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After twenty-seven days of traveling, covering over seven hundred nautical miles on a boat from Haiti, Ron Duprat used his survival skills and began creating different dishes, learned from his Haitian grandmother the journey to America. Duprat’s passion for cooking was originated as a means of channeling the passion that he possessed and a way out of poverty.  

After arriving in the Untied States from Haiti, Duprat was hired by Philip Moronne of the Little Italy Restaurant and moved through the ranks to become the youngest Haitian chef ever employed by Little Italy Restaurant. The passion for food and a long-standing family tradition influenced Ron Duprat to pursue a career as a professional Chef.  

The interest in all aspects of the culinary art has spurred Duprat to develop his cuisine through the years by traveling around the world learning about different cultures and cuisines. Chef Duprat created menus for dignitaries, Heads of State, and has collaborated with many great Chefs such as Randall H Cox, Pierre Doussan, Adam Savage, Emeril Lagasse, and Guy Fierri Giada De Larentis, Ingrid Hoffman; and Masaharu Morimoto.  
Chef Duprat has a long and rich experience as a Executive Chef with many stories to tell of different lessons and skills learned. In August of 1992, Duprat occupied the position of Executive Chef at the Noble House and Pelican Bay of Naples, Florida, Coral Hospitality, and the Montauk Yacht Club of Montauk, New York. Chef Duprat has chosen the culinary profession as an outlet passion but also for tradition fills the storybook of world cuisine. 
In addition to being nominated for the Naples Daily News award of “Best New Chef”, Chef Duprat has appeared with some of The Food Network Star at The Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival. Chef Ron most recently joined The Ocean Properties team after an extensive period at The Montauk Yacht Club in Long Island, New York. While serving as the Executive Chef of the Montauk Yacht Club, Ron Duprat led his team to receive The Montauk Chowder Competition Light House Grill “The Best of the Best Award” for three consecutive years.  
In Chef Ron's words... 
“Some of my earliest memories are of cooking alongside my grandmother in Haiti and after the journey to the United States I remember cooking the fish we caught to survived. We would cook fresh produce from my Father Gardens, simmering sauces, and seasonal herbs that can still conjure up memories of standing alongside my Grandmother as we worked in the kitchen together. The unique tastes, smells and feelings, created alongside my Grandmother, are things that cannot be taught in a sterile classroom but is learned by immersion , it comes with territory, as food is not only designed to nourish us, but serve as a life long memories.”
This year Chef Ron will be focusing his efforts on expanding his Culinary Consultation Service, non-profit volunteering and as always working to please his customers.  Check back soon for more information about Chef Ron's cookbook and upcoming public appearances.  

Hearts For Haiti: An American Dining Relief

Benefit Launched By Bravo TV's Top Chef Contestant-- Top Chef Ron 

Duprat Teams with four Fellow Contestants & Fine Chefs Across the USA
Valentine’s Day to raise funds for Haiti --
-- Up to ten percent of all funds raised will be donated equally to Hollywood Unites for Haiti and Kinship Circle Disaster Relief --

Hollywood, FL ( -- Haitian-born Ron Duprat, perhaps best known from Bravo’s hit TV series “Top Chef” has teamed up with four fellow contestants, Mattin Noblia, Hector Santiago and Michael V. to welcome other fine chefs across the country in an all-chef Relief Benefit on St. Valentine’s Day for his native land. On February 14, all participating chefs and restaurants will donate up to 10 percent of their receipts to Hearts for Haiti: An American Dining Relief Benefit. The donated funds will be divided between two charities: Hollywood United For Haiti and Kinship Circle Disaster Relief. One hundred percent of the donated funds will go directly to on-the-ground relief efforts.

