The adventure began in 2006, when Beryl Ralston built a small takeout restaurant in the south Ajax community of Durham Region. Coming from Jamaica, an island having so much influence from all over the world, it's no wonder that the food she prepared is seasoned, unique and tasty – boasting of influences from the Spanish, British, East Indian, West African, Portuguese, Chinese, French and the Dutch heritage.
Inspired by Jamaican traditions, customer requests and suggestions from her family, Beryl designed the menu to coincide with the new trends toward healthy eating which includes responsible use of seasoning and providing gluten free options. Featured dishes include Jerk Chicken, Curried Goat, Stewed Oxtails and Fried Chicken.
Very quickly, Beryl’s reputation for authentic Jamaican food exceeded the small restaurant’s capacity to meet demand. So the family decided to open a second Beryl’s Pepper Pot in the trendy Toronto neighbourhood of Leslieville in the beaches. The new restaurant on Queen Street East generated a lot of attention, reinforcing the success of the Authentic Jamaican Cuisine concept. A few years later, Beryl opened a third establishment featuring an upscale dine-in menu in Pickering.
Today, the Beryl’s Pepperpot family includes 3 restaurants and the adventure continues.
For the founder, Executive Chef Beryl Ralston, of Beryl’s Pepper Pot restaurants, initiative, perseverance, self-confidence and boundless energy have been the main ingredients in her recipe for success.
From the Lucea, Jamaica to the big city of Toronto
Beryl Ralston was born into a humble family in Lucea, a little coastal town the parish of Hanover in Jamaica. Beryl had all the ingredients for success right from the very start. She started cooking as a little girl during the summer breaks. Like most island girls, Beryl spent a lot of time in the kitchen and going to markets with her mother, who was her greatest influence and fostered her love for cooking. She also recalls her grandmother being very creative in the kitchen, often substituting ingredients to put her own twist on a recipe.
Migrating to Canada in the 1990’s, she began her professional career as a corporate payroll administer for a global payroll administrative, Chef Ralston gave up her lucrative job to pursue her passion for food and cooking to enter the culinary industry.
Still just as passionate!
Even after all these years, Beryl stays up to date on industry matters and regularly visits restaurants. She ensures that her quality standards are being respected by remaining in contact with her guests, her main source of inspiration and motivation. Beryl’s takes to heart and remains involved in the creation of new dishes by testing and evaluating new recipes, in order to better introduce them in the restaurants.