Chef Michael Burnett makes Jamaican food that makes his customers say, “Ah, that’s so good.”
By Megan Reed
Chef Michael Burnett has brought a taste of his homeland right to the Baldwin Hill Crenshaw Plaza’s foodcourt. Burnett is from Port Antonio, a small town on the north shore of Jamaica, and Jammrok Jerk Chicken features many of the dishes that he grew up on.
Jammrok Jerk Chicken’s most popular dish is, like most Jamaican restaurants, jerk chicken. They also have oxtails, curry goat, curry chicken, brown sue chicken, rice and peas, ginger coconut rice, cabbage and carrots, garlic kale, and meat patties. On weekends they have yellow tail snapper. They also have vegetarian options.
The typical food court restaurant features fast food, but while the service at Jammrok Jerk Chicken is quick, the food is cooked slow to ensure that everything that customers put in their mouths, their reactions will be, “Ah, that’s so good.”
“I start cooking from scratch at 8 a.m. to be ready by 11 a.m.,” Burnett said. “Every thing is cooked over a medium heat. It’s not aggressive, hard cooking. I want the time for those flavors to marinate and develop.”
Burnett started working in the restaurant business when he was 16 years old. He spent his high school years in Philadelphia, and he came to Southern California when he joined the Marines. He went on to work at McCormick & Schmick’s for ten years, and then another ten years at Grill Concepts, Inc. as the Vice President of Operations. He always knew what his retirement job would be.
“I always said when I retired from the corporate restaurant world, I was going to cook the food I love for the people I love, which is how we ended up here in Crenshaw,” he said. “This is the community that I wanted to serve. I also wanted to create some job opportunities for people in this community as well. So it really is a labor of love.”
For more information about Jammrok Jerk Chicken, visit their website at www.jammrokjerkchicken.com and follow them on social media.