Written by Jordan Randall
Photography by Sally Ibarra Barceló and Laures Dockery
Kadean and Laures Dockery are bringing generations of tradition within Caribbean cuisine to Central Florida.
A lot of people dream of starting their own business, but few are brave enough to do it. When you take that leap of faith and dive headfirst into the unknown, you never know for sure how it’s really going to go. But, when you have talent, years of experience, and a strong partnership at the center of it, your chances aren’t bad at all. Meet Our Noire Kitchen.
“Our Noire Kitchen is a personal chef and catering business run by husband-and-wife duo Kadean and Laures Dockery.”
Our Noire Kitchen is a personal chef and catering business run by husband-and-wife duo Kadean and Laures Dockery. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, it brought new challenges and different difficulties for a lot of families, Kadean and Laures included. But the Dockerys decided to view those new challenges as an opportunity to do something that they’ve always wanted to do.
“I was at Disney for 13 years,” says Kadean. “Laures had been pushing me for a long time saying that we should just make the jump into our own thing. So, when we got furloughed back in April, we looked at each other and said, ‘Well, we’ve really got nothing else to do now. So, let’s go ahead and make this thing for real.’”
It was after Laures took a food photography class and realized she and Kadean had something special that the formula for Our Noire Kitchen was born. “Kadean makes all of the amazing food, and then I take pictures of everything,” says Laures. “Kadean can literally make anything. His family is from Jamaica. So, Caribbean and barbecue are kind of what we do. We have this pit smoker that we like to specialize in, but I think the jerk chicken is our most popular dish.”
The menu for Our Noire Kitchen is far from boring. It’s full of innovative creations aimed to create unique flavor combinations.
The menu for Our Noire Kitchen is far from boring. It’s full of innovative creations aimed to create unique flavor combinations. “We try to have at least one sort of creative dish on the menu,” says Laures. “And I like to make these cool fusions. I’ll propose dishes to Kadean and ask, ‘What do you think about this?’ ‘What do you think about that?’ And my whole thing is I want to be able to introduce something new to someone that they otherwise would have never seen or probably ever tried.”
While the menu for Our Noire Kitchen is always looking to be both innovative and interesting, it is still heavily inspired by Kadean’s family traditions. For example, for their seasoning they use real ginger instead of using ginger powder. They literally just get pounds and pounds of ginger and grate it by hand. It’s just older techniques that people today just forgot about.”
“It’s those older techniques that others forget about, that are helping Our Noire Kitchen make a name for itself in the Central Florida area.”
It’s those older techniques that others forget about that the Dockerys specialize in. These same techniques are helping Our Noire Kitchen make a name for itself in the Central Florida area. “The oldest steps are the steps done with love. You can just go get a machine and throw ginger in it and just break it up and be done with it. But the other steps just make it extra special,” says Kadean.
Another crucial element in Our Noire Kitchen’s success that can’t be overlooked is faith. Faith in each other and in each other’s abilities. “I completely believed in Kadean’s skill and ability to make this food,” says Laures. “And, you know, I’m biased because I’m married to him, but it is really, really good. And I’ve seen him make meals out of almost nothing, and it’s like, ‘How does this taste so good?’ It’s just so easy for him. And that’s why I felt so strongly that he could be doing something on his own outside of Disney. I feel like he just has such a special talent that is almost effortless.”
Stepping out in faith with each other is something the Dockerys continue to do since starting Our Noire Kitchen. What began as a private chef and catering service has expanded into attending and offering food at local markets, such as the Buena Market in downtown Lakeland, a local, curated pop-up market. Our Noire Kitchen’s presence at these markets is new but more than welcome to attendees, and it’s been nothing but encouraging for the Dockerys.
“We stepped out and started going to these markets. Every time we go, people come expecting to see us. They love our food. They tell their friends, and they come back knowing we’re going to be there. We never, ever know how the events are going to go. We never know what to expect. But we just show up and make sure everything looks right and tastes right. We do all that we can, and we pray for the best, and it’s been paying off every single time. We have a lady at one market where if she sees us post that we are going to be there, she’ll order and pay for her food the day before to make sure she gets it. [both laugh] So we’re guaranteed at least one sale.”
As for what’s next for Our Noire Kitchen, the Dockerys hope to get a couple of food trucks. The goal is to expand how far and how easily they can bring their tasty Caribbean menu throughout Central Florida. In the meantime, let us be the first to say, we certainly have no complaints about that.
Our Noire Kitchen