A native of Chicago, Chef James Johnson graduated culinary arts programs at Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, MI, and ACF Apprenticeship while working full time as a sous chef at a local restaurant. His work ethic and culinary skill quickly got him noticed, and Johnson went on to serve as senior sous chef at The Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Since then, Johnson has been called upon to open some of Dallas’ most successful dining ventures. In 2001, as Platinum Club chef at the American Airlines Center, Johnson was responsible for the much-anticipated opening of the Platinum Club fine-dining restaurant in the 18,000-seat sports complex. The next year, he was asked to open the Paris Vendome, a French bistro in Dallas’ hip West Village area. Before joining Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Johnson served as chef de cuisine at Hibiscus, another of Dallas’ fine dining stars.

At Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Johnson is responsible for the reputation of the premier steakhouse in Dallas, ranked four-and-a-half stars by The Dallas Morning News and named one of the top restaurants in Dallas by Zagat. The pressure hasn’t gotten to Johnson, who has been voted one of “13 Chefs to Watch” by Esquire Magazine. Chef Johnson continues to lead with passion and good humor, most recently steering Pappas Bros. Steakhouse to their recognition as the Best Steakhouse in Dallas by D Magazine in 2022.

Most days, you will find him spending time with his wife and three children, indulging in his obsession for ice skating and hockey, or reliving his former life as a rocker by laying down a good drum beat.