Jamaica Lee Style
udlow Lee learned everything he knows about cooking from watching his mother work her magic in the kitchen. “Every time she cooked something I would like, I would try it and then I would go try and make it,” says the co-owner of Jamaica Lee Style. But he’s come a long way from getting schooled on how much salt to use in his rice. After moving to Canada in 2010 he worked as a plumber, all the while brushing up his culinary skills and dodging suggestions that he should open his own restaurant. Until he and his wife Michelle debuted their retrofitted bright green and black food truck in Dartmouth during summer 2015, bringing Lee’s mother’s recipes to the masses. If you haven’t tracked it down yet, here are his three recommendations for when you do.
1. OXTAIL, $16
“It’s a delicacy,” says Lee of the rare but rich meal, cooked slowly and lovingly for the food truck’s diners. While he encourages folks to think outside their usual rotation of meat with this stewed dish, it’s probably best you try his before you try this at home. “It’s not like chicken where you can just throw some on the grill,” says Lee with a laugh. “If you don’t know what you’re doing, cooking oxtail isn’t going to go your way.”
2. JERK CHICKEN, $10
Lee recommends you make his favourite dish on the menu your favourite, too. And that’s because of the authentic, homestyle flavour. “We have original Jamaican-style. We get our ingredients from Jamaica,” he says of the natural ingredients that make his recipe stand out. “The Scotch bonnet peppers, the ones here don’t taste the same as the Caribbean ones.”
3. CURRY CHICKEN, $10
“We don’t have anything to warm-up or reheat and give people, it all comes fresh from the stove,” says Lee of his commitment to freshness. Cooked a different style than the jerk, in Lee’s curry sauce rather than on the grill, this dish is a milder alternative for chicken-seekers.