Born in Port Au Prince, the capital and largest city of the Caribbean country of Haiti and raised in the US, JP has honed his culinary craft for over thirty years in restaurants from Chicago to NYC. He’s worked for many of the city’s best chefs and cultures. His passion for this business was influenced by his mother (Marie Paul), who owned and operated her own restaurant in Haiti.
Owning a restaurant gives him the unique opportunity express his culinary finesse, masterfully fusing the flavors and cooking techniques of two cultures – Haiti and the American South creating the distinct flavors of Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro.
5 Things I Can’t Live Without
1) Seasoning. Everywhere in the Caribbean, Green Seasoning is used as the base of many dishes. Most of the Southern Caribbean, in the Spanish speaking Caribbean you’ll find Sofrito. An aromatic blend of fresh herbs, garlic and seasoning peppers. My mom once told me that the secret was all in the sofrito she started with. You will definitely find variations in the way sofrito is made as you make your way through Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. As everyone tends to have their own specific recipe.
2) Rice and Beans. Is it rice and peas or peas and rice or rice and beans. This peas and rice dish is normally associated with Jamaica, however just about every island in the Caribbean does a version of rice and beans. Most Haitians eat rice and beans as our main plate and everything else is considered a side dish.
3) Asian/Thai Food. An all time favorite. When I’m not eating my food it’s Asian or Thai. Drunken noodles, Roast Pork or Crispy Duck and all the vegetables you can sauté up. Don’t forget a little red pepper chili oil. All family favorites!
4) Picklese. The Caribbean is flooded with pepper sauces and condiments of all kinds, as it’s simply part of our culinary culture. The textures, heat level, ingredients, ways of preserving and overall vibrancy of them all are unique to the maker and individual island. An yes, I consider myself an aficionado of anything hot and spicy, it must be said that Haitian Picklese is at the top of my list when it comes to spicy condiments.
5) Caribbean Pot. If it’s all the same to you, I don’t go anywhere without my pot! Also know as a calderon (iron pot). These pots withstand and maintain very high cooking temperatures, which make it a common choice for searing or frying, and its excellent heat retention makes it a good option for long-cooking stews or braised dishes. Anywhere in the Caribbean you’ll find locals still use these pots, when cooking on the beaches or the side of the road. The best and freshest eating.
In order to understand how Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro came to be you’d have to know a little something about the sisters. Karen Thomas and Adrienne Paul hail from a family steeped in the business of hospitality. Their parents, dad an independent businessman and mom a school teacher, owned and operated a five-ballroom catering company in NYC. Their passion for this business was passed on to their daughters, who both studied hospitality management and culinary arts at universities in the US and abroad. These ladies have spent over fifteen years in the corporate and private sector of the hospitality field. The move to Erie presented them with the opportunity to fulfill both a professional and family dream, a business of their own. In July 2011, Pineapple Eddie became a reality.