Chef Lattoia Massey (aka Nicola Blaque), a CIA-San Antonio grad and U.S. Army veteran, worked with her husband, a fellow vet, Cornelius Massey, to open The Jerk Shack in 2018.
"As a Jamaican immigrant and U.S. Army veteran, I am delighted to do what I love in a country I have given my blood, sweat and tears for," chef Blaque said, in a press release. "To be featured with other notable restaurants such as Indigo and Fox & the Knife is a blessing."
The couple worked with sous chef Imani Peterson to create the restaurant's signature jerk chicken wings, savory sides and welcoming kitchen crew, which have garnered loyal fans and attracted food-savvy out-of-towners.
The list features 16 restaurants located throughout the U.S., with three restaurants in Texas including the Jerk Shack, Indigo in Houston and Khao Noodle Shop in Dallas. The full 2019 list can be found on the Eater website.