BLACK Cuisine, Culinary

TOP CHEF- Chef Ron Duprat

Irresistibly Delicious‐You must taste to experience Chef Ron Duprat’s remarkable cuisine. Then, you’re in the club, The “Now I Crave Chef Ron’s Cooking” club. Ron’s recipes will satisfy your every palette, whether it’s a simple chicken salad to a mouthwatering filet mignon. With the use of fresh ingredients, exotic spices and creativity, the Executive Chef and cookbook author turns the simplest dish into a decedent work of art.

Ron’s culinary journey began in Haiti in his grandmother’s kitchen. His passion led him to the states where he studied at the Culinary Institute of America. Now with over 20 years of experience, Ron has received many accolades including  distinguished recipient of the 2008 & 2009 AAA Four Diamond Award. His resume includes Executive Chef at the Hollywood Beach Marriott Hotel, the esteemed Montauk Yacht Club, and Pelican Bay Country Club, to name a few.

Ron may be most recognized as a fierce “cheftestant” on the sixth season of Bravo TV’s Emmy nominated hit show Top Chef: Las Vegas. His zest for life and charisma kept him on the show long enough to gain a number of followers and fans that still support him to this day. Following his appearance on Top Chef in 2009, Ron has appeared as a guest on Good Morning Florida, and featured in a wide range of publications.  Ron has been traveling the country, cooking for celebrities including Beyonce, Usher, and even Haiti’s President elect, Michel Martelly. He will soon add restaurateur to his repertoire as he pursues his dream of opening a restaurant.

Ron has devoted most of his professional career joining in on causes that cover a wide array of issues. From raising money to relieve the disaster in Haiti, to embarking on a fight to end childhood obesity, Chef Ron understands the importance of giving back to the community.

In January 2010 a catastrophic earthquake hit Chef Ron’s homeland Haiti. Since, Chef Ron has organized high profile benefits and participated in a series of events for
companies such as Whole Foods to raise funds for the country and the affected earth‐quake victims. He has raised money for numerous charities including Hearts for Haiti, Hollywood United for Haiti and Kinship Circle Disaster Relief.

Chef Ron is also involved in various organizations whose purpose is to battle obesity in adolescents. Ron is very cognizant of the rate of obesity, especially in young children and has taken the initiative to promote healthier lifestyles that include a more health conscious diet. Some of the campaigns he is involved with include, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Lets Move! Initiative. He is also a board member of FLIPANY (Florida Intro‐duces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth) an organization in south Florida that provides affordable physical activity and nutrition programs to local youth and their families.

Ron has taken quite a few leadership roles in his charitable endeavors including vice
president of the Black Culinary Alliance and manager of Real Men Cook Miami. He is also a member of Basil Magazine’s Chef council.

Q&A With Chef Ron

BS: Where does the passion for food or cooking come from?
 
Chef Ron: My Grandmother who cooked classical French cuisine… And the beauty of pairing different things.
 
The passion for food was brought to me by my grandmother. I was always fascinated by the way she would cook with love and mixing different ingredients In the state I’ve been privileged to work with some of the worlds finest and best of the best chefs in France, Brasil, Spain, Peru, south America and the Caribbean. My passions for cooking came ever since I can remember I’ve been popping my collar.
 
BS: What were some challenges you endured growing up in a Haitian home, in regards to your choice of profession?
 
Chef Ron: The culture expects kitchen staff to be servants, so it is still a challenge to understand the reality of the opposite and give the earned respect to culinary chefs who study the profession.
 
The challenges that I endured during my childhood in Haiti, are the fuel of my success. I grew up poor, however I was lucky to be raised by my grandmother. who later on helped me find my passion.
 
BS: How was the experience of being on the hit Bravo T.V. show Top Chef season 6? What would you have done differently?
 
