Haitian food is having its day on Youtube, thanks to Lamise Oyugi, a Haitian-American food vlogger on Youtube. Based in North Dakota, the zealous foodie breaks down the intricate steps of Haitian cooking down to well-constructed videos on the platform. She also features the cuisines of other Caribbean countries, as well as some parts of Africa.
Kreyolicious: Tell us about how cooking came to be such a big part of your world?
I started cooking at the age of ten. My mother would have me sit next to her while she’s cooking dinner and I would imitate her cooking but using a can. That’s how my passion for cooking started. I learned to cook watching my mom and aunt. They loved to cook, and for the most part, we prepared meals at home instead of going out to eat.
Above: A griyo dish prepared by the Haitian-American foodie for her Youtube channel. [Photo Credit: Lamise Oyugi]
Kreyolicious: You moved from Haiti to the USA when you were little. And moved to Fargo, North Dakota as opposed to a U.S city like Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Newark, Miami where there is a much bigger Haitian population. Do you think you had a different acculturation experience then peers who moved there?
My parents made that decision to move to North Dakota when I was a young girl, so I didn’t have much input into it. But that decision turned out to be a good one, since I have enjoyed my life here while keeping my culture in tact.
Kreyolicious: What was it really like growing up in Fargo?
Fargo is a pretty lively place to grow up in and it is one of those cities that you have to visit to see first hand. There is a mix of cultures and among them is a nice size Haitian community.
A Lamise Oyugi creation! Photo Credit: Lamise Oyugi
Kreyolicious: What made you start your Youtube channel?
I wanted to teach people about Haitian cuisine because I felt that Haitian cuisine is not well represented.
Kreyolicious: When did you realize you were getting somewhere with all the hours and effort, time and money that you were putting in your channel?
I started realizing this is getting somewhere when the subscriber list started getting bigger and bigger and people began leaving positive comments. This fueled my passion to continue.
Above: Okra stew prepared by Haitian-American food vlogger Lamise Oyugi! Photo Credit: Lamise Oyugi.
Kreyolicious: What are the challenges that come with being a food vlogger?
Making sure you deliver what your audience want can sometimes be challenging. This is because some ingredients can be hard to find in my area.
Photography Credit: Lamise Oyugi