Chopped finalist Lawrence Ofori brings international cuisine to Peekskill
Chef Lawrence Ofori wants to put Peekskill together.
“There’s a lot of diversity here but not a lot of togetherness,” he said. One of his goals for his new restaurant, Ofori’s World Cuisine, which opens at 3 p.m. on Friday, is to do exactly that.
Is this the portal to the milestone? It offers food covering different types of cuisine, complemented by colorful lights that change movement to the rhythm of the music, and offers live entertainment. Expect a DJ to be present at other events along with karaoke on weekends and Thursday night.
Some may remember the chef who was the Season 35 “Chopped” finalist from the Spice food truck parked outside the Jefferson Valley Mall. The truck was popular for its signature chicken wings, coconut shrimp, and tilapia sauces.
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Those sauces—and many of the spices it uses—remain (like chicken wings!), but now the menu is broader, with influences from Mexico, India, Africa, Italy, and the Caribbean.
Some of Ofori’s favorite spices are coriander, thyme, and parsley, but she also adores anything that’s fresh and has a hint of ginger paprika, allspice, and curry she grew up with in Ghana.
The dishes on the menu – there will be more once you get past the soft opening stage – are the Adabraka Kenkey, a steamed fermented corn dough ball served with fried red snapper and hot sauce; Ghanachanga is a crispy golden fried burrito filled with cheese with jollof rice and various protein options; Coconut Shell Shrimp with piña colada sauce; and Negril Jerk Chicken and Penne Vodka.
There’s also a kids’ menu that includes chicken fingers, quesadilla, and mac and cheese flatbread.
food truck pass
Moving from a food truck to a brick and mortar location was something Ofori had wanted to do for a long time because she felt confined to such a small space. “I wanted a big kitchen and better equipment,” he said.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and various construction and permit delays, it would take two years to transform what was an auto parts store into his dream restaurant. But now she’s excited that her doors are finally about to open.
“With this restaurant, I can show the world what I am,” he said. “This is my passion.”
This includes cocktails his truck can’t make, like the Guava martini with gin, peach liqueur, lime juice, seaweed, guava juice, and rosemary, and the Ofori Manhattan, which features bourbon, raspberry liqueur, lime juice, and luxardo syrup.
It also means a great ‘Bottoms Up’ system where your pint is filled from the bottom up thanks to a magnet that drops to the bottom of the glass (the system looks like a decked turntable that DJs use). The magnet, which Ofori says is used by companies for advertising, allows a seal on a hole in the bottom of the magnet to release when the pint glass is placed in the dispenser, allowing the beer to flow into the glass.
According to Ofori, this helps prevent waste and creates a better consistency. He also said it’s a nice way to free up bartenders, as the system is programmed to stop the beer when it reaches the top of the glass.
if you go
Address: 982 Main St., Peekskill, 914-402-1072, oforisrestaurants.com
Hour: Monday to Wednesday 11:00 – 22:00; Thursday 12:00 – 02:00; Friday and Saturday 15:00 – 3:00, Sunday 22:00
Good to know this: Ofori is still in the planning stages but hopes to offer karaoke on Thursdays, DJ on Fridays and possibly ladies’ night on Wednesdays. Follow the restaurant’s social media for updates. There is also a private room that can accommodate up to 20 people.
Jeanne Muchnick covers food and cooking. Click here for her latest articles and follow her latest food adventures on Instagram @lohud_food or via the lohudfood newsletter.