A common phrase in a kitchen inspired the name of a Roanoke restaurant.

“‘Yes, chef’ is how you always answer your head chef; it’s a term of respect,” said Rodney Dabon, co-owner and CEO of Yeschf Creole Restaurant, located inside the Oak Street Food and Brew food hall at 206 N. Oak St., Ste. 110.

Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Dabon worked in the hotel industry on the culinary side as an executive sous chef and executive chef at several area hotels, including the Hilton Fort Worth. When COVID-19 hit in 2020 and hotel business dried up, Dabon started catering and making deliveries with Fort Worth Foodies.

“One of the Foodies administrators told me about the Roanoke food hall. I thought it would be a good spot to start my own place,” Dabon said.

He opened Yeschf in October 2021. A chance meeting last summer would bring Dabon together with co-owner and CFO Clyde Vasquez.

“I met Rodney at Anderson Distillery & Grill just down the street,” Vasquez said. “We got to talking and found out that we not only shared business goals, but we were aligned spiritually as well.”

Yeschf offers a variety of Creole and Cajun dishes, including Louisiana gumbo, crawfish bisque and Creole jambalaya. Po’boy sandwich options include shrimp, oysters and hot sausage. Other uniquely named dishes include Raging Cajun, which is spicy fried chicken with corn maque choux, and Monday’s Chores, which is fried chicken with red beans and jasmine rice.

“The name comes from people needing to cook something that didn’t need tending to while they were out doing their chores,” Dabon said of the latter dish.

For those wanting something sweet to cap off their meal, Yeschf offers lagniappe, a Cajun-French word meaning “a little extra” and often used to describe something good. In this case, that little extra is the restaurant’s beignet bread pudding with TX Bourbon sauce.

Dabon said that restaurants in Texas claim to serve authentic Creole and Cajun cuisine, but the true test comes when someone from Louisiana tastes the food.

“People from Louisiana can be harsh critics,” said Dabon. “They’ll come in to see if we’re just another Texas knock off or if we’re the real deal. They keep coming back for more, so I guess that answers that.”