Ayesha Curry, 34, has been busy building the restaurant she co-owns, International Smoke, in San Francisco. The cookbook author is in partnership with chef Michael Mina on the eatery, known for its grilled meats and drinks. Recently, they decided to shake things up to craft the perfect summer menu, honoring Curry’s roots.
Some items visitors can find on the summer menu a staple pastry–Jamaican beef patties. In addition to that fare, they’re also offering blackened catfish and Jamaican style braised oxtail. Caribbean spiced chicken and Jamaican jerk St. Louis style pork ribs are the other latest delicacies guests can indulge in.
Curry, a two-time New York Times best-selling cookbook author and Mina opened their restaurant in 2017 and have continued to grow since. It’s necessary to note they launched as a pop-up in MINA Test Kitchen before opening their permanent locations in Las Vegas and San Francisco. That said, they were temporarily shut during the pandemic but have been able to regain momentum.
International Smoke has a few specialties including wood-fired steaks, seafood and ribs. During an interview with Forbes in 2022, Curry unveiled the inspiration behind her original menu.
“There is a common thread with cultures around the globe gathering at the table to share a meal and that meal usually has some sort of grilled, barbecued, smoked component,” she said. “That’s why our International Smoke concept focuses on fire as the heart of cooking. Our menu highlights not only my background and Chef Mina’s background, but cultures from all over the world. We wanted to create a space and menu that lets patrons travel the globe without ever having to use their passport.”
As for her ties to Jamaica, Curry’s mom is Jamaican-Chinese, and she can often be seen repping her roots online. Also, for her 30th birthday, husband Steph threw her a huge Jamaican themed birthday party. It included performances from stars like Hood Celebrityy, Konshens, Wayne Wonder, Chaka Demus and Pliers and Vybz Kartel. Performer Spice couldn’t make it but sent a message celebrating the birthday girl. She also, hilariously, for a time had an alter ego character she shared on social media named Gina from Jamaica. And during a visit to Hailey Bieber’s YouTube show Who’s in My Bathroom in 2022, she discussed her love of Jamaican food, breaking down some key dishes.
“That’s my culture, I’m Jamaican,” she said. “My grandma, all my aunties, my mom was born there, so anytime I get to sit down and have a meal like this, it makes me feel like I’m with them back at home.”