News

US celebrity chefs barred from Haiti market

Wednesday, July 31, 2013    

Print this page Email A Friend!


KENSCOFF, Haiti (AP) — Two celebrity chefs from the US got a cool reception in Haiti yesterday as the mayor of a town outside the capital blocked them from trying to tour a farmers' market.

Aaron Sanchez and John Besh had arrived in the Caribbean nation as guests from the aid group Oxfam America to help raise awareness about food issues. But Widjmy Clesca, the mayor of the mountain town of Kenscoff, stopped the chefs and the journalists accompanying them from entering.

The mayor said the photographers couldn't enter the market because they might take photos that would be unflattering for the town. People at the market shut the metal gate at the entrance, and one man waved his hand for Associated Press journalists to stop filming as they tried to interview Besh.

The chefs opted to leave and went with their hosts to visit a community organisation that works with local farmers. But the mayor's office called ahead and said that the visit hadn't been approved, said Pierre Paul Jules, the coordinator of a group calling itself Solidarity for the Rural Development of Kenscoff.

"It's unfortunate," Sanchez told The Associated Press. "If Haiti wants to continue to grow, they have to let outsiders in a little bit."

Added Sanchez: "It was a little intense, man."

The two chefs arrived in Haiti on Sunday. They've toured one of the homeless settlements that sprang up in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and met with farmers in the countryside and capital. Later Tuesday, they shared recipes with Haitian chefs and appeared on Haitian television.

They're scheduled to leave the country Thursday.

Sanchez and Besh have both appeared on cooking programmes in the U.S. -- Sanchez, on the Food Network series "Chopped" and "Heat Seekers," Besh as a finalist on the Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef."

Hunger has been a perennial problem in Haiti, where today as many as 1.5 million of its 10 million people face malnutrition and other hunger-related problems, according to the government. Storms have destroyed crops in a desperately poor country where half of all its food is imported.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Will the new Police Commissioner make a difference in reducing Jamaica's high crime rate?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT