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Armani Johnson
Crab Dip with Cheddar Bay Biscuit Crust | McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut

Armani Johnson

Born in Washington D.C and raised in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Armani's culinary voice combines mid- Atlantic/southern soul and American Chinese takeout from his childhood.

Red Red (Vegan Bean Stew)

Crab Dip with Cheddar Bay Biscuit Crust

Paired with McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut

Being from Maryland, I Initially wanted to use the Blue crab because of its importance to my home state. I soon learned that blue crabs do not only have a place in our hearts because of how good they taste, but because of the historic value they have in the African American household. The boom of the Chesapeake’s aquatic life granted African Americans the opportunity to become seamen. Slaves were given seamen certificates and began to primarily fish and catch shellfish. This lead to some freedoms like owning property and working.

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I have worked in numerous well known restaurants in the DC area, including Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier, Julii, Macon Bistro & Larder, and Sally's Middle Name. I am currently taking a break from restaurants but my last job was executive chef at ABC Pony, Erik Bruner-Yang's Italian-Asian bistro that, since its opening in Fall/Winter 2019, survived the pandemic with everything from daily dinner meals-to-go, doughnut specials, and burgers & pinsa comfort food.

I have also served as a chef for the Power of 10 Initiative, Erik Bruner-Yang's nonprofit initiative that seeks donations to re-employ laid-off independent restaurant workers, keep the eateries open, and provide their meals to neighborhood workers on the front line of the pandemic and has since raised over a million dollars and served over 320,000 meals to essential workers and families in need across America. I have been featured in Eater, Washington City Paper, local news television, Toothache Magazine, and was Esquire Magazine's Rising Star of the Year. 

I chose to showcase the crab dip because its become the recipe I am the most known for. Its creamy, spicy, and abiding filling, combined with the sweetness from the blue crab and the cheddar bay biscuit was the perfect dish to show pride in the place I call my home. 





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