Sat | Sep 23, 2023

Expect ‘pure creativity’ at Rameish Kitchen

Social media star to open restaurant next year

Published:Wednesday | December 21, 2022 | 12:20 AMSashana Small/Staff Reporter
Checking for the consistency in the mix, the chef blends out the boiled ackee with condensed milk and vanilla until smooth.
Checking for the consistency in the mix, the chef blends out the boiled ackee with condensed milk and vanilla until smooth.
 Foodie and Internet sensation, Rameish DeSouza.
Foodie and Internet sensation, Rameish DeSouza.
A closer look at the trending ackee ice cream.
A closer look at the trending ackee ice cream.
Rameish DeSouza, enjoys the Ackee Icescream he created.
Rameish DeSouza, enjoys the Ackee Icescream he created.

Rameish Desouza, the 21-year-old social media influencer known for whipping up innovative dishes from ordinary Jamaican ingredients, will be opening his first restaurant in downtown Kingston early next year.

He told The Gleaner that this is the first step in achieving his dream of opening a franchise of Rameish Kitchen all over the island.

“Rameish is all about creativity, so the restaurant definitely is all about creativity,” he declared.

In 2021, Desouza went viral for creating the ackee ice cream. Earlier this year, he again raised a few eyebrows with his curried banana skin recipe. At his restaurant, customers can expect a similar creativity, but curried banana skin may not make the menu.

“Mi nuh think mi wudda put the curry banana skin pon di menu. It’s good for vegans, but mi would haffi go dig deeper into it … have more people do some test samples and stuff like that before we actually put it pon di menu. Mi nuh know how dat wudda turn out in terms of sale ... so we haffi go dig deeper into that,” he said.

However, his ackee ice cream, which he describes as “deliciously creamy”, will be a staple on the menu. And for the less adventurous diners, he will also be cooking up some traditional Jamaican dishes.

“We still a go have di average, like rice and peas and the curry goat for the average Jamaicans, ‘cause a nuh everybody too ramp wid di creative ting, but majority creative,” he said.

The self-taught chef said the more artistic items on his menu will be thoroughly researched and tested.

“Because mi a cater to the public now, mi can’t just mix up things and give anybody fi eat, mi haffi do more research as mi go along. Going forward, mi always haffi sit down and do a whole heap a research before mi cook certain things,” he said.

The restaurant business is not new to him. He recalls being a 12-year-old in his parents’ cookshop in Greater Portmore helping to fry chicken; and although he did not enjoy it at the time, it birthed a curiosity about food in him. But the cookshop eventually closed down, and now he is determined to create his own path.

For some time now, Desouza has had the keys to his new restaurant, which he says will offer dine-in and takeaway. Right now, he is in the process of renovating the building and buying and installing appliances.

A GoFundMe campaign he launched earlier this year raised over US$8,000 and is partly funding this process.

“The GoFundMe helped a lot in terms of renting the place. The GoFundMe could cover first three month rent, security deposit, and all a dem sumn deh,” he said. “But when it comes to buying the materials, the electronics, appliance, pots, spoons all a dem sumn deh, is a whole different story. Mi just a pray and a go wid di flow, everything aguh work out just fine,” he said.

Reinforcing his long-term goal of getting a bigger space and opening a franchise, the former Ascot High School student is hoping to leverage his social media capital of almost 150,000 Instagram followers to help him achieve this milestone.

With a clear understanding that replicating his recipes, which, he said, “comes to him”, may be difficult for an ordinary chef. DeSouza said that in the beginning stages of his restaurant, he will be cooking as well as teaching others his recipes. But, ultimately, he hopes to get to a point where he is just managing the day-to-day operations.

Believing in the “endless possibilities” of his talent in the kitchen, Desouza also aspires to showcase this in an international cooking show in the future.

“Mi would a like fi deh pon a lot of TV shows. Mi wah fi represent mi country and fi show dem yuh nah fi be a dancehall artiste, yuh nah fi do certain tings fi get highlight … . We aguh tek it big, really big,” he stated.