Flavors of the Isle story began in the city of Detroit, MI. My name is Ebony Pickens and I was born to my Liberian (West African) father Edmond Coleman and my Afro-American mother I was later raised by my Jamaican step-father Roy Smalling expanding my horizon into the culinary world! As a little girl my step-father would allow me to experience the wonderful flavors of his homeland, Jamaica by allowing me to be his junior assistant in the kitchen. My step-father was like a mad scientist, whipping and tasting for perfection. We would visit Jamaica yearly and bring home spices, root vegetables, fruits and local delicacies to enjoy throughout the the year. My step-father and I would spend hours in the kitchen trying to replicate the flavors of Jamaican dishes and after great practice we mastered the wonderful flavors of home! Along side of my culinary experience with my step-father I had the privilege of spending quality time with my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother, whom we called "Big Mamma". My grandmother and Big Mamma taught me all of the family's soul food recipes, mostly bakeries and canning techniques. Which allowed me a priceless experience in the culinary world!
My first professional training began by watching Chef Martin Yan on PBS, which allowed me to perform my first family meal at the tender age of nine years old. Although it was one of the worse meals I have ever made. I never felt discouraged by my parents because although my inexperience showed, they still pretended to eat every bad meal by eating the meals in their bedroom. After growing into a young woman and spending one year in college, I realized I was missing the love of cooking so I enrolled in to Culinary Arts School.
My maternal grandfather Perin Griffin II, was a chef in the U.S. Army. Although my grandfather was born and raised in 96, South Carolina he traveled the world learning new techniques and cuisines, which he would share with his family in Detroit. Unfortunately I was not able to experience the culinary joys with him however I was very fortunate that he wrote down his recipes. My grandfather's BBQ Sauce recipe is the base development of our Signature Jerk Sauce with our Jerk Seasoning added.
We have developed our homemade Jerk Seasoning and Jerk sauce, which highlights the unique flavors of our menu. With our menu you will experience the Flavors of the Isle American Soul Food and Jamaican cuisine.