Island Kitchens, a new Jamaican restaurant, is scheduled to open Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Sidney at 430 North Central Avenue. Cal Gordon, who was born and raised in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is the owner and founder of Island Kitchens.
“About five years ago, I moved over here to Sidney,” Gordon said. “My wife grew up in Savage and I met her here and that’s why I stayed in the area.”
One of the main reasons Gordon wanted to bring a restaurant to Sidney was just his desire to cook.
“I always wanted to share that good flavor and that variety of taste,” he said. “As Jamaicans, we’re pretty infectious people. Everywhere we go, we try to have an impact and try to share our culture and our food with other people.”
So far, Gordon has received nothing but good reviews.
“The people around here are very wonderful,” he said. “They love the whole idea, a lot of them traveled to Jamaica before and they’re excited.”
The restaurant business has been at the forefront of Gordon’s mind and it’s something he always wanted to bring with him wherever he goes.
“I had a restaurant back home earlier in my day before I moved here,” he said. “Just coming here and seeing the good responses on my food from my family members and friends, it’s just a dream of mine to keep sharing that.”
Gordon didn’t acknowledge having a favorite food, but he does have a suggestion for first-time visitors into the restaurant.
“If you go to any Jamaican restaurant, you need to try what we call Jerk Chicken,” he said. “It’s really flavorful, it’s good quality stuff and it’s good for you. I think it’s one of the most popular foods out of Jamaica.”
But he wanted to make clear that while it is a Jamaican restaurant, they don’t just stick to Jamaican food.
“Jamaica is really diverse when it comes to its food concept and those concepts come from multiple influences from Africa, from the Chinese culture and the Indian style,” Gordon said. “The idea here is to fuse some of that with the American influence as well. We’re not restricted to just Jamaican food or spicy food; it’s the rich flavor, it’s a rich, cultural experience that has something for everyone.”
Above all else, Gordon feels this restaurant will provide something different.
“We have people who are interested in trying something different,” he said. “They’re interested in some good quality home-style cooking, food that is made with all-natural ingredients and fewer preservatives. It’s all fresh, cooked food.”
Island Kitchens will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. — 8 p.m. starting Dec. 4.