Sonia's Homestyle Cooking and Natural Juices will be putting the real Jamaican pot on the fire for this years' Gleaner-sponsored Kingston Restaurant Week.
The authentic Jamaican cuisine restaurant will be making its debut on the list of restaurants you must try, during the week where 60 restaurants from across the island will offer a discounted menu to patrons.
Located at 17 Central Avenue, Kingston 10, Sonia's is adding a new dimension for customers, a down-home dining experience, in a comfortable setting. This location, a refurbished home, provides a larger space than their previous Lane Plaza location, which was home to them for seven years.
Sonia Gibbons, owner and one of the head chefs at the restaurant, started with a meagre budget, selling slices of potato pudding on the side of the street. Over the years, she has remained true to her roots, which is making Jamaican food. These days she likes to put a twist on traditional Jamaican food. So go taste Sonia's hand this restaurant week.
Food chatted with Sonia Gibbons.
Why did you become a chef?
"It's a gift. I started cooking at a very young age, before I could hold an entire roasted breadfruit in my hand."
How long have you been in the industry?
"Thirty years. I started with $45. I was selling potato pudding," she said. She then progressed to lunches. "My first dish was stewed beef. I sold 12 lunches that day." The rest, they say, is history as she progressed from a Peugeot bus to an expansive location.
What's your area of specialty?
"Strictly my roots. I love to be creative with Jamaican cooking," she said. Items like her potato pudding, stewed peas and curried mutton are staples on her menu.
If you've participated in Restaurant Week before, what was it like? If not what are you looking forward to?
"It's my first time. I'm looking forward to putting out my Jamaican food with attitude."
Do you cook at home?
"I just love cooking. Last Sunday, I stayed home just to cook," she whipped up a marinated beef with a unique sauce she just might give a name. Her family completely lapped up the meal.