COVID-19 changed the restaurant industry as we knew it. And even as businesses begin to reopen across the country, there are countless challenges ahead. In this series, Restaurant Quality, we’re checking in with a few of our favorite chef-slash–cookbook authors and seeing how they’re holding up. Along the way, you’ll get signature recipes to make at home—and find out how you can support the chefs and their staffs. Today, get to know JJ Johnson.
JJ Johnson feels like his Harlem restaurant Fieldtrip is doing the work he’s always strived for. While a global pandemic led to widespread job loss in the food industry, this slowdown brought about a certain clarity to the chef. As schools, offices, and construction sites closed down, Johnson noticed his customer base shift. His regulars, “the everyday worker in Harlem,” as Johnson calls them, were slowly replaced with more new faces—locals who had never visited the restaurant—than ever before.