NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Lamartine Alvarez knows his way around the kitchen.
He's been introducing Haitian cuisine to Nashvillians since 2009.
"After you prepare a wonderful meal, people come and enjoy. They say, 'man that was really good.' You see the excitement in their voice in how they're telling you man that was wonderful," Alvarez said.
Through his cooking, he's been letting people in on a secret he's known his whole life.
"I always believe that we have the best food in the world, but nobody knows a lot about it," he said.
But since Jan. 30, he's slowed his roll with cooking. His food truck was stolen while parked near Eastland and Riverside.
"There's no words that describe the anger and the pain I feel because I just finished spending a lot of money to get it wrapped and get it ready for the new season. Since 2019, it's been a roller coaster because of COVID," Alvarez said.
He's asking people who may have seen or heard something to call police.
A season that was supposed to represent new beginnings now means a new challenge to overcome.
"They robbed me of that chance to even get out there," he said.
Alvarez says he's no stranger to hard times. At age 13, he immigrated to the United States escaping political unrest in Haiti.
He's now having to drive for Uber, and takes on small catering orders from his home. But similar to back then, he's not giving up.
"I'm still working towards starting something again soon maybe just some pop-ups every weekend somewhere," Alvarez said.
He's set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of purchasing another food truck. If you are interested in helping out, you can visit his GoFundMe page.