Fri | Apr 12, 2024

Adonno Haye feeds food legacy with Wrapsta Restaurant

Published:Thursday | January 18, 2024 | 12:08 AMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter
This large beef loaded fries just got better with the addition of turkey bacon.
This large beef loaded fries just got better with the addition of turkey bacon.
Self-taught chef, Adonno Haye, fed on his family’s food legacy and made Wrapsta Restaurant a delicious reality.
Self-taught chef, Adonno Haye, fed on his family’s food legacy and made Wrapsta Restaurant a delicious reality.
It doesn’t get any tastier than this jerk chicken loaded fries.
It doesn’t get any tastier than this jerk chicken loaded fries.
Take a bite out of this plantain cruncher; your taste-buds will thank you.
Take a bite out of this plantain cruncher; your taste-buds will thank you.
Have your fill of this family-sized beef quesadilla.
Have your fill of this family-sized beef quesadilla.
The ultimate comfort food: chicken loaded fries.
The ultimate comfort food: chicken loaded fries.
What’s in your wrap? This 
Wrapsta delight is filled with beef, cheese and vegetables.
What’s in your wrap? This Wrapsta delight is filled with beef, cheese and vegetables.
Sink your teeth into this jerk chicken deluxe wrap.
Sink your teeth into this jerk chicken deluxe wrap.
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Born and raised in a family that owned not one but two restaurants in downtown Kingston back in the 1980s, Adonno Haye is no stranger to flavour. Carving his name on a plate, this self-taught chef decided to deliver bold taste and feed his food legacy with the establishment of Wrapsta Restaurant.

He tells Food, “I was brought up in a family that opened restaurants in downtown Kingston – Mama Restaurant and Champs kitchen in the early ‘80s. Hearing of my family’s past experiences in the industry had a lasting impact on me. So I was inspired to take on the mantle.”

His love affair with food saw him cooking and trying new dishes, both of which he immensely enjoyed. “My favourite food to eat growing up was oxtail. The aroma, the texture, the taste; everything about oxtail has always been perfect to me,” he added.

After conducting extensive research into the culinary artform, Haye started reading cookbooks and gathering inspiration from video tutorials of other chefs. From there, he let this creativity flow naturally and began putting his skills to work, adding his own flair to each meal. Family members and friends were more than happy to be his taste testers, and he received raving reviews for his mouth-watering creations.

Originally, the plan was to create an eatery that specialised in take-out, supplying sandwiches and burgers to the masses. But after taking a serious look at the market, he saw where wraps weren’t readily available, so he decided to roll into that savoury space. “Additionally, I’ve found that wraps were a better option to deliver to customers, as opposed to the burgers and sandwiches,” he added.

With that tasteful vision in mind, he went on the hunt to give his business the right name. Brainstorming on one that would be the perfect fit for the restaurant, Haye played on words that featured the main theme. The idea evolved from rockstar and rap star, before finally finding a harmonious home with ‘wrapsta’.

Since opening its doors three years ago, Wrapsta Restaurant, located in Portmore, St Catherine, provides a wide variety of wraps to choose from. The delightful flavours include buffalo chicken, barbecue chicken, beef and jerk shrimp, just to name a few. When Haye isn’t rolling out that healthy option, he’s pleasing palates with tantalising treats like wings and loaded fries, which are available with protein and quesadillas.

“I try to be as unique as possible and offer my customers flavours that they will find nowhere else,” he said, adding, “I love to cook, and I love to put smiles on people’s faces. As a foodie, it would be remiss of me not to share my talents with others.”

One of the obstacles he has faced as a food entrepreneur in the industry is the matter of getting lost in the marketplace. He has learnt to combat this by promoting his brand and having his incredible food do the rest. “No matter how good your product is, if people don’t know about it, it will not sell.”

With plans to expand in the near future, Haye hopes to make Wrapsta a household name. “I love that food has this amazing ability to carry people together. So my aim is to expand the business and bring more joy to the hearts and appetites of foodies across the island.”

His advice to aspiring food entrepreneurs who want to pursue a career in the culinary industry is this: be prepared to work hard and never be afraid to be different.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com