Philadephia-based Chef Cybille St. Aude showcased her Haitian roots in her meals, including storytelling and traveling together.
Photo Cred: Chef Cybille St. Aude
Chef Cybille St. Aude’s A NIGHT IN series, “L’espri,” took guests on a three-course culinary journey through Haiti. Her storytelling comes from reflecting on her identity as Haitian American. Growing up in the U.S., she struggled with the duality of not being Haitian or American “enough.”
Through food, she shares her story of identity on every plate. She brings Haiti’s energy to the table, illustrating its extensive history and regionality.
Starting with the sea, Chef Cybille guided us through the energy of Haiti, traveling through the mountains to the city center.
For her first course, she brought us steamed New England clams with epis butter – a Haitian green seasoning, the primary root of all Haitian food. We soaked up the delectable sauce with her hard dough-style Haitian bread. The combination of Haitian seasoning and New England clams flavorfully blended Chef Cybille’s Haitian and American backgrounds.
Following our first course, Chef Cybille served Kabrit ak Vivres Alimentaire, a goat dish with ground provisions. Naming her dish “Vivres Alimentaire,” which translates to “life” in Creole, the dish provided us energy and fortification. Chef Cybille used a four-tiered cooking technique involving smoking, broiling, braising, and grilling to create a delicate blend of flavors. She served Ti malice sauce on the side and shared the cultural folklore behind the dressing.
For our final course, Chef Cybille presented her Bon Bon Siwrop, a ginger molasses cake. Harnessing the memories of home, she described how the dessert always stuck out to her when traveling to Haiti because of its bright orange color. She paired the cake with a Kafe Du Soir rum sauce and a coffee Clairin cocktail. Often distilled by families living along the mountainside, Clairin represents Haiti’s vast regionality through her dishes.
Chef Cybille’s meals are motivated by her efforts to share food stories of her heritage. Preserving her familial memories while adding her creative spin on tradition, she is inspired to dedicate her career to telling the story of Haitian culture through the culinary arts.
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