“Food always brings people together,” Duprat says. “I hope that this St. Valentine’s Day, every community will have at least one restaurant where people can dine out with their loved ones and share their hearts with Haiti.”
Early participants include Andrew Black at Skirvin Hotel’s Park Avenue Grill, Oklahoma City; Ron Duprat of Latitudes Beach Café at the Hollywood Beach Marriott in Hollywood, FL; Sean Gavin of Graves Restaurant, Fort Myers, FL; Adam Greenberg of Barcelona Wine Bar (several locations in Connecticut); Mattin Nobilia of Iluna Basque Restaurant in San Francisco; Niranjan Perera of Nilus Delights Bakery in Hollywood, FL; Hector Santiago of Pura Vida – Latino Tapas Restaurant & Bar, Atlanta; Florida Restaurant and Lodging in Miami and Top Chef Winner (Season 6) Michael V. of The Dining Room, Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena.
“Chefs always care,” Duprat adds. “I hope chefs across the country will join us in this heartfelt effort for Haiti. One hundred percent of their donations will go directly to Haitian relief efforts for both people and animals. It’s a win-win for everyone.” For more information on becoming a participating chef or dining at a participating restaurant, call 415-461-9300 or visit
Charitable Beneficiaries:

Hollywood Unites for Haiti is a Los Angeles-based non-profit founded in 2008 by Jimmy Jean Louis, a star of NBC TV’s hit series, “Heroes”. This charitable non-profit organization focuses on enriching the lives of Haitian children. HUFH has established a relief fund to support the victims of the 2010 Haitian earthquakes.

Kinship Circle Disaster Relief is a St. Louis, MO-based non-profit that deploys volunteer teams certified animal aid workers to disaster-stricken areas with necessary animal food, equipment and veterinary supplies.

Kinship Circle Disaster Relief is a St. Louis, MO-based non-profit that deploys volunteer teams certified animal aid workers to disaster-stricken areas with necessary animal food, equipment and veterinary supplies.

Valary Bremier
Office: 415-461-9300

Ivan Dorvil

article: Windows on Haiti
"To me, life is fifty percent food fifty percent sex, neither of which should be less than perfect."

With these words, Executive Chef Ivan Dorvil shares a philosophy which has shaped his career and contributed to his gastronomical success e 36 year old was born in Cap Haitian, Haiti and grew up in Canada.

Chef Dorvil began his career, one could say, years before he answered his calling. He recalls that growing up in a Haitian household, he, like many young Haitian males, was not allowed in the kitchen, even to boil to water. With what he describes as “nosey rebellion,” Dorvil peeked through doors and windows to get a glimpse of the fascinating world of the kitchen. His passion for food was also born at this time. In Dorvil’s childhood household, he recalls eating leftovers with a voracious appetite. Fortunately, he is one of those people who can enjoy all the food they want and not gain weight.

In addition to receiving a degree in Engineering from Bauder College, Chef Dorvil was educated at the Gastronomical Institute in Montreal, Canada. He also attended Miami-Dade Community College where he took several drama courses. It was there that he honed his writing skills, participated in plays, and even developed his love of jokes and stand-up comedy. He has performed his comedy at community events held at North Miami Senior High School.

Rising Star

While Dorvil cannot pinpoint the exact moment he knew he wanted to be a chef, he acknowledges that being a Haitian man in his profession opens him up to prejudice. This is in part attributed to Haitian parents’ tendency to want to choose their children’s profession. All of this, he says, was overshadowed by his “passion for food.” Luckily for the South Florida community, Dorvil decided to settle in Miami. According to him, he is well-known in the Anglo community, while Haitians just see him as a “cook.” His experience is well documented. Chef Dorvil has opened several Miami Beach restaurants including Oasis, Pineapple, Tap Tap, Tantra, and his own Nutmeg. He was also the chef at the Delano Restaurant in Miami Beach.
About four months ago, he opened his second restaurant, Nuvo Kafé in North Miami. Located at 13152 West Dixie Highway , near downtown North Miami, the restaurant is best described as “French-based fusion cuisine.” Dorvil states that the menu does not reflect a typical Latin, Haitian, Mediterranean, or Jewish fare, but is delectable blend of various cuisines.

Kote Moun Yo?

