Chef Nicole Blaque is the owner of The Jerk Shack in San Antonio, Texas. Recently, this restaurant was selected as one of the best new restaurants in the United States by GQ Magazine. Now, Chef Blaque is expanding her culinary reach by opening a new Caribbean restaurant at the city’s Pearl Food Hall.
The new restaurant, Mi Roti, focuses on preparing and serving the buttery flatbread popular in Jamaica where Blaque was born, and she is excited about sharing this island treat with the world. Blaque moved to the United States at the age of five, but she notes that Jamaica has always been a part of her. No matter where she was posted when she was in the military, she always cooked foods to acquaint people with the flavors of Jamaica, she said.
Blaque has been thinking about starting a restaurant like Mi Roti for some time, saying that it was “just a little more work” to create a menu and figure out how the food would be eaten, as roti is not a dish that people normally prepare at home. Originally, the chef conceived the new restaurant’s operations very differently from how it is actually running. She had wanted it to operate like a buffet, but this was not feasible in an environment marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, Blaque is working through the process to iron out her challenges, and then she plans to offer more options to diners.
“I’m on a personal mission to elevate and modernize Caribbean food since graduating from the CIA. The Mi Roti menu reaches into remote corners of the world and gives you a taste of a world less traveled. Trying something different can be scary, but we’re excited to inspire Pearl visitors to try roti as a wrap or with our rice or salad bowls.” said Chef Nicole Blaque on her Facebook page.
She remains excited about the concept and eager to hear feedback from customers, which has shown her that she is making progress in successfully promoting her Jamaican culture and taking it to another level.
Photo Source: Mi Roti Facebook Page