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.


Tupelo Honey Café – Go For The Grits!

When my son Jack and I met for breakfast over the weekend, we discovered Tupelo Honey Café on Market Street. We parked in the Warehouse Row area. This place was surprisingly busy for breakfast on a Saturday morning so Jack and I wanted to be seated outside where it seemed much quieter - neither of us are very friendly with others until we have had our coffee. We had a nice ... (click for more)

Arby's In East Ridge Sold For $1,150,000

The Arby's in East Ridge has a new owner. It was sold to Roger S. Corbly by Restaurant Management Inc. The unit is at 6302  Ringgold Road. (click for more)

Shooting At Woodlawn Apartments Claims Life Of 20-Year-Old Male; Victim Shot Multiple Times

A shooting late Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments has claimed the life of a 20-year-old male. At approximately 10:57 p.m.. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a gunshot wound call at 2300 Wilson St. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to multiple life-threatening gunshot wounds. The victim has been transported ... (click for more)

Erlanger Refinancing To Provide Cash For New Children's/Women's Hospital, $50 Million Erlanger East Expansion, $8.5 Million Surgical Improvements

Erlanger Health System officials said an overhaul of the hospital's debt will include $70 million in new loans for several major hospital projects - including $11.5 million toward a new $30 million Children's/Women's Hospital. The overall cost of the latter facility is $30 million, but the hospital is seeking significant outside gifts and support. It will also pay for a $50 million ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)