A Caribbean queen (in the kitchen)

Griot, one of Princess Lesinscar’s classic plates. Photo courtesy: Willis Charlemond

A  majority of the restaurants in Tallahassee serve the same variety of things. But there are captivating options.

Princess Lesinscar, a fourth-year health science student at Florida A&M University, has used her Haitian and Bahamian background to perfect her craft of cooking Caribbean plates and selling them to customers dying to get a taste of home.

Lesinscar started selling plates in 2021.

“The turnout was so good that I kept doing it from here and there,” Lesinscar said.

She always received compliments for her cooking so she thought, Why not? She has always loved feeding people and making people happy through food.

“At first I was a terrible cook. I spent my whole freshman year ordering out so learning to cook was very important to me,” Lesincar said.

Many Caribbean restaurants in Tallahassee lack authenticity and don’t taste as good as they should. Kai Joseph, a third-year health science student and one of Lesincar’s regular customers, said that her food reminded her of home. “I have tried other people’s Caribbean food and it just did not hit the same. Same with 509 Caribbean Cuisine,” Joseph said.

Too many restaurants just serve food and expect it to be good. But oftentimes they forget that when you are used to home-cooked meals everything needs to be seasoned. Some restaurants forget that part.

Having access to meals that remind students of home is a big deal. And Tallahassee lacks good nearby Caribbean restaurants. Everything served in Tallahassee is mostly chicken and tacos.

“Being a Miami native with Caribbean parents I loved everything Princess served with her plates,” said Victoria Ospin, a graduating health science student at Florida A&M.

From spicy pikliz to the crispy griot, Leniscar aims to please. The food served on the plate is well seasoned and will have you wanting more.

Many try to duplicate but when you are cooking and making food that is so authentic not just anyone can perform the job at hand. Customers who come from a Caribbean background are able to tell the difference with restaurant meals and home-cooked meals.

Anne Zamor, a fourth-year pharmacy student at Florida A&M, said that Leniscar’s Haitian plates were one of the best she has ever had.

“Everything Princess puts out is truly amazing. Everything is warm and just fills you up,” said Zamor.

Not a lot of places serve true authentic Haitian food, so whenever it is made from someone who comes from the background it makes you feel at home.