From “CBS This Morning” to “Chopped” to Cooking for Top NFL Players, it’s been a crazy past three years since we last talked with Darian Bryan about doing a pop-up on The Ptting Society.
Not only has he become a full-fledged local celebrity, but he has also become known in his hometown of Jamaica. He has appeared regularly on Jamaican television and has also met with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
But one of the more iconic developments is that Darien has become the face of US-based Grace Foods (Jamaica’s version of Goya Foods). The partnership represents a full-time journey that began with a Jamaican boy learning to cook in his mother’s kitchen.
“I grew up eating Grace Foods, so I think: TRUE! ?‘, he tells us. “Grace is reaching out to me!?”
Much of Darien’s success is due to being the personal chef for Bills players. However, for private events, I usually cook fine Italian or American cuisine. People kept telling him, ‘You have to go out and make Jamaican food.
The Jerk Hut restaurant, now a permanent fixture in a former filling station, launched as a pop-up in Larkin Square during the pandemic and was so successful that Dalian is bringing the concept to the physical store. Opening dishes included Rasta Pasta ($18-26), Oxtail Dinner ($25), Jerk Chicken ($18) and Escovic Snapper ($25). Current drink options include beer, wine and soft drinks.
“My mother ran a restaurant in Jamaica,” he says. “It was pretty much the same concept as The Jerk Hut, fast casual. My mom used to make it too, and when you go to a Jamaican spot you usually have this food, but I take it to another level and put my own twist on it.”
Darien’s wife, Jessica, has quit her job to help manage various business opportunities and is also the general manager of The Jerk Hut. Darien’s sister, Nemia, recently moved from where she lived in Virginia to be the kitchen manager.
The Jerk Hat is part of the 2-in-1 concept. Later this summer, Darien plans to open his second concept of the night in the same space called Brattshill, offering upscale Jamaican fusion. He said he will combine Jamaican influences with his haute cuisine background to create a unique experience.
“I’m just trying to bring Jamaica to Buffalo,” he says. “I want people to feel like they’re in another place, from the colors to the music to the smell of the food. It’s a good vibe. Free your mind.”
Clearly, Jamaican chefs have a lot of work to do (Well). But as the saying goes, you must strike while the iron is hot. Darien says his wife and family have inspired him to work as hard as he can now.
“I don’t get much sleep these days because I feel like I have too much to do,” he says. “So I sleep less and work more, but people say, ‘You’re going to die soon.'”
“It’s okay, we’re all going to die someday. right? ’” he laughs.
Opening hours at time of publication (subject to change): Monday-Friday 11am-3pm
Jerk Hut @ Bratts Hill
719 Seneca St. Buffalo, NY 14210 • $$$$$
Chef Darien Bryan’s fast casual restaurant in Larkin Square serves authentic Jamaican cuisine. Read the article about opening[sm_anypost…[sm_anypost
Want to share information or news with us? Send us a note!