Story
To us, Kokomo is love. It’s made out of love—founded, owned, and run by our family. And every dish and drink we serve is our way of expressing that love and sharing it with you. Love is worth celebrating, and we hope you’ll join the party.
Ria & Kevol

A New York City native, Ria is a trailblazing force in the city’s vibrant and competitive hospitality landscape. Her passion for food and culture has made her an influential leader in the culinary world.

Throughout his career, Kevol has curated and hosted an impressive array of hospitality events, blending diverse cultural elements into cohesive and exciting celebrations. He has emerged as a true pioneer in New York’s nightlife scene.

Even apart, these two certainly would’ve done great things. But happily, their paths crossed. Ria was working in marketing and sales for a local Caribbean restaurant. Kevol was part of a band of roving chefs that curated unique dining experiences. They met on the job, and the rest is Kokomo history.

Their partnership has created a thriving marriage, three beautiful children, Kokomo, their Caribbean take-out eatery OxKale, and Bait & Bow, a new French Caribbean fine dining steak and seafood concept scheduled to launch in 2024. Their journey reminds us that food is a love language that brings people together and connects different cultures. It is a joyful celebration of love and hospitality.

Chef Brandon

Brandon Melvin learned early to associate food with love, growing up watching his Haitian grandmother baking cakes and pies. At the Art Institute of New York City, he earned his degree in culinary art and hotel/restaurant management. He then moved back home to New Jersey and started his career with a three-year stint as sous chef at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. From there, he went on to explore a wide variety of culinary styles, from French and Italian to Paleo and Korean Fusion.

Now, with more than a dozen years’ experience in the industry, Brandon is our chef de cuisine, helping us explore even more Caribbean flavor across our menu. Brandon hopes guests at Kokomo will feel amazed at the quality of service, the culinary art we present to them, and the vibe—like no other spot in the city.

Sous Chef Shaquill

Chef Shaquill’s love affair with food began in the bustling kitchens of his Trinidadian family and the diverse culinary landscape of New York City. As he honed his craft, managing the bustling kitchens of Dig Inn and exploring the realms of fine dining and kosher cuisine, his path led him to the tutelage of Michelin-starred chef Richard Farnabe.

To Chef Shaquill, food is more than sustenance—it’s an experience that awakens the senses and nourishes the soul. As our sous chef, his vision is clear—to help redefine Caribbean cuisine with a touch of Michelin-style sophistication.

Black-Owned with a Proudly Diverse Team
We love that the Kokomo team is as diverse and multicultural as the Caribbean itself. With team members from around the world, Kokomo is a true melting pot of perspectives, experiences, languages, and individuals.