Starch comes from rice or from vegetables like the plantain, and the Haitians typically choose red beans over black. Dairy doesn't play a major role, so sauces are typically built from the reduction of cooking juices. You'll also find a lot of goat, chicken, and as you'd expect for island cuisine, seafood.
Laguerre also describes how everything in Haitian cuisine is marinated to infuse even more flavor. Meat is then typically "double-cooked" - it will be roasted on one day and then cooked as part of a specific preparation the next. Sauteing is also a key technique used for many dishes.
Yum! We can't wait to try out some Haitian recipes in our kitchen - though we might have to build up to using those scotch bonnets. Do you have a favorite Haitian dish?
• To hear Evan Kleiman's complete interview with Georges Laguerre, visit the Good Food website.
Related: Sense of Place: The Food of Florida