Heritage Meets Fusion: The Inspiring Stories of Ono Kine Local Grindz and Ritho Caribbean Spot

Entrepreneurs introducing Asian and Haitian cuisine to Bainbridge Island

Christine Vancamp, owner of Ono Kine Local Grindz, took a leap of faith by opening an Asian Fusion restaurant at the Bainbridge Marina. Inspired by her grandparents who left Korea for Hawaii in the 1920s and grew up eating Korean dishes like Shoyu chicken, Kalbi, and lumpia, Vancamp is excited to share her heritage through food with the Bainbridge community.

On the other hand, Ritho Jean Louis, manager and owner of Ritho Caribbean Spot, has been cooking for his sisters since he was a child. He noticed a lack of food that resembled his home cuisine when he moved to Bainbridge during harvest seasons. Ingredients like tomatoes, corn, and peanuts brought him to the area and eventually inspired him to open his own restaurant.

Both business owners are introducing the locals to dishes that are not typical in the traditional Southern cooking scene. Louis plans to host a corn festival on May 18, where members of the Haitian and Latino community will bring their own twist to a southern tradition. The diversity in cuisine not only offers a unique dining experience but also creates a link between heritage, uniqueness, and progression in a town where racial and ethnic diversity has been less common. By bringing their culinary traditions to Bainbridge, both business owners hope to give the community a taste of the comfort food they grew up on.

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