Dining With Denise Neil

Jamaican food makes its way into Wichita with new business

Wichita has lots of steaks, sandwiches and pizza.

We’re good on Vietnamese, Mexican and Mediterranean food.

But Wichita gets excited when a new type of cuisine – one we don’t already have – moves in to town.

Introducing Jamaican food.

Native Jamaican Sorrel Rhoden and his wife, Christine, are the owners of a new food truck called Sorrel Jamaican Food. They first hit the streets of Wichita in November and have been building a steady customer base ever since.

“I just woke up one morning and said, ‘My husband needs a job. He does nothing but cook,’” Christina said. “I just decided to open him a restaurant. There’s no Jamaican restaurants in Wichita.”

The couple, who met when Christine was on an extended trip to Jamaica, is serving the types of dishes native to the Caribbean island, where Americans like to vacation – foods like jerk chicken, jerk pork, curry chicken, steamed fish and curry shrimp.

The truck also offers more exotic fair, like curry goat, oxtail, plantains, steamed cabbage and saltfish and ackee and saltfish – a dish consisting of salted codfish and ackee fruit, which has a savory, buttery flavor.

And it has coco bread, a yeast bread made with coconut milk that is slightly sweet and is a menu staple in Jamaica.

“Every time you taste it, you want to taste it again,” Sorrel said.

The Rhodes started off with a rented truck but is in the process of buying their own, which should arrive from Missouri next month, Christine said. The couple’s next outing is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Second Saturday market at The Workroom, 150 N. Cleveland.

When the weather warms up, the couple said, they’ll also try to get in the regular food truck rotation in town and serve at rallies.

To follow along with the truck’s schedule, follow its Facebook page. And for more information or to schedule a catering, call 316-413-9481.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle