New Voices in Southern Cuisine: Ritho Jean Louis and Christine Vancamp Introduce Unique Dining Experiences to Bainbridge Island

Entrepreneurs introducing Asian and Haitian cuisine to Bainbridge Island

Ritho Jean Louis, the owner and manager of Ritho Caribbean Spot in Bainbridge, is sharing his story of cooking for his sisters since he was a child. He grew up with ingredients like tomatoes, corn, and peanuts that brought him to Bainbridge during harvest seasons. As he noticed a lack of food that resembled his home cuisine, he decided to open his own restaurant.

On the other hand, Christine Vancamp took a leap of faith by opening an Asian Fusion restaurant at the Bainbridge Marina. She was 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 cooks alongside her husband and is excited to share her heritage through food with the Bainbridge community.

Both Louis and Vancamp 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.

Ritho Jean Louis’ story begins with him growing up cooking for his sisters since he was a child. He learned how to use ingredients like tomatoes, corn, and peanuts while living in Haiti before moving to Bainbridge during harvest seasons.

As he noticed that there were no restaurants serving Haitian cuisine on the island of Bainbridge Island, Louis decided it was time to bring some comfort food from home.

Today he runs Ritho Caribbean Spot at 250 Wailua Road in Lihuea where customers can enjoy dishes like jerk chicken, beef patties and rice & beans.

Louis says he hopes that his restaurant will help introduce people from all walks of life to different flavors from around the world.

On another note Christine Vancamp opened Ono Kine Local Grindz at the Bainbridge Marina last year after taking inspiration from her grandparents who left Korea for Hawaii in 1920s.

Vancamp grew up eating Korean dishes such as Shoyu chicken Kalbi lumpia which she learned from her grandparents who immigrated from Korea.

She now cooks alongside her husband at Ono Kine Local Grindz where customers can enjoy Asian fusion dishes like teriyaki chicken tacos or sushi burritos.

Vancamp says she wants Ono Kine Local Grindz

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