Silent Addy on the DNA of King Patty’s
We talk to the Miami-based DJ, producer and cofounder of King Patty’s about his new food truck, what makes the perfect patty, and how he plans to take Jamaican culture to new places
By Corinna Burford Photography by AJ Woomer
Challenging this narrative is central to the work of Soho House member Addy Alexander (also known as Silent Addy), a DJ, producer and the cofounder of King Patty’s, a Miami-based food truck serving Jamaican beef, oxtail, seafood and vegetable patties, which are now also featured on our Soho Beach House Miami menu. ‘A lot of people take from Jamaica, and I don’t feel like it’s given back to Jamaica the right way,’ he says. ‘I’m trying to push the boundaries and bring the culture with me – introducing it to new people and taking it with me to new places.’
Here, we talk to Addy about launching the King Patty’s food truck last year with friends Derrick Foster and chef Daniel Lai. He also discusses what makes the perfect Jamaican patty and his goals for sharing authentic Jamaican food and music with new audiences.
‘I’m from Jamaica, and I moved to Miami in the second grade. My mum lives here and my dad lives in Jamaica, where he owns a restaurant called Truck Stop. It has Caribbean food like jerk chicken, jerk pork, fried fish, and fried lobster. My uncle has food trucks in Florida as well, so I’ve been around the food industry for a long time.
‘King Patty’s actually started during the pandemic, though. One of my good friends who I went to high school with in Miami, and who’s also Chinese-Jamaican, has a family recipe that he’s been making for years. He was on Instagram one day saying, “Yo, I’m selling patties”, and I tried them and they were really good. I had a link to a food truck, and the rest is history. We parked the truck in Wynwood at this sneaker store, Unknwn, which LeBron James co-owns, and that’s where we got our start.’
Why did you decide on patties as the main focus for the truck?
‘Originally, my idea was to do something like a Jamaican take on chipotle, a jerk chicken bowl or a curry chicken bowl, but then I realised that we’d have to have a chef on board. With the patties, it does take a lot of work because you have to make them in advance, but once they’re assembled all you have to do is bake them in the oven. So, it’s not really rocket science for the person who’s working in the truck. Patties are a staple food in Jamaican and Caribbean culture. You buy one and you can just eat it on the go. I also throw a lot of events here in South Florida, so having the patties available there was a no-brainer.’
What makes the perfect patty?
‘It’s all about the crust. After you finish eating a patty, if you’re not covered with flakes, then it’s not a good one. You can put anything in the filling, and if the crust is right it’ll be good. Recently, we’ve even been experimenting with dessert patties. We put Nutella in there and it’s fire. But basically, if you see a patty with no flakes, then stay away.’
This idea of sharing Jamaican culture through food and music has been a running theme in your career. Why is it important for you to pass it down?
‘I’ve been around it for so long, and I saw a lot of the people who I used to look up to in the music industry hit a ceiling. They were the biggest thing in the Caribbean, the biggest thing in the dancehall scene, but they just kind of stayed there. So, I’m trying to push the boundaries and bring the culture with me – introducing it to new people and taking it with me to new places like Soho House. That’s basically my goal: to bring authentic Jamaican and Caribbean culture into places that don’t really get the real deal. I want to break down those walls, and make it easier for the next generation of Caribbean youths to come out and be bigger than just famous on the island.’
‘I’ve learnt that if you have an idea, just run with it. If your product is good, the rest will follow.’
‘A lot of people don’t know where to find it. If you want real Jamaican food in Miami, you have to go to deep south Miami or to Broward or Fort Lauderdale. If you don’t know somebody, it could be intimidating to go out of your comfort zone. Many people come here and they’ll just go to Wynwood or South Beach, but we don’t have a lot of places that actually represent Jamaica the right way in those areas.’
Do you feel like the same thing is true for music – that to hear really good dancehall, you have to go to those specific neighbourhoods?
‘Yes, 100% – and I feel like that’s what I bring to Miami. I’ll be the only person to host dancehall events at some of these venues around the city. I did one of the first ones in Wynwood, and it’s like I’m introducing it in a safe space. Because, like I say, if you’re not Jamaican and not in the loop of things, going to an actual Jamaican party in Broward or in deep Flatbush could be intimidating. Bringing it into spots that don’t always host dancehall events, that’s our goal.’
Do you have plans to expand King Patty’s?
‘Definitely. The main problem that we have with King Patty’s now is that we can’t make the patties fast enough. As soon as we make them, they’re selling out. Our plan right now is to look for a warehouse to build out a kitchen, so we’ll have our own freezer and stuff like that. Once the patties are made, we’re sure we can sell them. It’s just about having the space and facilities to produce them.’
What are some of the biggest things that you’ve learnt since launching the truck last year?
‘I’ve learnt that if you have an idea, just run with it. If your product is good, the rest will follow. I think we’ve passed the point where people are just coming to support the truck because it’s my thing. And it’s reached the stage where they’re coming back to order them over and over.’
Can you tell us about the mini patties that we’ve introduced to the Soho Beach House Miami menu?
‘I had the idea to do the mini patties exclusively for Soho House, because I wanted people to try more than just one flavour. If you have one big beef patty, it could be filling. There are some people who can eat three or four of them, but not many. The mini patties are bite-sized, so you can get four veggie, four beef.’