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Succulent Smoked Meats

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Friends Kevin Pearson and Phillip Pinder have always toyed with the idea of opening a restaurant that combines their respective brands: Pearson operates Island Squeeze Restaurant in downtown Kingston while Pinder operates Smokehouse, a mobile tanker unit which supplies smoked meats. The realisation, aptly called Island Smokehouse, has taken shape in Montego Bay on the second city's famed Hip Strip (Gloucester Ave) where the Brewery restaurant and nightspot once stood.

Pearson told Thursday Food that he was always confident a combination of both brands would work really well, while Pinder adds that the flavour is what really makes the magic happen.

“What we pride ourselves on is really great flavour. We are not a jerk centre. Our focus is on going back to our roots and smoking meats. Our cooking process allows for the meat to retain its natural flavour, with the added infusion of smoke flavour coming from the pimento and sweetwood coals. The difference between the jerk and smoked process is that during the smoking there is no direct flame under the meat. The coals are placed in a furnace, and during the process more coals are added to deliver more heat for the actual cooking process. We are big on flavour, our meats are seasoned and parboiled and allowed to marinate before they enter the smoker,” Pinder explained.

With only a month under their belt, the proprietors are upbeat, based on the positive feedback that they are not just blowing smoke.

“The feedback has been good. People love our smoked meats; we do chicken, pork, lamb, beef and we also do a mean smoked fish. Our pasta has also been a runaway hit with patrons. What truly makes us stand out, though, are our sauces and seasonings. Everything is made in-house from scratch, and all from natural ingredients. Our Signature Smokehouse BBQ Sauce is a must-try when you are here,” Pinder stated.

Pearson explained that the concept also entailed having live music, due to the excellent location on the Hip Strip.

“Our special days are Seafood Wednesdays, 'Spen a Gran' Fridays (the purchase of beverages for $1,000 affords patrons a free meal) while Sunday Sip features live performances. So far we have had Ken Booth and we have Little John, Admiral Tibet and Pinchers down for the rest of September,” said Pearson.

“We are bringing something really exciting to Montego Bay, and we guarantee that you won't find any taste or flavour profile quite like ours,” stated a confident Pearson.

The proof remains in the eating and so far... so good!

— Aceion Cunningham