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Chef
JJ Johnson

JJ Johnson’s Menu for Summer Entertaining

As the chef of the pan-African restaurant Henry in New York City, the owner of a Harlem rice-bowl shop called Fieldtrip, and the author of a James Beard Award–winning cookbook, JJ Johnson doesn’t exactly have downtime, but he spends most of it with his family, cooking at home. With easy summer dinner parties in mind, he created this collection of recipes using all of our Great Jones designs.

When I'm cooking at home, I'm always thinking about what the table looks like. It should be colorful — that indicates you have all the necessities to have an amazing meal. I was thinking about summertime when I wrote these recipes, which, to me, represents the best time to share food with family and friends. Summer cooking should be light, fresh, and flavorful, with some things cold and others hot and spicy. I just love eating with a warm breeze.Photos by Noah Fecks

I test a lot of recipes on my family that I want to use in my restaurants, and I try to introduce my kids — who are 2-year-old twins — to new flavors. Having two children makes me cook differently. I actually bought my kids a tiny kitchen set, and it came with fake French fries and hamburgers and chicken nuggets. We went online and found the vegetable kit because those are the words I want my kids to know: strawberries, peaches, plums, broccoli.

People always ask me, "How do you cook at home?" Having the right equipment for the right jobs will help you cook better. And having the full set of Great Jones really helps me execute dishes to the best of my ability. For example, using the nonstick Small Fry to make crêpes — and not making crêpes in a regular pan, where you're scraping the bottom — makes a big difference.

JJ's Menu

JJ Johnson's Leftover Crispy Rice Salad
Leftover Crispy Rice Salad
Peanuts, chili paste, oh my!
See recipe
Leftover Crispy Rice Salad
JJ Johnson's One-Pot Mujadara
One-Pot Mujadara
Split peas and rice, all together now.
See recipe
One-Pot Mujadara
JJ Johnson's Sweet Plantain Crêpes
Sweet Plantain Crêpes
Small Fry moonlights as a crêpe pan.
See recipe
Sweet Plantain Crêpes
JJ Johnson's Braised Short Rib Tacos
Braised Short Rib Tacos with Collard Green Salsa Verde
Ideal party food.
See recipe
Braised Short Rib Tacos with Collard Green Salsa Verde
JJ Johnson's Poached Shrimp with Piri Piri Sauce
Poached Shrimp with Piri Piri Sauce
Bright and easy.
See recipe
Poached Shrimp with Piri Piri Sauce
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