The tastiest new series, “Just Eats With Chef JJ,” just launched on TV One’s new network, Cleo TV, and everyone’s raving about the tasty recipes they are watching this Chef create.
Joseph “JJ” Johnson, is a New York City culinary expert who is bringing his own brand of seasoning to the network. The popular Executive Chef and Partner of Henry By JJ, which is located inside NYC’s Life Hotel, has been transforming the palates of diners with his bold flavors and mixtures of ingredients. He is the proprietor and brainchild of FieldTrip, a concept where diners will choose their own rice or barley bowl, which will open in Harlem soon.
Formerly the executive chef of The Cecil, a world-renowned restaurant, Chef JJ has made an impressive impression on the culinary world. He invited Right On! Digital’s Cynthia Horner to stop by to sample a few of his signature dishes, which included Fig French Toast, Biscuit Sammys, Egg Rice, Brown Paper Bag Fried Chicken, and Collard Green Salad. In addition, Right On! Digital and other media outlets received an exclusive glimpse of the series that kicked off CLEO TV’s recent debut.
TV One executives in attendance at the event included EVP of Ad Sales and Marketing Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay, VP of Original Programming and Production Robyn Green Arrington and SVP of Public Relations Tosha Whitten-Griggs. The show’s executive producers Rochelle Brown and Sonia Armstead, co-owners of Powerhouse Productions, were also in attendance.
JUST EATS WITH CHEF JJ is a hot new cooking show where CLEO TV viewers get to hang out with Harlem’s own Chef JJ Johnson. Set in a hip New York City loft, JJ prepares meals from his kitchen and entertains his celebrity friends. Each episode features notable special guests including TV personality Yandy Smith, actor Laz Alonso, singer Kimberly Locke, actress Naturi Naughton, rapper and activist David Banner, activist Tamika Mallory and ESPN Commentator and NBA champion Stephen Johnson, among others.
RIGHT ON! DIGITAL: We’ve had a wonderful time nibbling. What do you like to eat when you’re not in the kitchen?
CHEF JJ: I try to eat healthy and I work out quite a bit but I try to support my friends’ restaurants and I enjoy going to Chinatown where they have Dim Sum.
RIGHT ON! DIGITAL: What is important in terms of creating meals?
CHEF JJ: I like to use different ingredients and take those experiences and show people that food can be from South America, Africa, the Caribbean, etc. There’s not just one place on the map that food is from. I use a healthy approach to food. We talk about these things on the show.
RIGHT ON! DIGITAL: Henry is an awesome place. How do you like having this location. We know it’s fairly new.
CHEF JJ: Every creation is mine and we have R&B music and we get to vibe out. It’s important for people to know that there are few African American chefs in hotels. Having this location gives people a chance to meet me and learn about others that are in the industry.
RIGHT ON!: How do you balance your career and having not one but two restaurants?
CHEF JJ: I have a really storng team.
RIGHT ON!: Back in the day, it was not possible for a person of color to be the proprietor of an establishment or even come through the front door. How does it feel to be a game changer?
CHEF JJ: My grandfather is 94 and he keeps telling me, “Keep on doing what you do.” If persons of color worked at a hotel, they had to go around to the back. At the Life Hotel, you have to enter the Henry to get to their lobby and you get to smell the good food and hear R&B music playing!
COOK OFF! WATCH A CLIP OF HIS SHOW HERE!