- File photo
Everton Cameron, owner and chef of High Grade Catering (mobile business, highgradefoods.com), keeps himself busy. In addition to operating two food trucks under the High Grade name, he pulls regular shifts as a sous chef at St. Francis Medical Center. And starting next year, he'll have a brick and mortar restaurant of his own.
High Grade Foods Jamaican Restaurant (1020 S. Tejon St.) was a retail storefront until Cameron recently purchased it. He's currently putting everything together to present to the Regional Building Department and get underway with the extensive renovations the spot will require — he's building the restaurant's kitchen pretty much from scratch.
"We're trying to get everything through Regional by the 18th," he says. "If we can... they'll grant us a permit... But if not, we'll have to go back in January." In any case, he hopes to open the restaurant in spring or summer of 2018.
Once ready, the 1,480-square-foot space should seat around 45. The menu will differ from the selection Cameron serves from his trucks. Rather than the Jamaican-Mexican fusion tacos and burritos that make up most of his sales, this new menu will be more traditionally Jamaican in presentation. He's also expanding the menu, adding seafood dishes he grew up cooking on the island, including snapper and parrotfish.
"Everybody's been asking when I'm gonna do curried conch," he says. "Maybe [I won't] on the regular menu, we'll just run that as a special." He'll also seek a liquor license for the spot. After talking to his wife, they decided on "at least selling Red Stripe."
Cameron says the two food trucks will continue to do business around town. But that's not to say he doesn't have plans for expanding the mobile arm of his business.
"I'm in the process of pulling permits in Denver," he says. "We did a lot of cool stuff up there, made a lot of money. We'll try to make Denver a regular stop for one truck, keep the other one down here."