"I work with the available ingredients here, but the flavors are traditional. Here [in the States], Caribbean food runs into stereotypes
of what it should be. We share a lot of common ingredients with South American food, Thai food, and Hawaiian food,
so I'm sourcing food from some of these vendors.
"If I can't find it, we make it. We've made our own cassava paste and
milk. These are just steps that sometimes, in the small mom-and-pop
they can't afford or don't have a time to prepare. This restaurant is a
labor of love.
I'm here many days from 8 a.m. to end of the line. I'm teaching the
people who are working with me in the kitchen about how and where these
flavors come from.
"I grew up with a grandmother and great-grandmother who were
magicians in the kitchen. We didn't have a lot, but whatever we had tasted amazing.
I'm taking the things that are handed to me, and using the ingredients I do have to showcase them."