Trending Topics

How New Orleans Chef Became First Black Winner of ‘Great Food Truck Race’

New Orleans chef Darrell Johnson has made a name for himself by serving up mouth-watering plates of Cajun cuisine for more than 25 years. The Le Cordon Bleu grad added to is reputation as a successful businessman when he won season 10 of The Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race” in 2019.

For Johnson, his fervor for food has always been strong, thanks in part to the teachings of his great-grandmother. He praised her as the “best cook on the block” in his native New Orleans and called it an “honor” to learn under her.

Several years later, Johnson would go on to train with another master cuisinier: celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse.

Johnson recalled being just a dishwasher at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans when Lagasse, 59, took over as executive chef in the late ’90s, and Johnson eventually worked his way up to saucier, or a sauce cook.

As luck would have it, he got a chance to impress the chef with his culinary prowess and now, Johnson’s savory eats have earned him the title of “Best Food Truck in America.” He said the popular Food Network contest proved grueling for he and his family, who worked side-by-side as a team.

Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.

Back to top