CaribbeanAsian

dentist

Once an aspiring dentist, he serves Caribbean-Asian fusion at Zaz restaurant in Hyde Park

It’s funny. I’m from the Caribbean. I’m from Grenada. I also lived in Trinidad. My mom’s side is from Trinidad. My dad’s side is from Grenada. I grew up with my grandparents. Cooking was an essential for all of us, knowing how to cook. But when I came to the States, my initial thing that I wanted to do was become a dentist. My plan was to come here to go to school, and then I started working on a regular job, and I started having to take care of the family. I needed the money and different things like that, so my plans changed quickly.

I then ventured into ironwork and became a welder. I was a foreman for quite some time … and I then decided to follow my passion, which was food and cooking. I worked at a bakery, Konditor Meister, and I worked at the Granite Links Country Club.

What next?

I decided, OK, know what? I’m going to follow this passion through. And I started to go to culinary school. I went to Le Cordon Bleu. I went to Spain, did some studies over there, did some cooking over there in Spain.

I came back to the States, and I just started looking in different neighborhoods to see financially what I could afford. And Hyde Park was the best choice, because I liked the diversity. I liked the mix of people, and we had pretty good foot traffic at the time.

Obsession equals greatness for me, so I’ve been obsessed with food and with learning different types of cuisines.

Why did you come to Massachusetts?

Two of my aunts were doctors, and I wanted to get into the medical field as well. In the Caribbean, they drilled into us that we got to make better of our lives. So, I tried to follow the family tree.

How has COVID-19 has affected you?

It’s definitely a roller coaster. When it initially hit, I pivoted my plan for the year and decided to do meal preps. I really started doing delivery services, and I started doing the meal prep for different neighborhoods. And we were driving up to like 20 miles to try to get the food out. At the time, obviously no one was really leaving their homes, at the beginning of COVID. The idea of meal preps was on point, because we were able to serve a week’s worth of food or so for people who didn’t want to go out or go to different places to pick up food.

In the middle of COVID, the meal prep thing kind of died down, so people were more trying to get out. And so the numbers kind of decreased quite a bit from when I first started, so I continued doing delivery.

The biggest thing for me was I started the construction of my storefront in December 2019. The idea was to expand the business and to add more square footage. … Right when we were

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