Savor brings Caribbean cuisine to Washington – Washington Daily News
Aromas of spices, thyme, curry, coriander, habanero pepper, green onion, nutmeg and more evoke memories of life in the Caribbean for chefs Kendall Jones and Andrew Skiba. They’ve taken those memories, made them tangible, and will serve them to customers at their new restaurant, Savor, when it opens.
Their collective memories were brought to life through their recipes for Caribbean delights. Jones and Skiba released their menu earlier this month.
“Washington has a great food scene, but it’s definitely not represented here, so we want to bring that,” Jones said of bringing Caribbean fare to Washington.
Chicken roti, jerk chicken flatbread with pineapple salad, and falafel are a few items on the menu. Roti, originally an Indian dish, migrated with Indian immigrants to Trinidad in the mid-1800s. Nearly 180 years later, the dish has traveled throughout the Caribbean and has become a staple. Tucked into a traditional roti (thin flatbread) wrap is chicken curry, potatoes and chickpeas.
Jones explained that when customers look at the ingredients in their recipes, the menu items don’t look and sound so foreign. For example, the jerk chicken plate contains spicy chicken over jasmine or coconut rice, beets, pineapple salad, jerk sauce, and tostones. Tostones are similar to fried plantains, which are a fruit like a banana. Tostones and tacos add a Latin touch to their menu. Jerk sauce is sweet, salty, spicy and full of flavor. Jerk sauce is authentically Jamaican.
In the Caribbean, spices are stronger, there are more varieties of fruit, and food is grown locally. “What’s different when you actually live in the Caribbean is that the food you eat is locally grown…You have access to foods you’ve never had before and they all have amazing flavors and are used for different things,” Jones said.
Jones worked with a Jamaican woman to hone her skills in cooking slow-cooked chicken over the fire. Skiba worked with a Trinidadian woman who owned a restaurant business in St. Croix. She and Skiba worked to create the roti wrap.
“By learning from the locals, you see the passion for food,” Skiba said. He explained that the passion for food is due to the passion to feed his loved ones and the community as a whole. Learning how to make a roti wrap, Skiba and the Trinidadian woman served food to the community. “You have a heart for inclusivity,” Skiba said.
Skiba said St. Croix is a “melting pot” for many Southern Caribbean cultures. He got a taste of cultures where people served food in their homes.
Jones and Skiba say they love the way food brings people together. Their goal with Savor is to create a space where people from all backgrounds and cultures can come together to share a meal together.
Savor is a mobile food unit. It’s not quite a food truck, because it can’t be driven. Jones and Skiba collaborate with Pitt Street Brewing Company On the Pamlico (307 W Main Street). Their mobile food unit is located there, but they also pair Pitt’s beers with their dishes so customers can experience the best flavor combinations.