Chateau 7 in the cool climes of Stony Hill in Kingston Jamaica makes bold move into midtown, Kingston
September 20, 2017 /JamaicaPressReleases/ --
Jamaica has a plethora of Jerk Spots. Whether you find them on the corner operating from a wheeled drum pan, or on a secluded country road, they are practically everywhere. Its part of the Jamaican culture, one could say. Having its roots in the days of slavery in Jamaica, the Jerk trade has become a sort of specialty restaurant face-off with new players emerging with the new generation of the Jerk flavour and processes.
And on that wave rides in Chateau 7 Gourmet Jerk Centre, recommended by the New York Times in its January, 2017 “52 Places to visit in 2017” article. Its not so much that its owned and operated by hotelier and musician Donahue Jarrett and 90’s Jamaican dancehall superstar, Dorothy “Patra” Smith, nor the fact that the customer service is over the top: when all is said and done, the taste is outrageous. Chateau 7 has managed to reinvent Jerking. One would be hard pressed to find a more unique taste. I was there when three new customers arrived. Sceptical when they approached the counter, one asked in a deep Jamaican accent, “Mi hear sey the Pork ya bad!...but mi want a sample…” “Sexy Chef” Patra obliged and the expressions on the faces of all three were priceless. What followed was a five to 10 minute dialogue - often not in the cleanest language I have heard - about how great the food was. I tried it. They are coirrect.
How do I describe this unique flavour without getting hungry again? The chicken was stuffed with some herbs and spices which in combination with the pimento flavour (they slow cook the Pork and Chicken on Pimento wood) sends it straight over the top.
It would seem that being named in Travel Weekly as one of “Ones to watch in 2017” is well deserved. Capitalizing on the newfound popularity, the owners have recently added a second location in Kingston. It’s aptly called, “Chateau 7 Outpost at the Mayfair”. For those unfamiliar with Kingston, the Mayfair Hotel, is a Colonial era constructed Great House cum hotel tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood in uptown Kingston.
According to Mr. Jarrett, many of their customers were demanding that they add a more central location as the original Chateau 7, located as it is in Stony Hill, a good distance from the centre of Kingston, where most of the action takes place. “We like to say that we have been successful, in spite of the location. We’re located in a massive corner and its a great place for people to stop - there is adequate parking” But that location has not always been a guarantee for success for the 2 year old plus Jerk Centre. “We have had many challenges...Inconsistency, chef egos, overstaffing...you name it.” But it wasn’t until Patra, who was culinarily trained in Coconut Grove, Florida took over as chef that things actually started turning around, and the things like inconsistency started being a thing of the past.
As their popularity increases in Jamaica, they are deliberately raising the Soup, Jerk Pork, Jerk Chicken and Jerk Conch bar. Indeed, many of their customers are past customers of some of their competitors.
We all know that tastes are subjective, but as I sat there watching all these customers come and go, the one thing that wasn’t a source of disagreement was the fact that it was the best tasting Jerk they had ever had. They may be on to something!