Welcome to our Sunday Inspiration series where we feature inspirational individuals living out their dreams in the worlds of food and travel.
Join us as we discover the passions, challenges, and motivations that drive these unique creators to quit their 9-5s and embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.
Today we’re speaking with Prisca, a local chef and entrepreneur from Martinique. She’s the founder of Ma Cuisine Creole, which translates to “My Creole Cuisine”. Ma Cuisine Creole is a multi-service brand which offers: cooking classes, catering, food blogging, a web series on YouTube and recipe development for food companies. She does all of this while raising a family with her partner Jerry.
On a previous trip to Martinique, Food Inspiration Travel was fortunate enough to meet Prisca at one of her cooking classes. She was energetic and passionate about teaching us about Martiniquais food. Her food was so good that it inspired us to come back to Martinique to learn more about her. Please see our conversation below.
Food Inspiration Travel: What were you doing before you became a chef?
Prisca: I went to France to study Marketing and Communications. I didn’t plan to be a chef instead I imagined myself working in an office. I wanted to work in Tourism in France. When I came back from France, I was working in Television Sales. I was selling advertisements. I was bored because I wanted to create something special as an entrepreneur. I went from the idea of working in an office to wanting to become an entrepreneur because my boss in France was a great mentor and entrepreneur to me.
Food Inspiration Travel: Why did you decide to come back to Martinique?
Prisca: I always wanted to come back to do something for my country. The only reason why I went to France was because my parents encouraged me to go and find opportunities to learn and work outside of Martinique. My generation wanted to come back to make Martinique better and not just come back when we are ready to retire. The reason though was for love. Jerry wanted to come back to Martinique after spending 8 years in France with me.
Food Inspiration Travel: What inspired you to start cooking?
Prisca: When I arrived in France, for the first year I didn’t know anyone. I was really missing my home country, Martinique so I started cooking traditional meals after class. I did this to feel connected. I would call my mother to ask her how to create the meals that she would cook for me at home…I was never interested in cooking before because my parents owned a restaurant in Martinique and I saw how hard it was to manage. I just enjoyed eating what they cooked. I wanted to do anything but that.
Cooking the traditional meals of my home country was how I made friends. Everyone loved my accras; and I soon realized that cooking was an important way for me to share and connect with people as well as my country.
Food Inspiration Travel: What prompted you to share your love of cooking through your blog, Ma Cuisine Creole?
Prisca: I studied and worked in France for 8 years. During that time I enjoyed reading the French food blogs. When I came back to Martinique I decided to start my own blog because I wanted to share my love of Martiniquais cuisine. It was also a way for me to share the recipes of my home country with my sisters who were at that time studying in France.
Food Inspiration Travel: What made you make the leap to entrepreneurship?
Prisca: In 2009, there was a great strike in Martinique that lasted for one month. A lot of companies fell at that time and many people were fired because there was no business. It was a big crisis. I realized that one day you can have everything and the next day you can lose it all. I was almost 30 years old at that time and didn’t have children yet. I asked myself, “What do you want to do?” The only thing that I really wanted to do was to cook. I began using my blog as a way to post my recipes and work with other companies so that they could use my blog as a channel to advertise their products. We [Prisca and companies she worked with] all had a shared passion for buying and cooking locally, which was not popular at that time because everyone was importing goods.
Food Inspiration Travel: Who are your inspirations in the culinary world?
Prisca: I’m inspired by female chefs from France. Some of them manage their business and family simultaneously. Secondly, the women who sell goods in the markets in Martinique. They wake up really early in the morning to sell their goods while also raising their kids. Next, the farmers are inspiring to me. It is such a hard job to grow produce. They inspired me to create my web series on YouTube, which currently has 2 episodes. I wanted to share their stories and their work. Lastly, the local chefs in Martinique. Within the last 5 years, they have moved towards cooking traditional meals instead of only French cuisine.
Food Inspiration Travel: What are you cooking at home with your family?
Prisca: We love Dombré. It’s something “rude” because it is nothing compared to classic cuisine that you would find in a restaurant. It is a rustic dish that doesn’t look like much, but it tastes so good! They are small balls made of flour, water, and butter paired with pink beans. You can have it with meat or seafood. It’s really nice and I can’t stop eating them.
Prisca’s #FITip: [on quitting your full-time job to become a chef] In fact, the first thing I would say based on my experience is you shouldn’t be alone in what you are doing. You should find support through your family, friends, or community. For me, Jerry has been my support. At times, you will need their financial support as well as emotional support. Second, be sure you know where you want to go. In hard times, that goal will be your motivation and energy. Lastly, you must work hard. Never think that you are finished. You should always look for the next step and always try to see further.
Are you interested in taking a cooking class with Prisca? We would love to hear your feedback. Tell us in the comment section below!
Travel Wide. Eat Well. Live Your Passion.
Sarah + Monty