AFROPUNK BK: BITES&BEATS, JAMROCK JERK
August 21, 2019
After watching your favorite artist play, or catching your breath after an extreme mosh pit workout, your next move is to probably nourish your body. Our Bites&Beats market is where you’ll find all your dietary options. We interviewed some of our fave eateries that will be at AFROPUNK Brooklyn this year.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Magnus Mckellar and my wife is Anthyne Blair-Mckellar, we were born and bred on the amazing island of Jamaica having both migrated here to the U.S. a little over 4 years ago.
Describe what you do and what type of cuisine you specialize in?
We operate two of New York City’s first legally permitted street carts equipped with grills and smokers necessary to produce the authentic Jamaican Jerk experience. Our cuisine is centered around Jamaican Jerk and the traditional methods and the processes involved in achieving this beloved art of cooking.
When was your “I gotta turn this into a business” moment?
We found our niche in 2016, gracing the streets with our island’s flavors operating at local street fairs and festivals. In 2017, we set out to refine our operations with the knowledge we garnered from our 2016 startup. The goal was to curate a traditional yet unique quality-driven experience, focused on delivering the island experience in every avenue possible. The streets welcomed us and we were able to deliver on our expectations. As we progressed throughout 2017 the lack of consistent legitimate representations of our cuisine in New York City’s mobile food industry became more evident and that spurred a bubbling desire in us to fill that void and to embody that representation, we can call this that “gotta turn this into a business moment.” As soon as our 2017 season ended we set out to create what would become the first of its kind in New York City, a legally permitted street cart furnished with the equipment necessary to produce the authentic Jamaican Jerk experience, customized and contoured with the artistry synonymous with the islands. The city’s streets embraced us once more in this new mode of operation, “finally” they said. Fast-forward to 2019, we now consistently operate in over 10 different locations weekly across Midtown and Downtown Manhattan, along with being accessible across multiple food delivery platforms including Grubhub, Seamless, UberEats and Door Dash, an operation that currently employs over 30 crew members.
Success for us has been our ability to find our niche and to stick with it, continuously refining it as needed without any compromises and ultimately being able to deliver an end product that is worthy of the anticipation of our customers in these various locations that we operate at weekly.
What should fest-goers try on your menu?
The authentic Jerked Chicken or Jerked Pork is a must — and if the heat is too much, no worries as you can always bite in on some Stewed Oxtails. We’ve heard these are favorites in the streets and, as always, will get our first recommendation as our top eats for the weekend.