In the fall of 2013, Chef JJ helped open The Cecil as its first Chef de Cuisine; he later joined Minton’s in fall 2014. Chef JJ brings his unique culinary style to the kitchen in collaboration with his mentor, restaurateur Alexander Smalls, putting his ideas to work in the Afro-Asian-American cuisine at The Cecil and low country Southern revival cooking at Minton’s.
This past year, Chef JJ was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef Award, among many other honors. Most recently, he received the ‘Best Chef’ award at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit. The Cecil was named Best New Restaurant in America by Esquire in 2014.
Related: Interviewed by Harlem World Magazines CC Minton with Chef “JJ” Johnson Talks Healthy Food
This month, Chef JJ is introducing all-new menus at Minton’s, which truly define his style of American regional cooking, and are best enjoyed alongside the world’s best jazz. Stand-outs on the new menu include Chef JJ’s re-invention of gumbo with his Tidewater Gumbo Plate, a Creole Braised Lamb Shank, and his Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs. The menu is more approachable and lower-priced, with four sections to choose from: Smalls, Low Country, Bigs and Fixings. A new dessert menu from Executive Pastry Chef Mame Sow’s is also low country-inspired with its White Lily Pain Perdu and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pecan Tart. Beverage Director Antoine Hodge showcases new cocktails inspired by jazz performance greats, such as the Lady Day with gin, strawberry-infused aperol, aquavit, egg whites, and tonic water.
Congrats Chef JJ.