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Elorine’s Jamaican Kitchen brings a taste of the Caribbean to Springfield, Missouri

Elorine’s Jamaican Kitchen brings a taste of the Caribbean to Springfield, Missouri

There’s a powerful aroma of spicy curry chicken coming from a new food truck in Springfield, Missouri.

Elorine’s Jamaican Kitchen opened in May, serving homemade Jamaican food with a smile. Besides the curry chicken, the jerk chicken and the curry goat are some of the top-sellers, alongside the rice and peas, which are cooked in the traditional way with coconut milk.

If you’re averse to heat, try the brown stew with chicken, oxtail stew or curry shrimp, all tamed by coconut milk. The steamed fish with okra has also garnered praise.

For owner Elorine Gainer, cooking was a necessity when she was growing up. She was raised by a single mother who worked long hours, so a young Gainer took it upon herself to make meals for her four siblings.

“It was really tough,” Gainer says, “but in Jamaica, you just learn to do things.”

By age 13, she was cooking Sunday supper not only for her family but for members of their church, as well. Now, Gainer has four children of her own, and they were part of the reason she finally launched Elorine’s Jamaican Kitchen.

“I’ve gotten better and better,” she says. “My kids’ friends always come over to eat – sometimes there’s 15 boys in my house – and they always say my food tastes so great. My kids and my friends just encouraged me to start a restaurant.”

Cooking has become a point of pride for Gainer, and it’s also her greatest pleasure. “I found what I was meant to do,” she says.

Elorine’s Jamaican Kitchen, 1530 E. St. Louis St. (inside the Route 66 Food Truck Park), Springfield, Missouri,


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