When Joan Beckford serves a meal, it’s full of love. It’s also likely to be full of shrimp, wings, vegetables, rice and plenty of other delectable favorites. With her husband, Daniel, Joan owns three popular local food establishments: Island Pride Jamaican Restaurant, in Rockville; Island Pride Oasis Catering, in Gaithersburg; and Island Pride Food Market, in Gaithersburg. All three are beloved for the authentic, fresh and flavorful Jamaican food always made from scratch using traditional cooking methods.
“We serve a lot of shrimp,” said Joan, describing one of her customer favorites. “They are seasoned with jerk flavor, or curry or buffalo,” she added. Other favorites include spicy Jamaican jerk wings, authentic oxtail stew, jerk chicken salad and a vegetarian dish called Rasta pasta.
On the Island Pride jerk chicken pasta, Joan said the “sauce looks like alfredo but it is our own and it is not alfredo. It has become people’s favorite.”
Some of the specialized drinks available from Island Pride include Red Stripe Jamaican beer, and a Jamaican rum punch. “We make it with natural fruit juice and Jamaican rum. This is our own recipe,” explained Joan.
Joan and her catering team are happy to bring the party to a client’s venue, or host events at Island Pride Oasis Catering, which can accommodate up to 100 people. No matter the location, Joan promises a beautiful, flawless event. Joan can help a client achieve their dream wedding, birthday party, corporate or other event by assisting with the flowers and other décor but the food always takes center stage.
“Customers say I have the best food,” said Joan. “I have never done an event of any kind where the food is not the highlight of that event.”
She added, “It’s in my heart to make sure that whatever I serve is served well, and with a lot of love. As long as I do that, it will come out right.”
Much of the authentic Jamaican food at the area’s trio of Island Pride food establishments includes jerk, a traditional Caribbean seasoning with a rich, fiery mix of native herbs and spices.