By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen in Wynwood is a hip, fun tropical hotspot owned by the husband and wife team of Rodrick Leighton and Dr. Shrusan Gray.

She’s a mom of two and an OB-GYN by day. She delivered two babies overnight before her interview with CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.

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“So you’re a mom and a doctor and a restaurateur, how do you that?” asked Petrillo. 

“I think it’s prayers. I pray. I think I can do it and then it starts and then I can stop and then it becomes fun and exciting,” said Dr. Gray.

The couple, who were both born in Jamaica, wanted to create that island feel in Wynwood. Even the art made by Chef Cameron is part of the overall Caribbean vibe.

“We wanted a jerk vibe, we wanted to bring jerk to South Florida and we want it in a restaurant setting. So he wanted to merge both the outside patio which was very important to us.  We also wanted to merge the art. We wanted to bring the art that Wynwood is bringing to South Florida and be a part of it,” she explained.

Dukunoo, which means ‘sweet thing’ in Jamaican, was recently featured in celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s YouTube show called ‘Pepsi Dig In’.  It’s his nationwide campaign to discover Black-owned restaurants.

Leighton reflected on that experience as he sat with Petrillo for her tasting.

“Him coming in was a big deal and it says, ‘Look I actually like your product.’ He’s saying, ‘I like what you guys are putting out.’ That was the highest moment of Dukanoo,” recalled Leighton.

With the table filled with colorful island favorites, they start with Fish Bites, a classic Jamaican appetizer with red snapper and caramelized peppers on top.

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“You have your plantains, you have the fish, and you bite right through it,” said Petrillo.

“So you get your yin and your yang,”  said Leighton.

“Yes! The yin and the yang,” said Petrillo. “The crunch, the texture, the veggies, it’s fun on a plate.”

They sipped on the restaurant’s famous Zombie cocktail, a blend of passion fruit, cognac, and more before enjoying a tasty vegan option called the Rasta Man Pasta.

Then they moved on to a seafood lover’s dream, Fever Grass Shrimp.

“In Jamaica, we call it fever grass which is good for you. It has medicinal purposes so it’s good health-wise. It’s good for the body and good for the soul,” Leighton explained.

“The shrimp really has this kind of interesting bite and it’s crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside,” said Petrillo.

Finally, a Dukunoo specialty. It’s called the Outta Road Jerk Stand Chicken. It’s grilled outside and served with hard dough bread and island slaw.

“Don’t bother me I’m eating,” joked Petrillo. “It’s got the right amount of kick. I’ve had Jamaican jerk chicken before and it’s almost too spicy for me. This has the perfect blend and the perfect amount of tender moistness on the inside with the crunch of the dark skin on the outside. I love it.”

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Dukunoo is open seven days a week serving lunch and dinner.

Lisa Petrillo