Bald Headed Bistro Chef Named One Of Nation’s Best

Friday, January 18, 2013
William “Bick” Johnson, executive chef at the Bald Headed Bistro, has been named as a 2013 Best Chef America in a coffee-table book to be published in March.
William “Bick” Johnson, executive chef at the Bald Headed Bistro, has been named as a 2013 Best Chef America in a coffee-table book to be published in March.
The executive chef at Tennessee’s famous Bald Headed Bistro is receiving national attention for his commitment to excellence.

William “Bick” Johnson – a fixture at the Cleveland, Tennessee restaurant since opening day on Sept. 7, 2004 – received notice in January that he would be included in the book 2013 Best Chefs America.

The book is regarded as the ultimate reference guide for chefs and is published each year to showcase the top chefs in the United States as selected by their peers.

For the 2013 edition, over 5,000 chefs were interviewed. 

“I was surprised by the honor and am very humbled,” said Mr. Johnson. “The Bistro has earned a reputation as being one of the nation’s most sophisticated high-end restaurants, but to be included on this list of the top chefs in America is something I didn’t expect.”


Mr. Johnson said the Best Chefs America book will be available online and in bookstores in March. Alongside the best chefs, the book will feature information on emerging trends in the restaurant industry, interesting ingredients and other culinary happenings in the United States.

“A night at the Bald Headed Bistro is a dining experience unlike any other and Bick deserves a great deal of the credit,” said Josh Weekley, the Bistro’s executive vice president and operating member.  “Bick works hard to ensure our guests enjoy a full-range of senses, from the unique western ambiance of the Bistro to the elegant dishes.”
 
Mr. Weekley said Mr. Johnson joined the Bistro team after the restaurant’s founder, Allan Jones, conducted a nationwide search in 2004 to find an executive chef. Mr. Jones, a Cleveland native, has received national attention for his outspoken nature, generous philanthropy and unapologetic love of his hometown.
 
Mr. Johnson formerly served as executive chef for a Caribbean restaurant on the island of Saba in the Dutch West Indies and has also helmed kitchens in British Columbia, Seattle, and San Francisco.
 
Mr. Weekley said Mr. Johnson’s creativity keeps Bistro patrons coming back again and again.
 
The restaurant's elegant menu infuses the flavors and style of Jackson Hole, Wy., into a charming Southern setting, he said. 

The restaurant’s signature dish is the “BHB Filet,” which is prime tenderloin rubbed down with a secret blend of herbs and spices and then placed on a hickory, wood-fire rotisserie for 45 minutes.
 
“The tenderloin is then cut into 6 or 8-oz. portions, placed in a double broiler and cooked to a guest’s specifications,” Mr. Weekley said.  “The filet is topped with beurre monte prior to serving. Once you taste it, you will simply never forget it.”
 
Mr. Johnson, a graduate of Rhodes College, originally planned on becoming a teacher. He said his plans changed after dining at an outstanding French restaurant.
 
“I then forgot about teaching and became an apprentice to a European master chef,” Mr. Johnson said. “I worked my way up to sous chef and the rest is history.”
 
Mr. Johnson is a member of the American Culinary Federation and is a Certified Executive Chef. He is a Chef Rotisseur with the Chaine des Rotisseurs of Chattanooga and holds the office of Vice Conseiller Gastronomique.

The Bald Headed Bistro is at 201 Keith Street in the Village Green Town Center. The restaurant’s reservation line is 423 472-6000.


Shula's 347 Grill To Open At 8th And Pine

A Shula's 347 Grill will be opening at 8th and Pine streets in the new district being developed by brothers Ken and Byron Defoor. It is part of the chain of steak emporiums developed by legendary NFL Coach Don Shula. Coach Shula was set to be in Chattanooga on Friday night for a performance by famed folk singer Arlo Guthrie to mark the opening of the district that will be ... (click for more)

Charles Siskin: A Bite Out Of The Big Apple

I was never aware of food courts until I made my first trip to London way too many decades ago. It was there I discovered the Great Food Hall at Harrod’s Department Store. Truthfully I’ve never seen anything comparable since. I have been privileged to visit lots of outdoor stalls and indoor markets in the Far East, South America, Australia, Europe and right here in this country, ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Councilman Banks Asks Bradley Schools To Dismiss Liquor-By-The-Drink Lawsuit; Fivas Hits The Ground Running

The courts have twice ruled in favor of the city of Cleveland regarding taxes generated by the sale of liquor-by-the-drink, Councilman Richard Banks noted at the Cleveland City Council meeting Monday afternoon. Therefore, he made a motion to ask the new Bradley County School Board to dismiss its lawsuit against Cleveland. That board has been seeking to be paid a large portion of ... (click for more)

Of Course Gangs Are A Public Nuisance

Now, I don't know it all.  Beginning with my parents, folks of all sorts have been actively pointing out my ignorance for more than seven decades now.  So I'm well aware that I don't know it all.  In recent months I've begun to develop an appreciation for the local work of Mr. Neal Pinkston; I've been impressed with several things he's been doing in his official ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Arnold Palmer’s Greatness

This is hardly meant to be flippant but I’d be willing to bet I’ve been in the presence of more great people than anyone you know. I’ve never ranked them, or ever dared to wonder who was the greatest, such as Muhammad Ali or Elvis Presley, but there are two traits that those who reach the highest pinnacle have in common. First, not a one of them was any good at what made them famous ... (click for more)