Jamaica, “run down,” also known as “London,” run dun, or rounding as it, ‘s referred to as a melty tender seafood dish or a sauce made by simmering coconut milk, spices, and fish such as mackerel or salt cod. It is traditionally consumed with Jamaican staples such as yams, bananas, and plantains. The dish is known as rundown because it cooks the fish until it is broken. It’s a comfort food that cooks Andrew Black grew up eating when he lived in his hometown in Barracks River, St Mary in Jamaica.

Today, a rundown forms the base for a spectacular dish of scallops cooked in coconut sauce, which is served in the menu of tastings of Chef Black’s Grey Sweater restaurant located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The city needs to be addressed as a dining spot. However, the perception of this city is shifting due to the chefs such as Black, who was named the Best Chef Award: Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in June of this year.


Chef Black claims that his refined rendition of the rundown is a meal that mirrors his rise from modest Jamaican origins to becoming one of the most significant dinner awards ceremonies throughout the US.

“I didn’t know what foraging and organic was, but I only ate that way [growing up]; we just didn’t know what it was called,” explained Black, who was introduced to cooking thanks to his grandmother. She taught him how to forage and cook and even assigned Black to build an outside clay stove so that the family could grill on burning flames.

After realizing his pleasure in the kitchen, Black moved to an adjacent village at the ripe age of 14, where he worked at a resort hotel for two years as a kitchen assistant and slept in the hotel’s change room for the staff. Black began by working in jobs such as cleaning refrigerators or juicing more than 3,000 citruses daily. Then, he got a job in a resort’s kitchen, and his successes there eventually led him to an institution of culinary arts in Ohio.

It was a far cry from his first resort cooking experience; Black then embarked on an incredible culinary adventure, clocking his time at Sandals Resort in Turks and Caicos and the Ritz at Paris in Paris, and The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee. Black began working for the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City in 2007.

The chef Andrew Black of Grey Sweater, is an expert in elevating the humble dish (Credit: Culinary Edge Group)

Oklahoma City had never really been thought of as a foodie destination and was primarily considered of as stereotypes of meat and potatoes in Oklahoma City in the American Midwest. However, Black was intrigued by opening a new restaurant at the hotel’s historic building and was willing to let it run for one year. Then he became a fan of the city. Now, after 16 years of working in various Oklahoma City kitchens, Black is thrilled to consider Oklahoma his home. “It’s the people that keep me here,” said Black. Declared, praising their love for him, his cooking, and his food choices as the critical factor in his success.

Black started Grey Sweater in 2019, designing elaborate tasting menus featuring dishes like his scallops served in coconut sauce. It’s a staple of the menu that pays homage to his roots while showcasing his unique skills in culinary arts. “It’s a dish that I grew up with, and we took it to the next level,” Black explained. “The one we do at home [in Jamaica] is more country cooking.”

For transforming a dish that is simple like rundown into an expensive restaurant-style word, Black slow-simmer coconut milk with salt cod cream, the annatto seed (a seed that comes from the achiote plant), and other spices like the makrut lime leaf and thyme, and ginger. If the sauce looks smashed, this means that it’s exactly like the recipe of his grandmother. Black explained, “Growing up in Jamaica, we cooked sauces to death, and they often looked broken, but that’s just part of it.”

After years of training in professional kitchens, Black tends to avoid broken sauces. He also suggests mixing it with the sauce in your home should it fail.

The sauce’s silky texture is the basis for a plump day-boat scallop that has been butter-seared and garnished by the Kaluga caviar. This caviar adds an elegant showpiece that celebrates his achievements as a chef. This is a significant departure from the homelier roots of the run. However, as Black stated, “the DNA remains the same.”

The rundown 2.0 has been available on the menu at Black’s since its opening in the restaurant and is an institution. “I wanted to have one dish that just takes me home,” Black said. Black. “That’s what this sauce and seafood does for me.”

The scallops are fresh off a high-point accomplishment, unlike anything his hometown has ever seen. This dish of scallops and coconut sauce blends frill-free traditional cuisine and cutting-edge design and demonstrate how the simplest of meals can be transformed into something spectacular and tell the tale of achievement and of a city that is rising and of his home.