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Emmer & Rye team opening Caribbean restaurant Canje this week in East Austin

Matthew Odam
Austin 360

The team behind Emmer & Rye has turned to chef-partner Tavel Bristol-Joseph’s native Guyana for its latest restaurant, Canje, which opens Tuesday in East Austin. 

The new project, named after the national bird of the small South American coastal country, gives Bristol-Joseph the first opportunity of his culinary career to explore the flavors of his home, a country rich with influences from Africa, India, Europe and East Asia. 

The savory menu features dishes like bone-in jerk chicken, pan-seared snapper with coconut broth and pickled okra, and wild boar pepper pot. Bristol-Joseph, whose work at Emmer & Rye and Hestia has marked him as one of the city’s most creative pastry chefs, has created a dessert menu that includes tres leches waffles with coconut, ginger and fresh fruit. 

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Canje will serve dishes like ceviche, roti, beef pepper pot and bone-in jerk chicken.

Bristol-Joseph, who last year was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s best new chefs, knows that many Austin diners likely have limited knowledge of his home country, and he is excited to share Guyana’s array of flavors. 

“The beauty of the Caribbean is all of these influences. It's a beautiful blend. And I want to make sure the food represents that because I think we need it now more than ever,” Bristol-Joseph told the American-Statesman.

Guyana native chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph, a partner in the Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group, will bring the flavors of his home country to Canje in East Austin.

The cocktail menu, created by beverage director Kate Houser, also has a Caribbean flavor, with drinks like a frozen pina colada and the Love Drug, made with cacao-infused mezcal, Cocchi Torino and mauby bark tincture.

Canje, which is at 1914 E. Sixth St., will be open daily, with serving from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and until midnight Thursday-Saturday. Reservations can be made at canjeatx.com.