Chef Joseph "JJ" Johnson

“Two years ago, I used to eat food, and my stomach would get bloated. And I’m like, am I allergic to gluten? So I go and take a blood test, and my doctor [said], ‘Yeah, you’re like .0015. You should go see a stomach doctor.’ So I go to the stomach doctor and I get all these tests done, and he [said], ‘You’re perfectly fine.’

“But I’m eating something and it’s really bothering my stomach. So I’m like, it has to be something. Maybe it’s the chicken. Maybe the chicken we’re getting for the restaurant is contaminated. And I call D’Artagnan, and I’m like, ‘Where’s the chicken you guys are getting? I think it’s really messed up. It’s doing something to me.’

“And then now a year later, I don’t work at Morgan Stanley anymore, and [have] no problem. So maybe it’s the Morgan Stanley water. Maybe it’s something in midtown. I don’t know! But really my stomach … my doctor thought I was allergic to gluten, because everything I told him that was happening to me, it sounded like a gluten allergy. And I think to be allergic to gluten, as a chef, you can’t eat anything!”

 

Joseph “JJ” Johnson is the Chef de Cuisine at The Cecil.

Read our Q&A with Joseph “JJ” Johnson

Check out our photo gallery from The Cecil

Interview and photo by Laurie Ulster