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.


Christopher Coats Named Top Steak Master In Regional Competition

Chattanooga native and current resident Christopher Coats, culinary team member at the LongHorn Steakhouse in Chattanooga, was recognized as the regional winner of the company’s Steak Master Series competition. This honor is bestowed upon the top performing culinary team members in the company. He is one of just 60 team members from LongHorn Steakhouse to achieve this distinction. ... (click for more)

Cooking Seminar To Attract Regional Chefs And Feed The Homeless

Cooks and chefs in the HCA TriStar hospital division from Nashville to Atlanta will converge at First Baptist Church in Chattanooga on Thursday, May 26, for a “What’s Cooking” seminar. The chefs will share best practices and gain hands-on experience preparing more flavorful and nutritious patient foods as well as help feed the homeless. Attendees from 40 health care facilities ... (click for more)

Settlement May Be Close In Government's $1.8 Billion Case Against Cleveland, Tn.-Based Life Care Centers Of America

A settlement may be close in the federal government's massive False Claims Act case against Cleveland, Tn.-based Life Care Centers of America. Attorneys have asked Chattanooga Federal Judge Sandy Mattice to put a 30-day hold on depositions, saying a settlement is in the works. Judge Mattice granted the motion. The government says claims in the case amount to $1.8 billion. ... (click for more)

Erlanger Projecting $15.2 Million Profit In Aggressive "Growth Budget"

Erlanger Health Systems is projecting a $15.2 million profit in an aggressive "growth budget" for the upcoming fiscal year. President Kevin Spiegel, who has led the public hospital to a succession of profitable years, said the projections are based on a TennCare waiver being renewed once again. He said if it is not renewed, then the hospital will have to completely rework the ... (click for more)

Late-Night Harassment By The Signal Mountain Police - And Response (9)

I am writing about the misconduct of the Signal Mountain Police Department. This is a repetitive civil rights problem, systemic within their department, with no hint of remorse or regret or a notion to change, though they have been confronted numerous times.   I live on Signal Mountain. In the last few months, I have been pulled over three times while I was driving three ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Hot Rod’s Catfish Dinner

It could well be the best part of playing a prank is in the delicious moments until your “fish” takes the hook. So yesterday afternoon, as I tried repeatedly to talk to a man I haven’t spoken to in 27 years, rather than leave my name I popped off the Happy Birthday song in a snappy, loud way and then ended it with a simple, “Call me,” adding my number. John “Hot Rod” Talley spent ... (click for more)