Joseph Johnson

Joseph “JJ” Johnson is the James Beard-nominated Executive Chef at The Cecil and Minton’s. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Johnson went on to hone his skills in some of New York’s most esteemed kitchens including Centro Vinoteca, Jane, and Tribeca Grill. Constantly in search of new flavors, Chef Johnson spent a month cooking in Ghana at the country’s leading boutique hotel, Villa Monticello, studying West African cuisine and exploring the country’s exotic markets.

In 2013, Chef Johnson helped open The Cecil with Richard Parsons and Alexander Smalls. Soon after, he joined the kitchen of its sister restaurant Minton’s, the revived jazz supper club located next door.

Chef Johnson was nominated for a James Beard Foundation award for Rising Star Chef, and he recognized by Star Chefs with the Rising Star Community Chef award (both in 2015). He was named on the “20 Under 40” list of extraordinary philanthropists by the Observer (2016). Chef Johnson was also named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Zagat’s 30 under 30 and an Eater Young Gun (all in 2014), as well as recognized as Chef of the Year by New York African Restaurant Week (2015).

More about Joseph Johnson
What is your earliest memory involving food or wine? My earliest memory involving food, was when my uncle force fed me raw clams. I remember him saying, "If I wanted to be a chef, I must taste everything." My favorite SOBEWFF® memory is: My favorite SOBEWFF memory is hanging out with my friends from around the country. We drank Rose and talked about industry changes. Another charity/non-profit cause important to me is: Other non- profit causes that are important to me are, Seed Street and The Share Our Strength non profit organizations. If I could collaborate with anyone in the world on a project, it would be: I would collaborate with anyone interested in setting up a program that would feed children in the summer months, who would otherwise be unable to get lunch. I never leave home without my: I never leave home without some fresh Nikes.