Few can claim to have come out on top on the Food Network’s executive-chef hunt, Chef Wanted. Fewer still have also emerged victorious on that same channel’s notoriously competitive – as the name suggests – Cutthroat Kitchen. Throw in “Bahamas-born, U.S.-raised chef of Haitian origin who’s headed up kitchens with Japanese, Mediterranean, French, and Caribbean influences, has taught culinary arts in China and is a truly down-to-earth guy” and you’d be forgiven for getting a tad suspicious about this Jouvens Jean guy and his story. These experiences around the world have allowed Chef Jouvens to effortlessly draw from a variety of sources, all without falling into the overly conceptual trap that is “fusion”. Instead, he brings together techniques and ingredients that he’s come to regard as second nature, blending them in innovative ways. Despite this outward-looking philosophy, the food of Haiti – the land of his parents – plays a central role in many of his creations. In fact, Chef Jouvens has become one of the cuisine’s biggest exponents and innovators. This desire to push the cuisine outward and forward is tempered by his profound respect for its principles, history, and unpretentious nature. Haiti is no mere abstraction to him either: He’s worked as a consultant with the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel and was the consulting executive chef at Kinam Hotel, also in the capital. Perhaps more importantly, through his Chef Jouvens Foundation, he has spearheaded a variety of projects to help the island nation and its people – particularly, its youth – get the tools and opportunities needed to unlock their full potential. Concretely, his foundation is working to feed children in the country and provide them with sound nutritional information, as well as helping young Haitians interested in the culinary arts receive the training and exceptional opportunities they seek.