Fabienne Phiri is a young caterer from Connecticut who has chosen to introduce the world to the diversity of flavors and dishes that makeup Haitian and African cuisine. She is passionate about cooking and enjoys experimenting with foods across cultures.
Kreyol Cuisine is proud to introduce to you this talented cook through her own words.
What kind of experience, background, and education do you have?
Unlike most caterers, I don’t have a culinary degree; all of my training comes from cooking for family and friends. After graduating from undergrad (I have a major in International business) I wanted a career that would take me around the world, and catering has created an opportunity to have the world in my kitchen.
Why did you choose catering as a career?
Catering happened by accident actually. I’ve always loved food, though I didn’t always love cooking. In college, it was out of necessity that I started cooking for myself then discovered that I really enjoyed cooking. My friends would always compliment me on my food and request that I cook something for them. After college, I entered corporate America with the intention of climbing the corporate ladder. I quickly discovered that my passion was not there. I continued to cook for friends and family and continued to receive positive feedback from them. Then it gradually evolved into something that became lucrative.
How long have you been a caterer, and how many events have you catered?
Professionally, I’m just starting out as a caterer. Although I have been providing food services for many years, I’ve just recently turned it into a business. Thus far I’ve catered birthday parties and private parties.
What do you specialize in?
I specialize in Haitian and African Cuisine. My most popular dishes are, Black rice and Cape malay pickled fish.
What's your favourite dish?
This one is hard, but if I must choose I would have to say Legume Aubergine and White rice. It’s packed with vegetables, meat, and is so flavorful. The great thing about this dish is that it can be made entirely meat free if one chooses to.
Where do you get your inspirations?
My inspirations come from the foods that I love to eat. Whenever I complete a dish, I immediately start to think of ways to make it differently. I also enjoy reading cooking blogs, watching cooking shows and of course trying food from different cultures.
Can you share an event-planning tip with our readers?
Don’t underestimate the cost of your food. Most people tend to under-plan (e.g. forget about the small details and ingredients that go into dishes). The small things like spices, cleaning agents definitely add up. When I first started catering I would omit these things because I usually bought them in bulk. I quickly learned that was a mistake.
Finally, is there a celebrity chef you admire?
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. He exemplifies that type of chef that I one day want to become. He has mastered the food of his homeland and can tailor any dish to fit into that. Furthermore, his food is always presented beautifully. Whenever he competes on Iron chef I root for him.
Thank you very much Fabienne for taking the time answer these few questions. She is an event caterer but also provides in home private chef services. If you are interested and live in Fairfield county CT, Lower New Haven county or NYC, you can contact Fabienne directly via email at email@example.com or through her kitchen surfing profile.