Jay’s Restaurant & Catering Services

The owner of Jay’s Restaurant & Catering Services (presently located in Senegambia, The Gambia) is Dado Jallow Njie, the daughter of Alhaji Demba Teddy Jallow (a Fula man) and Ngullo Ba (who is also Fula).

Dado, the last of 12 siblings, was born in 1962 in Achanam and  completed her primary and secondary education in the Gambia. After graduation, she worked for ten years as a lab technician in the Water Quality Laboratory in Abuko, Gambia (near Lamin).
Dado learned how to cook from her sister-in-law and became seriously interested in cooking in 1984 when she was obliged to make and sell fried chicken and vegetable pies in her compound which was always full of people.
In 1992, she went to Atlanta, Georgia in the US to join her husband who had been sent there by his company (GAMTEL) a year earlier to study electronic engineering at the Devry Institute of Technology.
Upon arrival in Atlanta, she immediately enrolled in a two- year diploma program at the Atlanta Area Technical School where she studied culinary arts and business. To pay for her studies she worked for two years at the Hilton and Marriot Marquis in Atlanta, having obtained her diploma in 1994.

In 1994, her husband returned to The Gambia and she returned six months later in May. She was expecting a baby and wanted it to be born in the US. The child was a boy, Abdailai Njie, and he was born on Christmas Day. Dado left the baby and two of her other children in the care of her brother, sister-in-law and mother in the US when she returned to the Gambia in 1995.

Upon arrival, she worked as a manager at Kololi Tavern Guest House (which was owned by her older brother) and in 1997 she opened her own restaurant in Serekunda which she named Jay’s Restaurant and Catering Services and remained there for only one year. Jay, by the way, was the name of her youngest daughter at the time. Afterwards, she had two more children and yet another child was born to her not long thereafter, making a grand total of six (3 sons and 3 daughters).

Because of lack of clientele, she moved her restaurant to her own compound in Senegambia in 1998 where it is presently located. Since that time, step by step, she has converted the restaurant into the image of her dreams she had for it in the US.
Her enterprise presently has: 1) a gorgeous restaurant with seven tables in a mirrored salon seating 8 persons per table; 2) a bakery that makes pizzas, pastry and cakes; 3) a gas oven hot kitchen where fish and chips, chicken and chips, and hot wings are prepared; 4) ten employees engaged in various tasks (bakers, cooks, salad makers, drivers, waiters, etc.); 5) a catering hall; 6) a large local kitchen (using firewood and charcoal); 7) a reception room; 8) a storage room; 9) a cold room; 10) a small office with a computer and internet service; 11) an apartment for sleeping; and 12) a vegetable garden.

Activities include: 1) catering for weddings, seminars, christenings, birthdays, etc.; 2) restaurant operation from 7:00 AM to midnight that offers both African and international dishes; and 3) a mobile van that circulates from place to place (e.g. Traffic Light & Dream Park) making and selling shwarma and roast chicken.

Her specialties include: 1) pastries and cakes (banana, carrot, vanilla) as well as decorations [See photo, below];

 2) Benachin (the national dish of the Gambia) [See Preparation in What’s new / Something good from _____ competition]; 3) Jay’s hot wings with chips and salad (12 for 200 dalasi); 4) chicken drumsticks (6 in each order); and 5) much much more [See four page menu below].