In this section, Chef Lemaire will break down: recipes, cooking tips, ways to improve your lifestyle, myths and so much more related to cooking especially healthy cooking. This section will be updated periodically. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.
The Chef's Corner
Meet Chef Lemaire, aka Alain Lemaire
Alain Lemaire is an award winning chef out of South Florida. He is the Co-owner and Executive Chef of Sensory Delights, LLC, a full service catering company supplying the entire Sout Florida area. Alain Lemaire is a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he first discovered his interest in cooking. Later on, he developed an increasing passion for food and foodservice which led him to attend the Culinary program at the acclaimed Johnson & Wales University. Upon graduation, Alain earned several honors such as a being a member of the Silver Key Honor Society, and of the "Chaine des Rotisseurs".
Thanks to his heritage and having spent most of his career in South Florida, Caribbean and Latin flavors play a major role in Alain's style of cooking: "fresh, bold and in your face!" as he would say it.
Alain Lemaire has participated in and featured as a guest chef in numerous food events in the United States and overseas such as: Houston's Caribbean Rum Festival, Haiti's Food & Beverage Festival, Haiti's Rum Festival, Boca Raton Wine & Food Festival, Colors of the Caribbean and much more.
One of Alain's career highlights was to participate at the Chefs for Obama Miami event back in September 2012, where he had the chance to feature amongst some of the best chefs of South Florida cooking for President Obama re-election campaign.
Le Chef TV Show
March 7, 2015 will be forever remembered as the day when both the Culinary and TV industries changed in Haiti for the best. For years now, Jean Paul Laraque, a Producer and partner at GraphCity, had the vision of creating a cooking show tailored specifically for Haiti. GraphCity is a production company based out of Haiti and creates visual and audio materials such as commercials, music videos and TV Shows just to name a few. The company is turning 15 years this year and wanted to celebrate that by creating and releasing contents for the Haitian public through local TV networks.
At the end of September 2014, with many international chefs flying in Haiti for the annual Gout et Saveurs Lakay, which is Haiti’s Food and Spirits Festival, the opportunity couldn’t have been better. This event which is set to hit its 5th Edition, brings in over 15 chefs from all over the world, with the majority being Haitians living abroad, to participate in a 10-day long festivity around food. With the help of Annie Melissa Etienne, Jean Paul was introduced to Chefs Alain Lemaire and David Destinoble who became co-producers. The parties were in a common accord and truly believed in the necessity and the value of the show especially for the Haitian market where the field and the interests for it are increasing. The concept of the show: two chefs face each other for 45 minutes by using 2 secret ingredients that are only revealed at the beginning of the battle and must please the palate and eyes of three judges. By October 6, 2014 the filming was done and it was time for editing.
After months of hard labor, multiple meetings and negotiations, the show was finally ready to see the light. On March 7, 2015 “Le Chef” was set to be unveiled to the public at the Grand Premier that was held at La Reserve Hotel in Petion-Ville. The night was electrifying and full of emotions: high tech lighting, beautiful décor, and a panoply hostesses wearing chef hats, t-shirts and aprons adorning the logo “Le Chef”. Guests had the red carpet experience: big back drop where they were able to take pictures with all the participating chefs, receive autographed posters of all the chefs and enjoy great cocktails provided by the host hotel. The first order of this magical night was the viewing of the first episode of “Le Chef” by a crowd of over 300 individuals on a giant screen. It was the first time, I’ve seen a crowd seat down, barely making noise just to be able to capture every single moment of the episode. The best was yet to come!
To close out the event, a live cooking battle was in order. The entire set of the TV show was recreated at La Reserve and Chefs Alain Lemaire and David Destinoble were about to go head to head. Two twists were added that night: each chef was assisted by a sous chef and the other secret ingredient was only revealed to them half-way through the battle with 22 minutes left. The first secret ingredient was bulgur wheat and the second, a 10 pound whole yellow tail snapper. The chefs created some mesmerizing dishes, displayed amazing showmanship, threw jabs at each other which made the crowd laugh and enticed their curiosity whenever they would describe what they were working on at certain point of time. At the end of the battle, Chef Alain Lemaire assisted by Chef Melissa Francois were victorious over Chef David Destinoble assisted by Chef Stael Leon. History was made: the first ever live cooking battle in Haiti and the first ever cooking competition show made in Haiti.
The winning dish: kassav crusted red snapper topped with a tomato, shallot and watercress salad with avocado dressing over a risotto-like bulgur wheat with djodjon with a pumpkin mousse.
