Tamika R. Francis is a curious generalist, currently working as a public health practitioner by day, and moonlights a food enthusiast by night. She has a strong passion for the outdoors, farming, and global south food traditions. This love came from her family’s long lineage in farming and food. Her mother’s ancestors, the Jamaican maroons, invented jerk as a resistance cooking method during war. After graduate school at the Heller School at Brandeis University, she ran away to the tiny island of St. Lucia to work on marketing and product development for an eco- and agro-tourism project working with a permaculture farm, street food vendors, a women’s fishing cooperative and local food festival. Tamika has been a chef instructor for kids and adults at the Haley House, The Kitchen at Boston Public Market, The Food Project, and the Urban Farming Institute Boston where she is also a member of the board. Her company, Food & Folklore, pays homage to global food tradition and highlights unrepresented foodways, centered around the question “What does home taste like for you?”, where she explores travel, nostalgia, belonging, identity and the immigrant experience through culinary classes, pop up dining, and storytelling with a collaborative of other local chefs. She apprenticed with Jamaican chefs Conroy Arnold and Oji Jaja before receiving culinary arts training from Boston University. Tamika is on a personal mission to get more people to enjoy goat meat.
More from Tamika Francis
Chef Tamika Francis says that braised goat is her immigrant story on a plate. She lived on a farm in Jamaica where they always had goats, so it figured prominently in their cooking. The meat lends itself to many preparations, but braising it with traditional Jamaica jerk spices and curry is one of her favorites.