain Lemaire’s Fried Plantain or Patat Fri Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 17 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes


2 plantains green or boniato (patat dous)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 cups water

Oil for frying

Method of preparation:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the water and salt. Stir and set aside.
  2. Peel the plantains and cut diagonally into the desired size. Allow the plantains to sit in the water for a couple of minutes, remove the plantains from the water, and deep fry at 400 for up to 10 minutes.
  3. Once the plantains are fried (fork through), use a plantain wood press to flatten the plantains.
  4. Then dip the plantains in the water again for about 5-10 seconds.
  5. Deep fry one last time until desired crispiness and toss with salt.

‌Chef Alain Lemaire’s Marinad Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes


1 cup all-purpose flour (or self-rising flour)

2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp finely chopped onion

1 tsp Haitian epis

1 tsp Kosher salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp baking powder (not needed if using self-rising flour)

1 cup water

1 tbsp chicken base

Oil for frying

Method of preparation:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil to 350°
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, parsley, salt, pepper, and baking powder.
  3. Mix water with epis, chicken base, and onions. Slowly add the water in small quantities. Mix the dough in between each addition.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop (or small spoon), add 3-5 scoops of dough into the hot oil.
  5. Cook for 5-7 minutes (or longer if needed and depending on the size) until golden brown. Work in batches.
  6. Once the fritters are complete. Transfer the fritters into a paper toweled plate. Repeat the next batch until completed.

Chef Alain Lemaire’s Tasso Beef Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


2.49 Lb. chuck tender roast cut into large cubes and washed

1 cup Haitian epis

Juice from 1 lemon

2 Tsp. Kosher salt

¼ cup red onions chopped

Parsley (optional) for garnish

Method of preparation:

‌Cut meat into cubes and wash the meat.

  1. Place the meat along with the epis, and lightly season with salt, and lemon juice. Allow the meat to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, but best overnight.
  2. Cook the meat for 20 to 30 minutes in an instant pot. Adjust time and seasoning if necessary.
  3. Deep fry to golden brown. This process takes about 2-4 minutes per small batch.
  4. Take ¼ cup of the sauce from the instant pot. Add more for larger quantity and reduce. Then add sliced peppers, and onions.
  5. Toss meat with mixture before serving. This will keep the meat moist and soft.

Follow for More Cooking With Fonkoze:

Don’t miss out on this delightful and inspiring episode of Cooking with Fonkoze. Follow Chef Alain Lemaire on social media at @cheflemaire and stay tuned for more stories, recipes, and celebrations of Haitian culture and resilience.

For more information about Chef Alain Lemaire and his culinary creations, visit


Thank you for joining us in celebrating the vibrant culture of Haiti and the remarkable women empowered by Fonkoze. Together, we can make a difference, one dish at a time.

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