Kushites Vegetable Cuisine serves a constantly changing menu that draws inspiration from flavours found globally while staying true to its African/Jamaican roots. The combined experience of executive chef Kush Tafari and wife Keisha McDonald has served to breathe new life into Jamaica’s food scene. By taking cues from traditional Rastafarian Ital cuisine and infusing it with imaginative plant-based recipes, Kushites continues to deliver a culturally relevant fare that is pleasing to the eye and exciting to the palette.
Chef Kush began his formal culinary training at Jamaica’s very own HEART institute. After completing his studies he spent his formative years at the Hilton in Kingston where he stood out for his mastery with creating edible fruit and vegetable carvings, plating skills and the ability to adapt quickly within the various themed restaurants on property. While there he received instruction in the art of sushi making, Italian and South Asian cuisine. He eventually made a personal transition to a plant based diet and worked at a variety of vegetarian restaurants until eventually meeting business partner and wife Keisha. Together they created a collection of unique plant based menus calling it Kushites’ Vegetable Cuisine after the inhabitants of the ancient land of Kush (Ethiopia).
Keisha is a practicing Attorney at Law called to the Jamaican Bar since 2006. Despite being a legal practitioner her love for the hospitality industry and great food submerged her into the restaurant business at an early age. She began working at restaurants at 19 years old as a barista in one of London’s busy west end cafes. She recalls reporting to a West African manager who taught her techniques in food styling, presentation, marketing a niche restaurant as well as many of his family recipes. Throughout law school she continued to work part time at the wine rack where she managed inventory, client care and helped to organise special events. She switched to a plant based diet in 2003 and uses her experiences working in Europe, America, Caribbean and Asia in her approach to creating dishes at Kushites.