Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mike Johnson of Cyrano's, Boogaloo

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

This is part one of Chrissy Wilmes' Chef's Choice profile of chef Mike Johnson of Cyrano's and Boogaloo. Part two, a Q&A , is available here. Part 3, a recipe, can be found here.

  • Chrissy Wilmes

Within his career as a chef, Mike Johnson of Cyrano's and Boogaloo is a bit of a jack of all cuisines. This is apparent just from browsing through the restaurants' respective menus: from Cubano, Creole and Caribe at Boogaloo to American tapas and elaborate desserts at Cyrano's, it's clear that chef Johnson likes to not only try his hand at everything, but also to perfect everything he tries.

Johnson studied at New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. He has worked in France, Napa and L.A., at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago and even at Emeril's in New Orleans. Likewise, being executive chef at one restaurant isn't enough of a creative outlet for Johnson: He continues to challenge himself, even going so far as to purchase "the world's coolest smoker."

  • Chrissy Wilmes

"It's the same smoker that Pappy's has," he explains. "So I'm trying to become the barbecue master right now. I'm going to barbecue school in Georgia next month." This "barbecue school" will be taught by Myron Mixon of Jack's Old South Barbecue and Food Network fame. Johnson has paid Mixon to let him stay at his home in Georgia for a weekend, and he plans to learn everything Mixon has to teach about barbecue.

This ambition and perfectionism might make chef Johnson appear rigid or serious. It couldn't be more to the contrary. Although he does absolutely take his job seriously, he's laid back. He relaxes by cycling 30 miles every day, a fact his deeply tanned complexion backs up, and his easy-going, fun-loving personality shows through in his Mid-America-Emmy-award-winning series on KMOV, "You've Been Served," where he makes surprise stops at St. Louis homes and whips up a meal using solely the ingredients he finds when he gets there.

"You've Been Served"

When he's not busy with one of his two executive chef positions, his rigorous cycling schedule and showing up at strangers' homes to cook for them, you can find Johnson spending time with his wife and their three children.

What's next for Johnson? His newfound fascination with barbecue could lead to a new barbecue-centric restaurant, but he's not making any promises just yet.


Related Content

Mike Johnson of Cyrano's, Boogaloo, Part 2 Mike Johnson of Cyrano's, Boogaloo: Recipe for Webster Groves Farmers' Market Beet Salad with Truffled Goat Cheese.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Chrissy Wilmes

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation