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Black Cuisine is Fine Dining.

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Hi there! I’m Max Beaulieu, Principal and Managing Attorney of the Beaulieu Law Firm. Born in Brooklyn, and raised in Long Island most of my life, I was privileged to grow up in the New York City Greater Area. Everything is big and glamorous here.

I am a first generation American. My roots: the Republic of Haiti. In 1979, my father left Haiti and moved to Brooklyn, NY to advance his career as a doctor. My mother, hailing from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, joined my father in 1981 to pursue her medical career as well. It was humbling beginnings for my parents. Living in a small one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment with a baby on the way while going through residency. For those that don’t know, when doctors graduate medical school, they enter a grueling post graduate program known as residency. Residency would last for a couple of years. Still, my mom always found the time to make some good ole Haitian home cooking. I would often see two to three large Dutch pots, each containing the staples of Haitian cuisine. Diri Blan (White Rice). Legume ak Vyann (Vegetable Stew with Beef). And of course, Sos Pwa (Bean Sauce). The food from the home country gave my parents fuel to get through the double shifts and overnight stays at the hospital.

I grew up watching my mom and grandmother pour their love into that steaming and smoldering kitchen stove. My mom would set the table and give my father, brother, and me a hot plate of food while she fed my three-month-old sister. Even our Thanksgiving had to have some Haitian flare. Sure! We had turkey, but it wasn’t Thanksgiving to us without some of our favorites: Diri Djon Djon (Black Mushroom Rice), Griot (Fried Pork) and Bannan Mi (Sweet Plantain). Growing up, I only got food like this from my home, other Haitian households, or a small-scale restaurant with styrofoam containers.

Black cuisine as a whole had to bear the burden of being perceived as food for the poor and not suitable to be served in fine dining establishments. This long held negative perception has started to change in recent years, however. Black chefs have started to apply their fine culinary training to the dishes of their households. Black restauranteurs emphasizing the customers’ experience at a fine dining restaurant combined with their respective culture have created something magical. The fact that I, a Haitian, and my wife, a Trini, can get dressed up, go to a fine dining establishment, and be served home cooking with the fine dining experience is a source of pride for me. The number of fine dining black and minority owned restaurants has increased exponentially over the past twenty years and it’s beautiful to see.

Along with the growth of the sophistication of black owned restaurants are the possibility of more opportunities and more problems. We at the Beaulieu Law Firm guide our clients to fully take advantage of those opportunities and minimize problems. We also aim to be a resource to black and minority owned restaurants. We want to make sure that restauranters, and hospitality professionals are up to date in all things in the hospitality industry and educate you on how it affects your establishment. Welcome to the Beaulieu Law Firm! We’re here to serve you!

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