Group's Caribbean cuisine helps empower women


The group Ladies of Valor Empowerment and Johnson & Wales University student chefs joined forces to raise funds for underprivileged women who need assistance.

Conch ceviche with mango, blood oranges and lemon, and griot made with braised pork shoulder, peppers and onions were some of the crowd’s favorites at the Taste of the Caribbean event hosted by the Ladies Of Valor Empowerment organization. The founder and president, Alourdes Pierre who started the organization from her living room seven years ago, was overjoyed to see how much they’ve grown.

“It was a great event. It was exciting, and the food was great,” said Pierre, who sent a letter to Johnson and Wales University’s president in hopes that they could help her put on the event. “Overall, I’m happy. The school donated everything. The Johnson & Wales students were great.”

During the event, guests visited ten food stations that displayed appetizers, entrees and desserts — all of which were prepared by students majoring in food-service management and operations at Johnson & Wales University. Anthony Stafford, a senior at JWU, was the head chef for the event. He said the students felt that they could add their own personal touch to the dishes because of their Caribbean heritage.

“We took on the Haitian culture in every dish, but we wanted to add our spin on it, and also a Miami spin, a Latin spin, and Cuban culture and Puerto Rican culture” said Stafford.

The griot and tasso were slow-cooked over heat for 48 hours to make sure the meat was rich in flavor. For dessert, the guests had a sweet taste of Haiti and Puerto Rico through the flan and tres leche dishes.

“It’s a very fun play on what the Haitian culture and Hispanic culture have come to create especially here in Miami,” said Stafford.

Pierre planned for two months for the event that combined many signature Caribbean dishes. Pierre, who is Haitian-American, decided to embrace the diversity of the South Florida community instead of only serving Haitian dishes because she serves women from many cultures.

“I love helping women, no matter who they are or where they are from. It’s about love,” said Pierre, who nicknamed her female members “L.O.V.E. Ladies.”

The organization hosted the Jan. 29 event to raise funds for underprivileged women who need assistance. Ladies of Valor Empowerment began in 2006 helping women with job placement, financial planning and life coaching.

Around 80 guests attended the reception, which was located in a ballroom at the Johnson & Wales University center.

Nahomie Mirville, who is a nurse and president of the Haitian-American Nurses Association, which goes by the name HANA, said the food was delicious and that the taste was authentic to the culture. Mirville, who is Haitain-American, said she could appreciate the taste of the Caribbean menu.

“The event was awesome, and I loved the food. Actually, my favorite was the tres leche, the dessert. It was very good,” said Mirville.

HANA, whose members were in strong attendance, partnered with Ladies of Valor Empowerment two years ago to host health fairs for the women who are assisted by the organization.

“The partnership with HANA and L.O.V.E. has been in place since 2010,” Mirville said. “It was a given, and it has been a blessing to have the two organizations work together.”

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Designer David Bromstad arrives at the Premiere of Summit Entertainment's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

    La vida local

    Interior designer David Bromstad designs labels for Nestle

    David Bromstad can make his coffee and design the creamer, too.

(FILES) A file photo taken in Melbourne on January 14, 2014, shows US musician Redfoo, best known for his electropop band LMFAO, watching a men's singles match at the 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament. US pop star Redfoo suffered a cut above his eye and had blood streaming down his face after a man allegedly threw a glass at him in a Sydney pub on August 28, 2014. Redfoo, a judge on Australia's "X Factor" talent show, said he was celebrating the release of his new song -- New Thang -- at the bar in Sydney's up-market suburb of Double Bay when he was struck in the early hours.

    Celebrity birthdays on Sept. 3

    Actress Anne Jackson is 89. Rock singer-musician Al Jardine is 72. Actress Valerie Perrine is 71. Rock musician Donald Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) is 66. Rock guitarist Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) is 59. Actor Charlie Sheen is 49. Singer Jennifer Paige is 41. Dance-rock musician Redfoo (LMFAO) is 39. Rock musician Tomo Milicevic (30 Seconds to Mars) is 35. Actor Garrett Hedlund is 30. Hip-hop singer August Alsina is 22.

  • Oops he did it again: Justin Bieber charged with assault

    TORONTO (AP) – Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after police said Tuesday he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category