What are Chris Johnson’s favorite cities?
I love New Orleans for the culture, music, food and energy. There’s a little spot in my heart for Japan because I lived there, and my grandfather lived there at one point. Also, my link to a lot of my restaurant experience here has come through that interaction with Japan. I love Tokyo because, in a different way, of the culture. It’s something that’s so drastically different than me, who grew up just outside New York City. I obviously love sushi, so there’s nothing quite like going to Tokyo and having sushi at some of these amazing restaurants there. Two of my friends that I worked with at BONDST when we first opened now have their own sushi restaurants in Tokyo [Sushisho Saito and Ichibancho Teruya] — they’re tiny eight-seat sushi bars.
I like Paris because France is amazing. But I love Angers in the Loire Valley because there are some great restaurants there, and you’re really close to all the great winemakers in that part of France. Luckily, I’ve been able to become friends with the winemakers because it’s such a great cultural city. Of course, Paris is Paris and there’s only one; but sometimes when you get outside of Paris and go to some of these other smaller cities, there’s still that amazing love for food and wine.