What’s cooking in Gladys Caribbean Kitchen: Jamaican female chefs name restaurant in honour of their grandmothers
Food is the centrepiece for every occasion, and Jamaican chefs, Deidre Coleman and Patrice Gilman, are firm believers in making culinary masterpieces. After all, sharing food is their love language. Raised on authentic spices and rich flavour, the dynamic duo ignited their passion for flaming adventures, stirring up the senses and emotions of yard-style dishes, and bringing that first-rate flavour to Winnipeg, Canada. So, grab a plate, and let’s see what’s cooking at Gladys Caribbean Kitchen.
“We have jerked chicken and plantain poutine and a creamy callaloo dip served with green pressed plantains. The oxtail bowl is a crowd favourite. We also keep the Jamaican legacy of Saturday soup, making the traditional variety of mannish water, red peas soup, or chicken foot soup. We bring a strong fusion of Jamaican flavours to elements of Manitoba,” the duo explained to Food.
Crediting their former lecturer at the University of Technology’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Mrs McNish, they shared that imparting this nugget of wisdom: people eat with their eyes first. It is with this knowledge and understanding that the team offers opulence in food plating presentations.
She wasn’t the only inspiration specially mentioned by the business owners. Both confessed to attributing their love for great taste to their grandmothers. Growing up, Deidre would help the maternal figures of her household, that is her mother, aunt, and grandmother, prepare meals. “I would always look forward to those moments, making and trying different delicacies,” she shared.
For Patrice, her grandmother was a restaurant owner in Parade Gardens, located back then at the intersection of Ladd Lane and Tower Street. “My initial career choice was to become a butcher, then it swiftly shifted to culinary arts. Food preparation was my first love and holds a special place at my core,” she admitted.
With this foodie foundation, the two enrolled in the hospitality and tourism management degree programme. Patrice attended UTech from 2005 to 2009 and Deidre came from Montego Bay Community College to pursue her studies from 2008 to 2010. But their paths never crossed, despite the overlap in years. The two actually met at church in Winnipeg. And it was there that they became fast friends.
Diedre had met her culinary match with her sister from another mister, Patrice. Expressing their shared love for food, exchanging and creating recipes, they began a sojourn into the world of pop-up kitchens. With that success, it wasn’t long before they began setting their sights on something much bigger: a restaurant.
When it came time for a name, the palate-pleasing pair decided that it was only fair to honour their grandmothers who shared the same first name, Gladys. “Although we are friends, I feel like we share grandmothers. I never met Patrice’s grandmother, Gladys Thompson, but she always reminds me that my grandmother, Gladys Davis, is just like hers. Both our grandmothers had to share names and share similar characteristics. So going with that name was a no-brainer,” Deidre highlighted.
Since opening its doors almost a year ago on June 10, the majority of its customer base are lovers of Jamaican food. They have either been directly associated through travel or via taste from friends and family. Or they’re exposed through word of mouth and thereby converted with one bite. The eatery has provided the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. There, they can unwind, relax and take their taste buds on the most delightful journey.
“We have long cold winters and we believe our food and ambiance have brought sunshine to the hearts of many Winnipegers who couldn’t travel due to the pandemic and for those who are in love with everything Jamaica,” Patrice added.
They both exercise creativity, confidence, and consistency, all while uplifting each other and their staff. Spending a great deal of time mastering their craft, they show up and show support. “Patrice is my motivator and I’m hers. Having each other has helped to keep us grounded and always pushing against the glass ceiling. We also have an amazing team of supportive friends and family that keep us going as well,” Deidre highlighted.
To help curtail the restrictions of COVID-19, the chefs partnered with delivery apps Doordash, SkipTheDishes, and LocalGood2go to take their wholesome food all over the city, just in case foodies weren’t capable of gracing their doors.
“At Gladys Caribbean Kitchen, you get a taste of Jamaica: the food, the music, the ambiance, and service with a smile. We treat everyone like family that walk through our doors. We have been told that it feels like they are in Jamaica when they are in the restaurant and that’s what we started this restaurant for,” Patrice said.
You can visit their kitchen at 726 Sargent Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram: @gladyscaribbeankitchen for more information.