Even if Ma Gloria’s Trinidad Restaurant is a roaring success, owner Roxann Melville says she has no plans to give up catering.
“I can’t leave that,” says Melville, who learned to cook from a Trinidadian grandmother who helped raise her after Melville’s parents emigrated. “Maybe it’s just me that cries at everybody’s wedding that’s not mine, but I won’t leave catering.”
At her new North Charleston restaurant, Melville is serving stew chicken, curries, wings and roti. For eaters who aren’t familiar with the subtleties of Caribbean cooking, she stresses that her versions of popular dishes don’t taste exactly like what’s served at the area’s various Jamaican restaurants. “We’re very different,” she says. “We’re more into spices versus spicy.”
Melville moved to New York City in 2000. and has lived in South Carolina since 2007. As a caterer, she’s won top prizes at the Charleston Jerk Festival and Taste of Black Charleston. At this year’s Taste, she offered shrimp-and-grits, marinated fried pork and tropical punch, one of a number of fruit drinks she’s pouring at Ma Gloria.
Both the pork and stew chicken were served over Calypso rice.
“Girl, it’s something I came up with,” Melville said when asked to describe the ingredients. “You’re just going to have to try it.”
Ma Gloria’s Trinidad Restaurant, 3313 Meeting St. Road, is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday; 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday. For more information, call 843-203-4662 or visit facebook.com/MGTCatering.