Chef, Owner

Joseph Johnson

NEW YORK

About Joseph Johnson

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson spent time in Ghana studying West African cuisine, before returning to cook at several New York City restaurants, including Tropico, Jane, Tribeca Grill, and Centro Vinoteca. In 2011, Johnson competed and won Bravo's Rocco's Dinner Party cooking competition, quickly catching the eye of restaurateur Alexander Smalls. A year later, Johnson joined Smalls on an extended trip to Ghana, where they prepared a series of American-themed dinners. Upon their return, they opened The Cecil in 2013. Since its opening, the restaurant has garnered several awards including "Best New Restaurant in America. Johnson and Smalls also co-authored the Afro-Asian inspired cookbook, Between Harlem and Heaven. In 2018, Johnson became the chef at The Henry at Life Hotel in Manhattan, with a menu that focuses on African diaspora cuisine. Johnson is currently working toward the Spring 2019 opening of his fast-casual concept, Field Trip, also in Harlem.

    • 30 Under 30
      Forbes Magazine
    • Rising Star Chef Nominee (2015)
      James Beard Foundation

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