Kai Chef Josh Johnson Dishes on Guy Fieri and Why He Likes to Eat at MIM

Josh Johnson --Kai corner.jpg
A pretty corner at Kai
How esoteric can you get with the menu without frightening the clientele?:
There is more room to play with the approach and the plating, but at least some of the ingredients have to be familiar.

Name a culinary mentor and explain what you learned from that person: Honestly, I have to say that every cook I have ever shared the line with throughout the many years has been my biggest inspiration. The fine-dining industry pushes people to their own maximum limits and through that, their own personal best. In the kitchen, on the line, some of the greatest moments of inspiration and creativity come while you are "in the trenches." I rarely had a Chef stop and pull me aside to show me one certain technique or dish. I learned much of what I know today by coming into the kitchen early, watching and doing.

In which kitchen have you had the most fun and why?: My first restaurant. It was called Beaches in Portland, Oregon. It was an open kitchen with gorgeous servers, good food and the motto of the place was "You must have fun."

Pet peeve in the kitchen: Uncleanliness and leaving empty containers in the walk-in.

Last meal on earth -- what would it be?: Cote de Boeuf so that I could share it with my wife. It would be paired with white truffle risotto, bordelaise and a massive cut of seared foie gras. Considering it would be my last meal, I wouldn't have to worry about the caloric or health implications of this hearty meal.

What should be written on your head stone: "Should have been a banker."

Enjoy this Chef Salad? Check out Nikki's previous interviews with:
Joshua Johnson of Kai
Todd Sicolo of T.Cooks
Josh Riesner of Pig & Pickle
Lester Gonzalez of Cowboy Ciao
M.J. Coe of Federal Pizza
Steven "Chops" Smith of Searsucker
Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis
Michael Rusconi of Rusconi's American Kitchen
Chrysa Robertson of Rancho Pinot
Lynn Rossetto of The Splendid Table
Cullen Campbell of Crudo
DJ Monti Carlo
Pete DeRuvo of Davanti Enoteca
Chuck Wiley of Cafe ZuZu
Justin Beckett of Beckett's Table
Bryan Dooley of Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue
Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe
Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar
Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House
James Porter of Petite Maison
Johnny Chu of SoChu House Neo Asian + Martini Bar
Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Chris Gross of Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge
Chris Curtiss of NoRTH Arcadia
Payton Curry of Brat Haus
Mark Tarbell of Tarbell's
Josh Hebert of Posh
Kevin Binkley of Binkley's Restaurant
Lori Hashimoto of Hana Japanese Eatery
Larry White, Jr. Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken & Waffles

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Location Info


5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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