Feb 19, 2021
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – A new televised cooking competition sponsored by USA Rice and produced and aired in Haiti, called Kiyes Ki Chef? (Who’s the Chef), is receiving rave reviews. Eighteen amateur chefs, representing every region of Haiti, are facing off against one another using local ingredients and U.S.-origin rice to create wonderful Haitian dishes.
Adding extra spice to the program, competition host and Master Chef David Destinoble shares special tips and techniques with participants, while the co-host, comedian Joj, entertains the audience with jokes and witty food commentary.
The first of the show’s ten episodes aired in late January on popular Haitian broadcast networks, reaching more than 1.5 million viewers across the country. A new episode will be broadcast each week through April 2 and streamed on social media platforms.
“I really like the show and am very happy with the promotion of local produce,” said Haiti’s Minister of Agriculture Patrice Severe. “I would be happy to support a next edition, if possible.”
The popularity of the show encouraged local media partners and food distributors to donate ingredients, advertising, additional airtime, and prizes.
“Thanks to the participation of our partners, our budget for this activity increased by 68 percent,” said Asiha Grigsby, USA Rice director of international promotion for the Western Hemisphere. “This competition not only enjoyed excellent TV ratings, it also provided a helping hand to the chef participants, many of whom were unemployed after restaurant closures due to COVID-19 restrictions.”
U.S.-origin rice is a vital ingredient in professional kitchens across Haiti’s hospitality industry, and the country is the number one milled rice export market with more than 460,000 MT of southern long grain shipped in 2020.