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A menu of Jamaican-Maine fusion at One Love Cuisine

It's Chef Rohan Tomlinson's mission to satisfy a craving for not just flavor, but love and acceptance, too.

SANFORD, Maine — "It doesn't matter who they are it doesn't matter where they come from. I see 'one love' as all people."

Words that we don’t hear much right now.

Rohan Tomlinson is the owner and chef of a new restaurant in Sanford called One Love Cuisine.

His back story is one we all need to hear.

"I was homeless before," he explained. "There was a hurricane once that blew the top of my house off and I had nowhere to live."

He moved from Jamaica to Florida almost a decade ago, but there he didn't feel a sense of community. It was when he and his wife settled in Maine nearly five years ago he finally felt home.

"I love Maine I love the people."

One day in Maine, his life changed forever.

"You're supposed to know him, famous guy, right?"

The famous guy was David Turin of the restaurants that bear his name.

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Rohan always felt comfortable in the kitchen and started cooking for Turin. In his downtime at home, he cooked some more. His family recipes.

"We had a lot of leftovers," he said. "I don't like waste. So my wife, my sister, and I decided we're going to find somebody to give this food to."

They didn't just find somebody. He says they found a lot of people living in the woods who are homeless.

"When I see people living in a bush, it hurts my heart. You know so in any way and any form we can help that's what we're trying to do right here, right here in One Love restaurant."

At one point recently he was ready to share a little more of that one love with Maine, which led to Rohan starting his own place.

"Love is what I'm going to give to everyone with this food right here."

His menu is a fusion of his old home and new home, no better explained than by the jerk lobster roll.

"Like a hot lobster roll," he said. "Then the cold one I'm going to serve that one with a mango mayo."

Serving his family recipes, each one unique, but all with a side of love.

Credit: NCM
Chef Rohan Tomlinson prepares his "mama sauce" - the jerk sauce his mother made.

"Just come over and have some 'one love' food right here. If you don't have love, come to one love."

One Love Cuisine is on Lebanon Street in Sanford. It opens Thursday, August 1 serving breakfast and lunch. Reservations are required for dinner.

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