Nuvo KafeDorvil has t reviews from the Miami Herald and is recognized as the one of the best chefs on the Miami scene. Why then, one might ask, has he decided to take what many view a financial risk and open a Haitian restaurant in North Miami? In a city where you can find at least 2 Haitian restaurants in a one mile radius, Dorvil has taken a daring leap. His mission: Bring fusion style fine dining to the Haitian community. His main barrier: Eating prejudices. As he puts it, “Most Haitians do not eat for pleasure but just for the sake of it.” His goal is to expose Miami’s Haitian community, not only to a daring concept of food as art; but he also hopes to show them that it is possible to create “well-balanced calorie” meals without the excessive use of spices that can cause health problems. Dorvil admits that he might be placing himself in a precarious position: “This is my first time in the Haitian community. I have come closer to them . . . at least you have to try. If it does not work, I will move on.” There is a possibility that the community will turn its back on him. As of now, the majority of his diners are Anglos. However, Nuvo Kafé has been frequented by a good number of Haitians, including local celebrity politicians such as North Miami Mayor Joe Celestin, Representatives Philip Brutus, Yolly Roberson, and Jacques Despinosse. Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno has also made an appearance.

Dorvil stresses that Nuvo Kafé is a restaurant for the people. In order to be successful, the restaurant “needs a grassroots movement of people who brings friends” to tantalize their taste buds. While he does not negate the space that fast food Haitian restaurants serve, Dorvil emphasizes that Nuvo Kafé does not specialize in “brown plate, slap it in a box, and go food.”

Chef Dorvil believes that there is space for both fine dining and fast food in the Haitian community. To illustrate, he points out that a well-known Haitian restaurant, Chef Creole is right across the street from Nuvo Kafé. Dorvil states, “Twenty thousand cars drive by both restaurants everyday.

Within those numbers, there are different clientele bases. Some people want “relax and mellow” others want “a plate to go.” It is possible for each restaurant owner to support the other in what we are trying to accomplish.” In trying to get Haitians to learn about, accept, and enjoying diverse eating experiences, he insists, it is important to do something different. To this end, he has advertised on Haitian-owned Radio Carnival and Island T.V. “In Haitian culture,” he says, “most people stick to what they know. They don’t want to invade or experience a different type of cuisine.” This must change. In their words, Haitians need to learn that food is not only cooked to fill the stomach, but also created to please the palate.

The Culinary Artist

Just like writers create beautiful images with words, and pianists entice audiences with powerful melodies, the chef is an artist. Eating, Chef Dorvil shares, should not only be an act which fulfills a physiological need. For Dorvil, the most fulfilling part of being a chef is “watching people having an orgasm over my food.” A diner’s first bite of his culinary delights should induce gastronomic pleasure impulses. 

The rolling of the eyes, the delicate moans of satisfaction, are to him, the perfect compliment. While he does not have “a strangest customer request” to share, Chef Dorvil says that his least favorite request to hear is “May I have sauce on the side please?” His reason for this is simple: “When you create a dish, you want it to be presented the way you create it. But . . . you have to please the customer.”.

The Work Behind the Art

A typical workday for Chef Dorvil lasts 14 to 15 hours: “ It is not a simple task. Your heart has to be in it. I am constantly at it all the time, from the front to the back of the house, from the dining room to the kitchen.” His creative juices are only marred by the one thing he could do without – purveyors. However, his ability and knowledge of how to deal with the management side of the restaurant business is one of the things that separate a “chef” from a “cook.” When interviewing potential employees, Chef Dorvil looks for people “with good attitudes and kindness.” His biggest management gripe is “dealing with people who do not have the same goals in terms of professional level.” Because of this, he tries to nurture novice chefs. He has facilitated classes at Johnson and Wales University in North Miami and is currently supervising an intern from the same school. Chef Dorvil says that he used to read cookbooks but stopped about 7 years ago. As he is “always in a creative mode,” the cookbooks if used as tools of reference would slow him down. He does not identify any particular “failure” in the kitchen because creating dishes is a “trial and error” process. The creative mind works until he is “right on the money.” His biggest influence is Danish Chef Soren Brendahl. Chef Dorvil advises young chefs today to “Work had, love what you do, and keep strong” in order to reach their goals.

