Island Time: Creating tequila-glazed shrimp with D’s Island Grill chef Duwayne Hall

click to enlarge Island Time: Creating tequila-glazed shrimp with D’s Island Grill chef Duwayne Hall
Photo by Alexandra Pere
A D’s Island Grill favorite.

This week, Prickly Pair Podcast hosts Alexandra Pere and Nicole Feltman got to take a look into D’s Island Grill, 3156 E. Fort Lowell Road, and left with a stellar summertime recipe.

D’s Island Grill is a family-owned business in Tucson led by head chef Duwayne Hall. He fuses traditional Jamaican foods with Southwestern flavors. Hall told the Prickly Pair Podcast that these crosscultural menu items give new customers a more approachable option on the menu if they have never tried Jamaican food before.

“They could always start with a jerk chicken taco or a jerk beef taco or chicken quesadilla,” Hall said. “It’s small but it’s got a bunch of flavor in it. They can break that barrier, like ‘If this taco tastes like this, I wonder what the jerk chicken tastes like or the oxtail.’ And then they get more brave.”

Hosts Pere and Feltman were lucky enough to sample Hall’s jerk tequila glazed shrimp. Although Hall’s family recipes are a trade secret, Hall was willing to share his quick and easy Jerk shrimp recipe.

A traditional Jamaican style of cooking meat or seafood, jerk is paste or marinade that combines seasonings including scallion, onion, salt, thyme, black pepper, paprika and all-purpose seasoning along with many other spices. When the meat is cooked, it is typically smoked or cooked for long hours over a griddle or pimento wood to give it a deliciously unique flavor.

Hall uses this way of cooking with the shrimp recipe and adds a splash of tequila to incorporate the Southwestern flavor Tucson has to offer.

The heat of the Jerk Tequila Shrimp pairs perfectly with Hall’s refreshing Watermelon Splash, a mixture of watermelon juice and ginger beer.

Get to D’s Island Grill this summer for an unforgettable meal. They are open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Make sure to check out Hall’s interview on the Prickly Pair Podcast, linked online at the top of this article and available on all streaming platforms. Listeners, be sure to tag hosts Pere and Feltman on Instagram @pricklypairpodcast when trying the finished recipe!

Jerk Tequila Glaze Shrimp by Duwayne Hall from D’s Island Grill (10 to 15 minutes)

1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined, seasoned with paprika, black pepper and all purpose seasoning.

1 teaspoon of salt and salt to taste.

Jerk sauce (Jerk can be purchased at D’s Island Grill)


Bring a saucepan to medium-high heat. Sautee shrimp until they are cooked halfway. Shrimp cooks very fast so keep an eye on the pan. Glaze the saucepan with tequila, followed by a little water. Expect flames to rise from the saucepan, be careful! After the tequila burns off or flames dissipate, add jerk sauce and add butter (personal preference). Turn heat to low and simmer for a few minutes. Serve with your choice of vegetables, fried plantains, coconut rice, or by itself.