Rick Joore (on the right with girlfriend Kit and head chef Tim), behind JOLOKO – KL’s first Afro-Caribbean restaurant and bar – shares a little about his introduction to the food and beverage industry and some stories from behind the scenes.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I recently opened my first bar and restaurant called JOLOKO here in KL. I was part of the opening team of Fuego, Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar and Brasserie Fritz here in KL and I’ve done cocktail programs for Botak:Liquor at Chocha and BARRIO by Pisco Bar. I’ve been in the industry for 14 years. What started as a high school internship in a kitchen in my hometown, Aalsmeer, led to a full-time summer job. From then on I never left F&B and now, it’s all I know!
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
I think everyone can agree in the hospitality industry that the worst part is that we are always working when others are free and we often have to “miss out on parties”. That being said, more often than not, it’s also the best part. Being in this industry doesn’t often feel like work and every day can be an unexpected party.
What’s your favourite experience at JOLOKO so far?
Kit (my girlfriend) and I were sitting at our bar, exhausted from the weeks of non-stop activities. A close friend of mine who was back for holiday decided to pop by with her girlfriends just as we started shutting the doors. Of course, we couldn’t say no to one more tequila. Before we knew it, at least five different groups of friends walked in one after the other. One tequila turned into 10 tequilas and we had a moment of realisation that THIS is exactly why we do what we do. Everybody had such an amazing time socialising, laughing, and dancing. We were just so proud of our little achievement in opening this happy place.
The perfect day off would be…
Spending time with Kit and the dogs.
What do you do for fun?
Well honestly, work. Eating and drinking out is also considered work I think. It, of course, sounds very sad but I’m very happy with it. Other than that, travelling and diving is something I enjoy very much too.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about JOLOKO?
What’s your favourite food and wine pairing?
Champagne and breakfast. My favourite is Charles Dufour ‘Le Champ du Clos’ Brut Nature Rosé, you can wake me up anytime for a bottle of that!
What’s your view on the food scene in KL?
There are so many great new places opening up lately, all really upping the local scene. I strongly believe that people are looking for a casual and relaxed setting with quality food, not particularly cheap but not fine dining either, don’t take it all so serious, there should be laughter (the louder the better) plenty to be drunk and eaten.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
JOLOKO is like a newborn child, it requires for the coming period still our full attention. We will be doing some fun events at our own bar, such as sound therapy, BBQ’s, Pablo’s Discobar and hopefully soon a boat party!
Check out JOLOKO here!