Conception and realization: GraphCity
Producer: Jean Paul Laraque
Co-Producers: Chef Alain Lemaire and Chef David Destinoble
Network: Radio-Tele Metropole in Haiti
Casting: ME PR and Communications
In the feeding center I volunteered at in Haiti, the portion sizes of the grains were very large, especially on days when white rice was served. The older children would sometimes have plates with 4-6 cups of food. This is equivalent to about 8-12 servings of grains. Some of the children, however, were in need of the calories so the portion sizes weren’t too much of a concern for me. However, for the general population and for
those not in need of weight gain or higher caloric needs, portion sizes do matter. A serving of whole grains is equal to: ½ cup of cooked pasta, rice, grain, or oats; 1 slice of whole grain bread; 3 cups of popcorn (preferably air popped). The number of servings of whole grains really depends on individual factors and nutritional needs. Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating Plate suggests making ¼ of our plate whole grains. Total caloric intake from carbohydrate should be
between 45-65% of your daily needs. I recommend balancing whole grains with other starchy-vegetables (squash, potatoes, taro root, plantains, and cassava), as well as beans/ legumes to contribute to carbohydrate totals. Now that we have touched the basics of consuming whole grains, I’d like to talk a little more about the additional important factors surrounding the consumption of sorghum, especially for the people living in Haiti.
Top 10 Foods that help increase lactation
Oatmeal has long been recommended as a way for moms to boost their milk supply. Researchers know that oatmeal has properties in it that help to lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy blood pressure. These properties in oatmeal may also help with other functions in the body including lactation. Nutrition may not be the only reason why oatmeal is good for breastfeeding moms though. Oatmeal is a comfort food. When a woman sits down and eats a bowl of oatmeal, it may help her to relax, which in turn may cause her body to release oxytocin (a hormone involved in milk production). In addition, being relaxed may help with the milk let-down process.
Breastfeeding increases your caloric needs and your need for certain vitamins and minerals. Spinach is a good source of calcium, iron, Vitamin K, A, and folate. Folate (or folic acid) is particularly important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach also contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens, which are believed to promote breast tissue health and lactation, are plant-based chemicals that have similar properties as estrogen.
Carrots are a lesser known galactagogue, but like spinach, they contain phytoestrogens. Carrots are also high in beta-carotene and Vitamin A, both of which lactating mothers have an increased need for. Carrot juice is especially great for breastfeeding moms. It is believed to provide extra energy needed by lactating women, and it may improve the supply and quality of breast milk. Drinking a cup of carrot juice just before lunch may give your afternoon supply a boost.
Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, or green beans, are frequently used lactogenic foods. Hummus, which is traditionally made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, is a perfect snack for breastfeeding moms. It is a complete protein, and the combination of chickpeas and garlic (another galactagogue) makes this nutrient dense snack, a top choice for nursing moms.
Papayas have been commonly used in Asia as a galactagogue. Traditionally, it is made into a soup using green (not ripe) papayas. Its lactogenic properties have not been studied, but it is thought that the enzymes and phytochemicals in papaya may enhance breast tissue as well as improve lactation. Papaya has also been used as a natural sedative. The sedating quality may help you to relax, and at the same time help with the milk let-down process.
High in fiber, folic acid, Vitamins A, C, and K, asparagus is a power-house food for nursing mothers. Asparagus, like other foods on our list, contain phytoestrogens. The hormonal effect of phytoestrogens aid in milk production and high fiber foods help to maintain a healthy milk supply. Moreover, asparagus contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid which may stimulate prolactin (a major hormone involved in lactation) production and subsequently improve milk supply.
7. Brown Rice
Oatmeal is the whole-grain food you often hear about when it comes to supply-boosters, but brown rice is another whole grain that is notable when it comes to lactation. Brown rice is unprocessed rice with just the outer-most hull removed. It’s a complex carbohydrate, which provides mom with energy needed for breastfeeding, but it also helps with milk production in another way. Researchers have discovered that eating brown rice may cause an increase in serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your moods, appetite, and sleep, but it also stimulates prolactin secretion. Prolactin, as mentioned earlier, is a key hormone involved in lactation.
The University of Wisconsin’s School of Health and Public Medicine recommends apricots as a natural galactagogue. Apricots (especially dried apricots) contain phytoestrogens which help to balance the hormones involved in lactation. Apricots are high in fiber, Vitamin A, C, potassium and calcium. Calcium-rich dried fruits like figs, apricots, and dates are thought to help with milk production. Apricots, like some other lactogenic foods on this list, also contain tryptophan, which naturally boosts prolactin levels.
Salmon is a great source of essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. EFAs and Omega-3 fatty acids, like what’s found in salmon, are thought to give your milk supply a boost even though they are not technically considered a galactagogue. There are a couple of reasons why we think EFAs and Omega-3s help increase a woman’s supply. The first is that they simply improve mom’s nutrition so that she can produce the hormones necessary for milk production. In addition, EFAs are part of what breast milk is made up of. Essential fatty acids are a key component in breast milk. Naturally, having more EFAs available will allow mom to produce fattier, more nutritious, breast milk.
Drinking more water is one of the best ways to improve your milk supply. Nursing depletes your body of fluids so it makes sense that drinking water will help you to stay hydrated and produce more milk. Don’t get carried away though. Research has found that drinking extra fluids (above what you would drink if you simply drank to thirst) does nothing to improve milk supply, and in fact, may reduce your supply instead. So keep it simple; when you feel thirsty or before you sit down to nurse grab a large cup of water.
Source: Just Mommies