Caribbean Jerk Fusion, an addition to the Sault’s list of restaurants, opened its doors at 476 Queen Street East in downtown Sault Ste. Marie Friday.
You may have heard of it before, but what exactly is ‘jerk’ cooking?
Jerked chicken or pork is covered with ground spices, then cooked.
“It comes from our culture in Jamaica. It’s the flavour, it’s the seasoning, the herbs we put together,” said Andre Atkins, the restaurant’s cook and owner.
Atkins, a native of Jamaica who has lived and worked in Toronto for the last 20 years, moved with his family to the Sault 11 months ago.
“The Sault is laid back and more relaxing. I like the outdoors and the water. It’s more relaxed. I like that,” Atkins said.
He isn't new to the restaurant business.
“This is a family thing. My family has a restaurant in Toronto. It’s a tradition,” Atkins said.
Atkins said Caribbean Jerk Fusion is the first Caribbean restaurant in Sault Ste. Marie.
Business was good when the eatery opened Friday, he said.
“Oh, it was great. A lot of people turned out and showed their support. I appreciate it. It was very busy. It was nonstop.”
Queen Street business owners have been welcoming.
“The people downtown have shown a lot of support. I like that. Everybody comes together,” Atkins said.
The restaurant has seating for up to 50 people.
“I just love to cook. It’s my passion. I just want to cook and have people enjoy, with no dishes,” Atkins said.
The restaurant’s staff currently includes Atkins and three family members.
“It isn’t just for Caribbean people. It’s for everyone. I want everyone to enjoy a quality meal that’s not too expensive,” Atkins said.