Jeffeary Miskiri at a person of his hottest dining establishments, Creole on 14th. Photograph by M. Shonell Images.
On any given working day, Jeffeary Miskiri—“Chef Jeff” to most—is prepared to spring into motion. You may come across the 34-year-aged restaurateur jumping into the kitchen of Po Boy Jim, his flagship on H Street, Northeast, which turns out New Orleans–style sandwiches and gumbo. Or serving tables at his more recent enterprise, Creole on 14th, in Columbia Heights. (He also drops by when a VIP appears—the most up-to-date was Sasha Obama.) Quick a bartender, he can combine a hurricane on a whim.
Miskiri’s difficult operate has compensated off, even at a time when unbiased places to eat are having difficulties all around the place. In October, the Takoma Park native—who in the past has organized fitness-targeted foods for previous NFL star Vernon Davis and acted as a private chef for the Jamaican ambassador—opened Suga & Spice, a cozy Southern/Caribbean eatery in Hyattsville that pays tribute to his family’s Louisiana and Caribbean roots. More than the up coming calendar year, Miskiri Hospitality Team will triple in dimensions, likely from 80 to 200-additionally workforce, with the opening of five new dining places. He’s organizing a fast-casual Po Boy Jim in Columbia Overlook Toya’s Creole House, a substantial Southern location in Silver Spring and two adjoining eateries in what is lengthy been known as a meals desert east of the Anacostia River. The wellbeing-minded cafe Miss Toya’s Soul Juice and the comfort and ease-food stuff restaurant Pass up Toya’s Southern Cajun Kitchen—a rare sit-down restaurant in the Penn Department neighborhood—will open up future yr in the Stores at Penn Department, a revitalization challenge from developer Jair Lynch. Sometime, Miskiri hopes to develop the empire further than Washington.
The youngest restaurateur to sit on Washington’s Cafe Affiliation board, he bought an early get started. At 10, he was frying nuggets at McDonald’s, wherever his aunt was a supervisor below one of the chain’s very first Black franchisees in Washington. “It truly amazed me to meet up with an African American owner of a McDonald’s,” says Miskiri, who notes that the early working experience motivated how he operates now. “The structure, the uniform, the procedures in place, the code of ethics, finding foods out in a well timed manner—that stuff stays with you.”
As a teen, he began cooking at his family’s catering company, Flavor of Caribbean. But Miskiri, the 2nd-eldest of 30 grandchildren, obtained his serious start off cooking at loved ones gatherings: large buffets that catered to their Southern and Caribbean roots with jambalaya, jerk hen, plantains, shrimp and grits, and gumbo. “Everyone had their role and responsibility—I was the chef,” he suggests. “My culinary schooling was the relatives.”
This article seems in the November 2021 difficulty of Washingtonian.