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A Taste for Charity

Side Dishes: Eat Haitian to help Haitians

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On February 12 and 13, The Brewski in Jeffersonville will serve up island specialties to benefit earthquake survivors through UNICEF and the Vermont Haiti Project.

Chef Chad Hanley is hard at work perfecting the Haitian national dish, griots, or fried glazed pork. Chicken will be served in a Creole-style tomato-based sauce with hot peppers, and steak will be fried with plantains. Entrées come with rice laced with veggies and ham or Haitian black mushrooms. There are corn and conch fritters, too.

Hanley says the simple recipes recall dishes he prepared while working as a cook in New Orleans. Still, learning to prepare the “extreme peasant food” with products available in Vermont has been a challenge. Perhaps the large shipment of 8-year-old Barbancourt Haitian rum he’s received will lighten his mood.

There’s more to the event than food and spirits. The Brewski’s owners, Dale Cahill and Darcy Purinton, are musicians, and manager Tom Moog has organized a program to make them proud. The 24 bands slated to entertain après-skiers and others include Seth Yacovone, the Gordon Stone Band, Red Hot Juba and the Starline Rhythm Boys. Corbett Torrence, a UVM and Johnson State College professor specializing in Haiti, will educate customers via slide shows and lectures as they indulge — for the cause.

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