RAYN Makers: Saiqa Sheikh & Josh Blake Spice Up the PEC Food Scene

“We’re major foodies,” says artist, home chef, and recipe developer Saiqa Sheikh, “the entire family, extended and all.” Saiqa’s husband Josh, the other half of the business, is a chef—both self taught and formally trained. Together, the pair run RAYN Events & Catering and cafeteria-style outdoor eatery JERKebago. Believe it, the PEC food scene is ready for this.

The tropical-styled pastel rainbow painted trailer serves as prep and storage for the delish dishes that patrons of the Carrying Place location of JERKebago covet. Boxes plated with rice, slaw, plantain chips and a meat in your choice of “Real Deal” (traditional spicy jerk) or “Bootleg” (Sweet BBQ Jerk) is grilled or barbequed on a beautiful charcoal grill while you wait. Add some fresh baked patties and an old school Fanta, exotic juice (lychee, guava, mango) or Carib favourite Ting (fizzy grapefruit bevvy) and you’re set.
How did you guys find your way to The County?
At the time of our third pregnancy, we started to look around Toronto as to where to root down. At the same time the Toronto housing market went bananas. The search for something relatively affordable pushed us out East and the welcoming nature of PEC pulled us in. Today, we have three young queens (6, 3, 1.5 years old) who thoroughly enjoy country living with us.
Tell me about RAYN…
RAYN Events & Catering is exactly that—our event and catering division. It’s a one stop shop for your event and catering needs—from food to decor and event planning, to staffing. This is where we showcase our refined, sleek and sexy side of things. From weddings to in-home chef services. Our eats through RAYN are limitless—we custom build menus to meet our guests’ palate and vision. No two events are ever the same!

How did JERKebago come to be?

For us, there was a lack of diversity in food offerings around PEC & Bay of Quinte. At the time, to our knowledge, no-one in The County or Quinte West was serving up delicious Caribbean or ethnic fare. So we decided to bring it…and bring it hard!
What’s at the heart of JERKebago’s cuisine?
At the core of JERKebago are our roots. JERKebago is fusion food combining our family recipes and cultures, meshing Caribbean, African and South Asian food. Essentially having fun with various flavour profiles to continuously create new eats.
What are your plans for the next year? 
2018 we’ve been on the go with pop ups, private caterings, festivals, community events and the like. If you follow us on the ‘Gram or any social media, you’ll know where to find us to fill your belly! Our home base is in Carrying Place, open all high season!
Prince Eddy’s hosted JERKebago’s pop-up this summer and it was awesome. How was the fit?
Palm trees meet palm trees. Chill vibes meet chill vibes.We spread 1 love and they spread the Shaka! Fantastic eats paired with fantastic brews—a happy marriage, dontcha think?
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