Basil Jones is the chef at Footprints Cafe in Coney Island, which specializes in Caribbean cuisine, and is the originator of their famed Rasta Pasta. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in St. Ann's Bay, Jones first learned to cook as a boy helping out in his grandmother's kitchen. At the age of 20, he took a job at a hotel restaurant where he learned to prepare French and Italian cuisine. Encouraged by food and beverage managers who recognized his talent, Jones helped to create unique dishes for Jamaica's 25th anniversary in 1987 and was awarded a certificate of excellence from the prime minister. A scholarship to culinary school in the U.S. soon followed and in 1995 he emigrated to New York to join his brother.
This program is part of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York City Councilman Mark Treyger.