Free tasting offered on Nov. 7
By Jacob Mathias
An authentic Jamaican restaurant is in the works to bring a little Caribbean flavor to Stevens Point.
Susan Shaw and her mother Elsa Wood, both of Stevens Point, are natives of Jamaica and plan to open a restaurant featuring flavors of their home. Their restaurant, Shaw’s Jamaican Kitchen, is slated to open somewhere in downtown Stevens Point, though the duo isn’t releasing the location yet.
“It’s just like bringing a part of our Jamaican culture here,” said Shaw.
Shaw’s will offer “straight Jamaican” food including jerk chicken, jerk pork, curried chicken, pepper steak, goat dishes and oxtails. Vegan and vegetarian options will also be available. Wood said nothing similar burgers, fries or macaroni and cheese will be served at the restaurant.
Plans to bring in native Jamaican seeds to grow in Wisconsin are in the works as well so Shaw’s can be as authentic as possible.
Shaw and Wood both learned their Jamaican cooking technique and recipe from their mothers and grandmothers while living in Jamaica. Wood moved to Stevens Point with her husband in 1993 and Shaw followed with her six siblings in 1999.
“It’s going to be strictly Jamaican,” said Wood. “I’m going to be strictly cooking my Jamaican way.”
Shaw said a lot of Jamaican cooking flavors come from how you cook the ingredients as opposed to using many different spices.
A free tasting of Shaw’s food will take place on Saturday, Nov. 7, from noon to about 5:00 PM at the Central Rivers Farmshed. The public is welcome to come and try Shaw’s signature jerks, curries, oxtails and rice and beans. Following the tasting, if it goes well, Shaw’s will begin offering its Jamaican foods out of the Farmshed two or three days a week while seeking a permanent space.
Shaw and Wood are currently seeking an architect to design their kitchen.
The restaurant will be a family affair as Wood, Shaw and her siblings will be the only employees while the restaurant gets off the ground.
The temporary home of Shaw’s Jamaican Kitchen and the Central Rivers Farmshed is 1220 Briggs Ct. in Stevens Point.