Tag Archives: Joseph “JJ” Johnson

RICHARD PARSONS’ THE CECIL NAMED 2014 BEST RESTAURANT IN AMERICA BY ESQUIRE MAGAZINE

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RICHARD PARSONS’ THE CECIL NAMED 2014 BEST RESTAURANT IN AMERICA BY ESQUIRE MAGAZINE

First Time a Harlem, NY Restaurant Awarded​ This Title

On Tuesday evening Esquire Magazine will unveil the winners of their first annual American Food & Drink Awards at The Cecil in Harlem, NY.

THE CECIL will be named the ​2014 ​Best New Restaurant in America.

THE CECIL, created by New York businessman Richard Parsons and noted restaurateur and chef Alexander Smalls, is New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie.

Inspired by the travels, exploration and study of the African Diaspora its goal is to connect communities through food, comfort and hospitality.  Afro / Asian / American cuisine is a fusion of the best of what each of those distinct food cultures has to offer.

It traces the global migration of African-descendant people through the influence of African spices, textures and cooking techniques on traditional American, Latin and Asian dishes.

Guided by this concept, Executive Chef Smalls and Chef de CuisineJoseph “JJ” Johnson have conspired to create unique plates that combine the familiar with the unexpected.

Location: 210 West 118th Street, NY, NY 10026

RICHARD PARSONS’ THE CECIL NAMED 2014 BEST RESTAURANT IN AMERICA BY ESQUIRE MAGAZINE

Screen shot 2014-10-14 at 11.09.30 AM

RICHARD PARSONS’ THE CECIL NAMED 2014 BEST RESTAURANT IN AMERICA BY ESQUIRE MAGAZINE

First Time a Harlem, NY Restaurant Awarded​ This Title

On Tuesday evening Esquire Magazine will unveil the winners of their first annual American Food & Drink Awards at The Cecil in Harlem, NY.

THE CECIL will be named the ​2014 ​Best New Restaurant in America.

THE CECIL, created by New York businessman Richard Parsons and noted restaurateur and chef Alexander Smalls, is New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie.

Inspired by the travels, exploration and study of the African Diaspora its goal is to connect communities through food, comfort and hospitality.  Afro / Asian / American cuisine is a fusion of the best of what each of those distinct food cultures has to offer.

It traces the global migration of African-descendant people through the influence of African spices, textures and cooking techniques on traditional American, Latin and Asian dishes.

Guided by this concept, Executive Chef Smalls and Chef de CuisineJoseph “JJ” Johnson have conspired to create unique plates that combine the familiar with the unexpected.

Location: 210 West 118th Street, NY, NY 10026

RELEASED: “Food Is What I Do” by The Cecil Harlem’s chef de cuisine Chef JJ

food is what i do via harlemcondolife

Joseph “JJ” Johnson, chef de cuisine of Harlem’s new hot spot The Cecil, along with Christopher Stewart, chef and food blogger release their highly anticipated cookbook, “Food is What I Do”.

“Food is What I Do” highlights recipes and dishes from a chefs approach that the reader can relate to. Using local ingredients and modern cooking techniques, Chef JJ has put together a collection of delicious recipes to share with family and friends, while also bringing a little piece of chef jj into your kitchen.

We really loved our meals at the Cecil and are so happy for what we expect will quickly become a standard work of culinary art.

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BIOS courtesy of the authors:

Chef JJ:

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America he was inspired to pursue his love for food by the cuisine of his Caribbean grandmother.

Chef JJ’s talents were further honed in the kitchens of New York’s most highly esteemed restaurants such as ‘Centro Vinoteca’, ‘Jane’ and ‘Tribeca Grill’. He has spent time in Ghana studying West African cuisine and showcased his skills at ‘Villa Monticello’, Ghana’s Premier Luxury Boutique Hotel and Spa. This culinary experience and life changing trip to Ghana prepared Chef JJ for The Cecil, a afro/asian/american brasserie showcasing African dispora.

Christopher Stewart:

Christopher Stewart, chef, food blogger, and blossoming food writer, knew food was instilled in her from the very beginning. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, where she met and became friends with Chef JJ, Christopher lives and works in New York City. With several restaurant jobs under her belt including becoming Executive Chef at 24, she has now set out on the writing adventure of her life, co-authoring Food Is What I Do with Chef JJ. The popularity of her food blog, “EatingFabulously” keeps food close to her heart and also provided her with unique opportunities to showcase her writing, including writing for MarcusSamuelsson.com, UPTOWNFlavor, and various other sites.”



Food Is What I Do (Paperback)

By (author): Joseph JJ Johnson, Christopher Stewart

List Price: $20.00 USD
New From: $19.01 USD In Stock
Used from: $25.71 USD In Stock

(NEW) The Cecil – Opens Today In Harlem

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Broiled Giant Spicy Prawns, Yam Flapjack, Piri Piri Sauce.

The highly anticipated Cecil opens today with a frenzy of social media flying in as fast as they possibly can just to experience what all the buzz is about.  We here at Harlem Condo Life are among the enthusiastic media, and look forward to our first time experience with Cecil.  We have high hopes  for this old meets  new establishment and newest addition to Harlem Restaurant Row.  They have our attention with small plates such as “Broiled Giant Spicy Prawns, Yam Flapjack, with Piri Piri Sauce” (above ) and “Spicy Crispy Ginger Squid with Okra and Sweet Chili Peanut Sauce.”  Or a shared bowl for two of Afro / Asian / American Gumbo (Smoked Turkey, Chinese Chicken Sausage, Gulf Shrimp, and Crabmeat)

Take a peek at Cecil’s menu (below) with a scrumptious assortment by – Chefs Alexander Smalls – Restauranteur, and Joseph “JJ” Johnson – Chef de Cuisine.

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The Cecil MENU.  Here is a photo they sent us of their sticky buns.  I don’t know about dinner, but I am ready for these sticky buns right now!  They also were recently written up in the Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter and The Wall Street Journal.  Both The Cecil and Minton’s were mentioned in Huff Post BLACK VOICES and one dish in particular that stood out to us was the “Black Benne Seed Ahi Tuna.”  Looks delicious.

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photo by Lucy Schaeffer for Huff Post

So let’s get our forks and knives ready, and go experience the new CECIL together.  I’m up for the adventure and ready to dig in.  See you all there!

The Cecil
210 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10026
Tel (212) 866-1262

The Cecil New Restaurant in Harlem