After becoming a mainstay at the weekly Crenshaw Farmers’ Market, Stuart Eubanks has found a home on Crenshaw Blvd. and 30th St.
By Jason Lewis
Who’s Hungry Caribbean & Catering has become very popular on Saturdays at the food court of Crenshaw Farmers’ Market, held at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Now they can be enjoyed on a daily basis, as they have moved into a shared venue with King Donut.
“The farmers’ markets helped us get our name out there, but moving into a brick and mortar was always our goal,” said owner Stuart Eubanks.
This move tremendously helps Eubanks grow his business.
“It’s a lot easier of a setup for us,” he said. “At the farmers’ markets, we always had to set up and break down our equipment. Here, we’re in a central location, and that allows us to get a lot more done. And people can easily find us now. It’s not just one day here or one day there for a few hours. People who could not make it during those times can now find us easier.”
Having access to a full kitchen on site has allowed Eubanks to expand his menu. There were some dishes and types of food that were difficult to bring to a farmers’ market.
Eubanks grew up in Los Angeles, near Crenshaw Blvd. and Jefferson Blvd. He started cooking at the age of 10, and he was classically trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena. His professional career began as the banquet chef at Hotel Bel Air, and he has worked under “Top Chef” winner Michael Voltaggio at The Bazaar by Jose Andres, located at the Beverly Hills SLS Hotel.
“I was classically trained in French cuisine, but I’ve always enjoyed Caribbean food, pretty much since my teenage years,” he said.
Eubanks’ favorite restaurant when he was growing up was Coley’s in Inglewood, and he tried a number of other Caribbean restaurants in the city. His love for the various types of cuisines led him to create his version of Caribbean dishes, which are also influenced by the Southern food that he grew up on.
“I’m putting my influence to the Caribbean flavor,” he said. “I can’t really say it’s a mix of Southern food, because, besides the spices, a lot of the food is very similar. I just make a mix of the food that I grew up on.”
For more inspiration, Eubanks has traveled to Jamaica to taste the authentic dishes.
“My favorite dish while I was out in Jamaica was the brown stew chicken and the fritters,” he said. “I couldn’t stop eating for like six days. I was trying different versions of it at different shops.”
Jerk chicken is Eubanks’ most popular dish, and he also has ox tails, lamb, fish, and vegan options. His customers enjoy the food that he cooks, especially people who are native to the Caribbean region.
“A lot of people who are from the islands say that the food is really good,” he said. “They notice that there is a difference, but they can tell that it is a dish from there. Like the curry goat that we sell. They try that and they’re like, ‘Oh wow; that’s really good.’”