We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacqueline Parker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacqueline, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am a born and raised New Yorker, specifically the South Bronx. I am the daughter of Puerto Rican parents, both of whom relocated to New York from Puerto Rico well before I was born. We were surrounded by friends and family and, in true Puerto Rican culture, spent countless hours together as a community. Food is an integral part of our culture and I learned early on to have a tremendous love and respect for the preparation of not only our traditional cuisine, but all food in general. My mother and all of the women in our Bronx community were such an inspiration to me, not only for their strength, courage and determination, but for their respect to our history and traditions. I learned early on to be strong minded, culturally adhered, family centered and, for my business pursuits, a way to create dishes that are both recognizable and speak to the lessons I learned when I was very young. I am, if nothing else, a product of my environment and culture and am so thankful every day for the opportunities both have given me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The Hummingbird Table is a pop-up kitchen located out of Dania Beach, FL and we take pride in serving the food you know with a gourmet twist. We love that our business model, being a true “pop-up”, sets us apart from the food trucks that dominate our local mobile food structure. Our creativity, along with our business model, certainly sets us apart from those who take their craft to the streets. Our pride comes from not only my growth as a chef, but how our menu has grown over the last three years. I do not have any formal training…the business was started on a dare from a friend who, although thought my food was amazing, stated that I did not have the “balls” to put it in the streets. That was all I needed to hear…the rest is history! We take classic comfort food and twist it respectfully, of course, with a little Puerto Rican flair, and with that have created a taste that is all our own. Being in our 50’s, our biggest challenge is the physical strain of setting up and breaking down our set up. It is a challenge, and, as we get older, only gains in weight. We are honest, simple, home grown, consistent, reliable and believe that only the food we would eat ourselves is good enough for our customers.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a difficult one, with Covid-19 being what it is, but there are some great places to go here in our area. The “can’t miss” spots in a week spent here would begin with some of our business partners. For cocktails and great music vibe, we would suggest Rhythm and Vine or The Hub. Sophisticated cocktails would be poured at Whiskey Neat or The Wilder. Looking for great South Florida craft beer, Invasive Species, Gulfstream Brewery, 3Sons or are friends at Orchestrated Minds are all safe bets. If you stumble into North Miami-Dade county, Legacy Caribbean is a can’t miss! Just to our north is Odd Breed Wild Ales, 26 Degrees Brewing and Black Flamingo Brewing. Looking for more of a craft beer bar experience, try Laser Wolf, Riverside Marketplace or Craft Beer Cellar. If you can catch these mobile food providers, definitely check out Tony Waffles, Lokal Moko, DiBigJerk, Are You Hungry Grill? and OneShotDogs. Gotta have restaurants are Phat Boys, 15th Street Fisheries, Louie Bossi, Catfish Dewey”s and Il Mulino’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate the ShoutOut to my business manager and, my husband, Stacy Parker. when I embarked on this personal journey, I was not sure how big it might become. My husband has a full time career of his own and works far more than 40 hours/week. When the requests became more frequent and the venues became larger, he never hesitated to jump in and help me out with whatever I needed; my sous chef, buyer, muscle and whatever else needed to be done. And even through the days that I know deep in my heart that all he wants to do is sit in his favorite chair with a beer in hand, he is there to support me in whatever capacity that I need him to be and, for that, I am eternally grateful!
Facebook: The Hummingbird Table
Photos by S,O, Parker