By Alex Popa
Ricardo Joseph is a Haitian chef currently living in Indianapolis, USA. He emigrated to the States to pursue his dreams and to better support his family. Although he left his homeland, Ricardo still talks about Haiti with a big smile on his face. He takes pride in his roots and wants to share the beauty of Haiti with the rest of the world.
Ricardo is unashamed of his humble origins. Rather, he thinks his former life in Haiti exerted a strong positive influence on the person he is today. Even when he found himself in a tough spot, he was always surrounded by kind, warm-hearted people. His Haitian upbringing taught him to value the things that truly matter— family, friends, and his fellow man. “Growing up, I never had much,” he recalls. “I am grateful for every little opportunity I get. I see many people around me now take every little thing for granted.”
Haitian Cuisine as A Way of Life
Ricardo’s passion for cooking started very early. He recounts multiple heartwarming stories about spending time in the kitchen with his mother. “My mom inspires me. When I was little, she taught me how to cook.” Now he hopes to bring the flavors of Haitian cuisine to an international audience. To Ricardo, food is a universal language and each traditional recipe is like a carefully crafted work of art to be shared and enjoyed.
Ricardo wants to use his cooking to bring an authentic Haitian cultural experience to the US public. He’d love to serve his dishes not only to the local Haitian community but also to anyone interested in trying something new. To Ricardo, Haitian cuisine conjures up images of his family, his home country, and his childhood. It’s a sentiment he believes resonates with many people. “If I can help people relieve these moments even for just a little, that’s all that matters,” he says.
Ricardo’s dream is to always be a chef and have his own restaurant one day. To him, it’s a goal worthy of the effort it will require to achieve. Although most of his cooking skills are self-taught, Ricardo revealed that he’s planning to take specialized courses to perfect his craft. He also plans to expand his business activities in other ways. By 2023, Ricardo hopes to sell his own epice and pikliz in five different states.
Currently, Ricardo works as a cook while building his brand online. He regularly posts snippets of his life in the kitchen on his Instagram page (under the name chef_kado509). There, he shares mouth-watering pictures of his colorful and flavorful dishes. Ricardo is also active on YouTube. His page is Chefkado509 Official and he’s already amassed over two thousand subscribers.
His Advice for Young Haitians
Although Ricardo plans to start a business abroad, he says he’ll never forgot his Haitian home. He thinks that no matter where they are in the world, Haitians should always remember their country and try to help it thrive however they can. They should remain in solidarity with the struggles and needs of their fellow man. Ricardo also wants to encourage other Haitians to remain positive. “If there’s a will there’s always a way,” he says. “God has something in store for all of us.”