Maria Michaela Stocker grew up around delicacies. Her mother owned the popular Arc-en-Ciel restaurant in Petion-Ville, and her father was the owner of the equally popular delicatessen Apollo. Although Arc-en-Ciel closed its doors a couple of years ago, Apollo continues to be the go to place for “Charcuterie” in Haiti. In 2009 Michaela left Haiti and went to Switzerland to study at the Cesar Ritz culinary arts school. She continued her education in Paris, Spain, and found Dubai by “Destiny.” She currently works as a Chef de Partie Pastry at Cle Dubai with Michelin Chef Greg Malouf. HaitiLuxe is about connecting you with the incredible endeavors of Haitians across the globe, which is why we had to do a Q&A an acknowledge the work of Ms. Michaela Stocker.
Q: In one word can you describe your experience growing up in Haiti?
A: It is impossible to just have one word, but I would say incredible.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge living in Dubai?
A: What I can tell you is that the biggest challenge living in Dubai is that we are not allowed to eat pork. Sometimes there is a language barrier, and also culture shock as many of the locals tend to have very conservative views.
Q: What inspired you to move to the Middle East?
A: What inspired me to move to the Middle East is the language, and the opportunity to be a part of the opening of a restaurant. I played a part in the opening of the Hyatt Place Kitchen, as well as Cle Dubai. It has definitely been the experience of a lifetime.
Q:What are your favorite Haitian Deserts?
A:My favorite Haitian desserts are Blanc Manger and Pain Patate. I love it especially when my mother makes it.
Q:Where would you recommend tourists to visit when they go to Haiti?
A: I would recommend that they visit Jacmel, Cap Haitian, and Port-au-Prince. They need to see the hustle and bustle of the Capital and the serenity of the country because that’s where the beauty of the country lies.
Q: Do you plan on moving back to Haiti?
A: cannot see this happening in the very near future as the world has so much to offer, however, I don’t know what God has in store for me. I am focusing on learning as much as I can so that when I decide to go home I can contribute to the growing hospitality industry in Haiti.
We want to Thank Michaela for her time. If you want to keep up with Michaela’s work, you can follow her on Instagram: the.world.of.pastry509
A Special Thank you to our editor Mary.
All Photos Courtesy of Ms. Michaela Stocker.