Bon Appétit

When one hears the term “Renaissance Man,” the picture of a chef does not usually come to mind. But it is easy to see how Executive Chef Ivan Dorvil can be characterized as such. From his engineering training, to acting, to his stand up comedy, to his ability to speak four languages, Ivan Dorvil epitomizes an individual who is passionate and knowledgeable about diverse topics. His creativity is evident, not only in the warm décor which tastefully blends Haitian folk art with nouveau chic. The menu offers delicious appetizers, scrumptious courses and delectable desserts. On Fridays and Sundays beginning December 13th, the restaurant will feature live performances by Manno Charlemagne. Saturday and Thursday night entertainment plans are in the works.
So, next time you or a friend lament the lack of fine Haitian eating establishments in South Florida, remember Chef Ivan Dorvil’s Nuvo Kafé. To quote him, “Food should be like wine. You might not be able to pinpoint what makes it so great, but you’ll crave it again.” Make reservations or just stop by. But whatever you do, know that you will return, for one cannot help but crave Nuvo Kafé’s gastronomic art, a delightful blend of Haitian tradition and world flair.


Haitian Cosmo

This sophisticated Haitian joint does South Beach one better

Although Haitian-born, chef Ivan Dorvil's previous culinary experience has been everywhere but. His formal schooling was in Montreal, supplemented by some informal munching-his-way-around-Europe time. His previous executive chef jobs were at mid-Beach's Middle Eastern Oasis Café (back when it first opened, to raves, in the mid-1990s), and in a couple of South Beach's most upscale locations: On Time Café on Española Way and Nutmeg Café just around the corner from Lincoln Road. Dorvil cooked at the Delano as well.
His new Nuvo Kafe, opened late last year, brings all the above influences back to the chef/owner's roots in the Haitian community. In terms of upscale glamour, the North Miami minimal location exactly one car length from the bustle of West Dixie Highway couldn't be farther from South Beach -- sit at one of the sidewalk tables outside, and you're likely to find a truck bumper on your lap along with your napkin. Inside, though, the Caribbean-cool décor (Haitian folk-style art on the walls, burlap drapes, a faux-tiki roof over the bar) goes SoBe style one better -- by feeling friendly as well as chic.

The food, like Dorvil's background, is global, reflecting influences from the Middle East, Italy, Asia, and

Among starters the $12 Nuvo platter is highly recommended; the two-bite mini-mofungu (golf ball-sized plaintain cups filled with savory ground beef or shellfish), light conch fritters (packed with big pieces of shellfish, and garnished with only faintly spicy jalapeño sauce), and coconut shrimp (butterflied, crumb-breaded, greaselessly fried, and topped with sweet coconut vinaigrette) all come à la carte, for $4.50-$5. But which of these delectable snacks could one possibly forgo? West Indies crabcake ($5) was two patties of real crab (good) rather than surimi, but rather heavily breaded (not so good); accompanying aioli made up for lack of any discernible garlic by a pleasantly pronounced citrus tang.

There are many normal meat, fish, and pasta entrées, but believe me, the $7 South Pacific grilled vegetable salad is a main dish. Tofu-haters should suspend disbelief and try it; Dorvil's four flavorful sesame-seared slices (with grilled squash, on a big bed of ginger/carrot-dressed California spinach) were a revelation.

And even dessert-haters must finish with Nuvo's signature Citadel raw fruit pie. Artfully stacked slices of juicy fresh mango, kiwi, and papaya provided sweetness without sugar, and a rich "crust" of what tasted like rolled grains, figs, and nut butter provided that soupçon of sin, so satisfying at meal's end, without the fats or guilt.

a big emphasis on down-home yet creative Caribbean dishes. Of the two featured soups, for instance, ginger pumpkin bisque, a velvety-smooth peppered purée whose sense of satisfying richness comes from complex spicing rather than cream (virtually all Nuvo's food is healthy as well as homemade), defines Nouvelle Haitian elegance. But at the table next to mine, a football tackle-sized guy was tucking into traditional pumpkin soup Haitian, chock full of meat, potatoes, veggies, and noodles -- a full meal in a bowl, for $4.