Sizzling Pot Caribbean Delicacies proprietor brings recent, acquainted favorites to Chandler

When Karen Francis traveled to Arizona from New York on vacation, she had no intention of opening a restaurant. But with a taste of the Jamaican food on offer in the valley, Francis said she knew she would bring authentic Jamaican food to the valley.

“I took a bite at this restaurant and said, ‘Mmm, no, that’s not authentic,” said Francis. “You didn’t represent Jamaican food properly. I thought I could do better.”

In July 2008, she opened Hot Pot Caribbean Cuisine in Chandler. Since then, customers have remained loyal enough to add a food truck to the business – something that is always in high demand, according to Francis.

“We have great customers,” she said. “Some of them have been with us since we opened and they are still there. I’ve seen children grow up that I’ve met in their mother’s bellies and teenagers become adults. “

Francis said customers kept them afloat during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – particularly when Governor Doug Ducey restricted indoor dining and take-out shops for only part of the summer. Francis said she was grateful to the people who ordered her food.

“I was expecting the worst,” she said. “I don’t know how we were so lucky. God must have put some dust on us. They’ve been so supportive of us and I’m so grateful to all of them for coming in. I’ve had people come in from Cave Creek buying some groceries to make sure we stay in business. “

The food, said Francis, is what makes people come back. With traditional Jamaican dishes, Francis, who still spends some of her time in the kitchen, said the restaurant tries to keep it as pure and authentic as possible.

“It’s the stuff you grew up with when you’re Jamaican,” said Francis. “We serve traditional jerk chicken. we’re making a whole red snapper; We do so much. It’s a very simple but very tasty menu. ”