Chef Michelle Crichlow

Michelle Crichlow owns and operates the Tropical Feast Restaurant in North Miami Beach, Florida. She also serves as executive chef, bringing her customers a fine blend of exotic Caribbean cuisine. Crichlow’s stewed oxtail, curried goat, curried boneless chicken, and jerk chicken are unparalleled. Still, she boasts that her mouth-watering roti is what keeps her customers coming back again.

Crichlow’s roti is prepared with flour, baking powder, sail and vegetable oil then cooked on a grill.  It may be served with cooked vegetables or curries (that is curried goat, curried chicken or curried shrimp).

Patrons have traveled from all over the Caribbean to taste Crichlow’s roti and take some home.  She jokes that Trinidadians renamed her shop the “curry crack” because her roti is addictive.

Besides her cooking, Crichlow is also known for the camaraderie she shares with customers.  On any given day, customers congregate to watch cricket or current events while enjoying their meal.

Crichlow wants to expand her business in five years to include a venue at the airport. The Trinidadian-born chef arrived in the United States at age 13. Though she worked as a manager at a Winn Dixie supermarket for 10 years, her passion has always been to cook and eventually own a restaurant.  Her first experience at cooking and catering was for the Miami Carnival, then located in South Beach. Her friends then encouraged her to start a business.

“That motivated me to open my own restaurant,” Michelle admitted. “I have been in business now for over 21 years.”

Crichlow acknowledges that like most businesses, the restaurant has experienced hard times, but the rewards have outweighed the bad. Michelle Crichlow has no intention of giving up. Having been reared in Trinidad in a family of business owners, she understands the trials. “I learned from my mom,” she said. “So I know the challenges.” Source: caribbeantoday.com

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