From the Bahamas to one of the few black women to run a Disney World restaurant – Free Press of Jacksonville

(Source: www.travelnoire.com) – By Parker Diakite Bahamian-born Deaundra Rolle said she never thought her schooling and experience would hit the moment she watched the show at one of Walt Disney Worlds finest restaurants. She is known to everyone around her as “Chef Dee” and is the head chef at The Edison.

“I’m grateful to be here, that’s for sure, but I never thought I’d be here […] not in a million years, ”she told Travel Noire in an interview.

But if you ask those who know them and their work ethic, they are not surprised.

“We’re really happy to have them,” said the general manager of The Edison.

Photo credit: Patina Restaurant Group

Boss role comes from The Bahamas and has earned a reputation for masterfully adding to their Caribbean Black girl magic to the kitchen in the most magical place in the world. Her take on the dry rub ribs with their iconic barbecue sauce, seared salmon cake over their seafood specialties, and the blackened mahi is why she was called to a special dinner event in February called Chef Dee Presents A Taste of The Bahamas. in Black History Month 2021.

If you ask Chef Dee what she attributes her success to, she’ll tell you about how she grew up in the Bahamas.

“As a kid, I notice that you never really understand why you’re doing things until you see the finished product. When I was growing up, my grandma let us pick peas to make pea soup, ”said Rolle. “The same was true of Benny Cakes. At home we call them Benny Seeds, but here in the States they are called Sesame Seeds. When we grew up we got them with the clams and you learned to cut them up and then turn them into street candy known as Benny Cakes. We have always learned the value of taking something down and then building it up again. “

Photo credit: Patina Restaurant Group

These lessons that he grow up are what drives Chef Role in the kitchen because it reduces Bahamian food to what would be pleasing to the eyes and the palate of tourists.

“We usually marinate our fish in citrus fruits and hot peppers. To make it friendlier, I’ll add blackened spices and then turn the citrus fruits into sauce so people can still experience the flavor profile in the Bahamas. “

And to make sure her “remix” of Bahamian cuisine is right, Chef Rolle lets her main critic, her mother, whom she calls “ma”, judge.

“When my ma came over to visit, she said to me, ‘Yes, it is!'” Said Chef Rolle as her face lit up when she talked about her family. “She always reminds me to stick with what I know.”

Being true to herself is why Chef Dee says she is one of the few black women who has such an honor Walt Disney world.

“It’s overwhelming. I’m proud of it because there are challenges to be black and a woman in the restaurant business. This position is definitely close to my heart. My advice to people is not to give up. There will be a lot of no’s, but don’t let that stop you from doing what you know you can. “

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