Arawak’s Rest Stop keeping it natural

September 05, 2017
Head chef at Arawak's Rest Stop Deon Richards (left) and his colleagues Nicholas Spence (centre) and George Biggs prepare lunch on woodfire.

For several years, Arawak's Rest Stop has been serving as a little oasis for travellers and residents alike, providing authentic Jamaican dishes in the hills of Burnt Ground, one of the outlying districts of Ramble, Hanover.

"It is a 100 per cent healthy, clean environment. We use natural seasoning. We don't use MSG, powder seasonings and those things. We use regular pimento, scallion, thyme, garlic and pepper, natural like that," head chef Deon Richards told WESTERN STAR.

Richards and his colleagues George Reid and Nicholas Spence make up the team, led by owner Bianca Headley, that prepares the daily dishes, which also includes soups and vegetarian dishes. He said customers are always delighted to see the manner in which the food is being cooked, with its signature logwood and pimento wood fire.

"We do steamed fish, brown stewed fish, curried conch, brown stewed turkey neck and homestyle chicken; and also pig's tail with stew peas, fried chicken, rice and peas, ground provisions, including pumpkin and dasheen, and curried chicken. Sometimes we do fried breadfruit, fried dumplings and curried chicken and turkey neck at breakfast. We use lots of coconut milk. Right now the rice and peas can eat without meat, the way how it nice," he said.

Richards said customers enjoy dining at the facility.

"We use only wood, no gas, and we don't use microwave. People think about their health, so they like what we are doing," he said.

"We use a mixture of dry and green logwood. The green one keeps longer in the fire ... the dry one will blaze out and create a lot of ashes. The green keeps the fire going longer during the day. We use pimento as well. Pimento wood pushes a lot of heat and keeps the things hot during the day," the Kenilworth HEART Academy graduate said.

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