Chef Ron: Being on Top Chef opened a lot of opportunities for me. I was very blessed to have been considered for the show. I was immersed in joy throughout the whole experience and would not have changed one minute of it. Amazing Experience, creative juices flowing at every second and wanting to help your colleague but remembering it is a competition. Tremendous effort and I would probably have cooked a couple different things but nothing else. Just was so happy to meet Hector Santiago and Marttin Noblia.
 
BS: What’s it like to be in the life of a Top Chef?
 
Chef Ron: I feel privileged and highly blessed. I don’t take anything for granted. I met a lot of wonderful people along the way who supports me and my vision. And I make sure I give back to my community and to my homeland Haiti. Hot and in Demand… The kitchen is always hot and your new creations are always awaited somewhere so that’s good stuff!
 
BS: What does the organizations BCA & FLIPANY entails?
 
Chef Ron: In today’s changing and challenging environment education will be a minimum requirement to attain career success and advancement in any industry. The same holds true for the culinary and hospitality industry, the largest industry in America today. As the food service industry continues to develop, it will depend upon the services of a highly trained workforce. BCA plays an important role in preparing students and professionals of color (Asian-American, Native America, Hispanic, and Black) with the specialized skills needed for this field which translates to social-economic empowerment for themselves and their families. As a key resource to the industry supporting a diverse pool of qualified young people, the BCA creates the opportunity to advance the growth of diversity from a grassroots and foundational level and serves an important niche.  That is why BCA strives to increase programs through support so we may continue to provide educational information and industry exposure which will help individuals become valuable employees crucial to the continued growth of the culinary and hospitality industry today and the future. The BCA methodology of bridging food service and diversity excellence will also be the strategic platform and vehicle to introduce the importance of food sustainability, waste reduction, and health issues presently not being addressed in urban food service and communities. FLIPANY is a non-profit whose mission is to  empower youth and adults through physical activity and nutrition programs while raising awareness and creating policy changes for healthier communities. Go to www.FLIPANY.org
 
FLIPANY is the newest chapter of the national Trips for Kids program. Trips for Kids provides lessons in self-confidence, environmental awareness, and healthy habits to disadvantaged youth through the simple act of mountain biking. The camp is open to kids of all abilities and income levels. Bikes are available for kids who qualify and do not have one already.
 
BS: Are there any chefs both past or present, you would love to collaborate with?
 
Chef Ron: Is this a trick question? Honestly there are too many to count. However  I am always open to working with anyone with a great vision. Jeff Weiss, Kevin Relf, Jaime Jerezano, Taylor Erickson, Hector Santiago, Marttin Noblia,The Voltagio Brothers, Edna Louis ,Jefferson Evans, Patrick Clark, Chef Jennifer Booker ,Marvin Woods ,Jose Andres, Michelle Bernstein just to name  few.
 
BS: What are the perks in being a celebrity chef?
 
Chef Ron: Being asked to represent my country, Travel expenses paid for appearances and promoting my food to otherwise unreachable palettes  is a plus.
 
I would say it gave me a voice and a platform to make changes in my community and force me to become an ambassador for Haiti, in which I am happy to serve. I feel like it is my duty to link the rest of the world to this exotic place called Haiti. There is a richness and bravery in the Haitian people that is often not being played on the forefront.
 
BS: What projects can we look forward to from “Baby Ron?”
 
Chef Ron: Dancing with the stars, Competing in the Haiti National Culinary Team, summer 2012 culinary tour in Haiti, upcoming cooking show “No Limit Cuisine with Foodies”, My chicken farms all over Haiti, Helping stop hunger all over the world. My New  Book “From the Banana Boat to Top Chef” and Cooking for Bernard Madoff.

BS: If you can give advice to an aspiring chef in succeeding in the culinary industry, what would that advice be?

Chef Ron: Although you may face adversity in your quest to becoming a chef, you need to stay true to yourself and take your time.  The most successful chefs have paid their dues at one point or another. Find your niche and create, create, create… Stick to delivering what you know and you will do it best!!
 
 

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