Miguel Larcher. Photo credit: Samuel Girven
“Like Christ who fed the multitude while preaching the gospel, food is my tool to win souls for Christ’s Kingdom.”
Terrified and excited, Chef Miguel Larcher was just 12 years old when he cooked his first meal—a chicken dish. Much to his surprise and delight, the meal turned out well. He was excited and, at that moment, he knew he wanted to be a chef. He had no way of knowing that, decades later, his food would take him far from his home island of Martinique and become the tool he used to bring people to Christ.
Larcher, now 53, travels the world cooking, teaching and educating others about the Seventh-day Adventist health message. He has conducted countless cooking classes all over the United States and abroad, including in countries like South Africa and Botswana.
“Witnessing to people is my passion and my love,” says Larcher. “Food is just a means to that end. When I cook, I say, ‘Lord, let them see Christ.’ Because if they see me, they’ll be lost.”
In 2020, Larcher began a farmer’s market ministry in Grayling, Michigan, a small town with a population of only 1,969 people. It was an instant success.
He focused on attracting people by preparing a variety of ethnic foods and baked breads without heavy use of sugar, oil or refined ingredients. The result? His customers felt cared for and returned for more. He later opened Nature’s Nest, a health food store at Camp Au Sable to meet the demand resulting from the farmer’s market ministry.
“When my customers come, they know they can trust me because I demonstrate care for their health,” explains Larcher. “They know I see them as valuable human beings. When the food is delicious and responds to their physical and health needs, they love every bite and trust that I want the best for them.”
For Larcher, cooking is so much more than just making a dish. It’s how he draws people in.
“I try to learn every single person’s name. I talk with them, and they talk with me. They share their problems and I pray with them on the spot,” says Larcher. “They often cry. It’s moving and humbling. This is how God uses me to reach souls. It’s fulfilling for me—and them.”
Larcher is not surprised at this power of demonstrating care for people through food. In fact, it’s how he won his wife’s heart.
“When I met my wife and while we were still friends, I prepared moussaka for her. It’s an eggplant-based dish,” he explains. “It spoke to her heart because I took the time to prepare something for her. Food speaks many languages, especially love.”
When he’s not managing Nature’s Nest, you can find Larcher spending time with his wife, Nadine, and their two children, Emmanuel and Hadassah.
“The best thing is sitting around the dinner table with your family. I get to hear my kids say, ‘Mmmm’ as they eat and ‘Daddy, we love you so much!’ It’s the food and fellowship that bring us closer together. We share a meal, we talk, and we laugh. That’s the power of delicious, intentionally prepared food. My kids know I care about their health, too.”
Larcher believes that food in ministry cannot be neglected—food is a powerful tool. “Both Jesus and Jacob used food to accomplish something,” acknowledges Larcher. “Food is a necessity for every human being, so we need to use it to continually win souls for Christ.”
“This meal is very special to me as it is one of my favorite childhood comfort foods.
"I remember every Sunday after church (I used to be Catholic until conversion to Adventism at age 17), we would sit down together as a family—my mother, father and siblings—and partake of this delicious meal. We would have yams and purple sweet potatoes, and kidney beans and dumplings. We all took part in making the food.
"We also have a cake—the Caribbean cake. There are four layers: the crust, custard sauce, coconut gems, and then the cake batter."
“Heathen Love” or Amore Cache
Preheat oven to 350°.
In meantime, prepare the pastry cream.
Danni Thaw is a freelance writer.