Gareth Powell began cooking at the age of 12 alongside his late grandmother, Mable Williamson, the person he credits for his expertise in the kitchen. “Ms. May,” as folks in their community called her, could cook a mean plate of stewed chicken, but Powell says “she was all about family,” a trait that undoubtedly rubbed off on him.
Now, many Houstonians recognize Powell as “Chef G” from Jamaica Pon Di Road, the popular Caribbean food truck and Acres Homes restaurant inspired by Powell’s island roots. Translating to “Jamaica on the Road,” his mobile and brick-and-mortar eateries serve a variety of West Indian specialties, including curry shrimp, drunken plantains, coconut rice and peas and the region’s ubiquitous jerk chicken.