Wednesday, April 18, 2012

With Chef Johnson

Johnson may be a common surname, but everyone I know who has it (Karen, Liz, and the Brothers) are anything but common; Chef Johnson is certainly no exception.
If you are living in the Long Island Sound bordering ‘burbs of NYC, you may have already heard of this New Orleans-style, treat-packed,  truck-driving  man, who totes around not only his 5 year-old (part of his growing crew of male offspring!) but a selection of flavors and music that offer a small and tasty window to the south. While Mr. NO himself, Louis Armstrong, watches over from an old black and white photo,  Chef Johnson, who hides his gorgeous blue eyes behind sunglasses,  doles out servings of some of the best jambalaya I’ve had north of Louisiana, all to the tunes of Dr. John and more. Chef Johnson, after all, is not only a chef, but also a musician (hope he'll be giving us a concert one of these days!) and someone, like many of us, who likes to dance as he cooks.

But this isn't the only sensual treat gleaned from the Johnson Truck; it additionally offers one of the most perfect spring and summertime combos: picking up your warm and fresh-cooked fabulous food and enjoy it, with friends and family, al fresco, in Harbor Island.

You know, I'm thinking I could transfer one of my Sunday dinners to this waterside locale...especially since Chef Johnson's menu definitely has something for everyone--from those who like smokier and sparkier flavors, to even one his son's favorites: PB& J! Some of his other southern and not-necessarily-southern goodies: Johnson Jambalaya and Shrimp 'n' Grits Johnson, Slammin' Seafood Gumbo, Bayou Matzoh Ball Chicken Soup and so much more.   The only thing I might add to his selection would be some cold beer (but, alas, laws prevent that possibility)!
Actually the first time I enjoyed Chef Johnson’s fare was at Beer Necessities (another New Rochelle treat!) where I had his amazing chili mac and cheese, which can be found there in easy take-home packages (ah—marries so well with some of Beer Necessities amazing beer choices!). He's got variations like Mac Lobsta, Give Peas a Chance, Mac-Sparagus, Mac-Shroom and Brie, and more. Now I’m a big mac and cheese fan—with and without anything added—and have to say that his, like many of the other delights he serves up, is exceptional.
And maybe you're wondering where the recipe is. Well, my friends, I'm afraid you're going to have to visit the big green truck, and maybe Chef will share his secrets with you...

So when and where can you find this green truck? Well, happily, we don't have to go to NYC to find this roving restaurant. We’re lucky—locally (sorry far-away friends!)—to find him on weekends parked in Harbor Island Park (in the parking lot adjacent to the playground) around noonish until evening time, and he promises to be adding  more time as the season progresses.

Enjoy--and do let me know how you enjoy it!

With Chef Johnson--and his lobster!

All natural beef hot dog--with mustard on a toasted whole wheat bun, but sans onion and friends--which  I highly recommend including!

Karen--pausing before enjoying a spoonful of Johnson Jambalaya!

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