FOODIES WEST.COM         
SENIOR PASTRY CHEF CHRIS JOHNSON
JW MARRIOTT TUCSON STARR PASS
  June 2016 Issue | Vol. 4, No. 11            I try to be pretty planned and organized. So that gives me sanity.












 










 
 
 
 

Chef de Cuisine
PRIMO, TUCSON
RODERICK LeDESMA

     
Master Sommelier
THE PHOENICIAN
Greg Tresner/Salad Wines

     
Master Sommelier
THE PHOENICIAN
Greg Tresner/Pinot Noir




Pastry Chef Chris Johnson talks about working with sugar on our
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Andrew Steiner:
3 Rare Cheeses

     
Primo Tucson
JW MARRIOTT TUCSON STARR PASS
Mind-expanding meals


      
Eric Grossman
USA TODAY FOOD & TRAVEL EXPERT
Craft Spirits



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Chris Johnson | Senior Pastry Chef | JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass |Tucson, Arizona Everybody experiences a couple of life-changing moments during their journey. Chris Johnson described one of his: They line you all up, and you’re in your regular clothes and they start yelling at you. It’s like three in the morning when we arrived and they’re screaming at you. I couldn’t hear because of the pressure from the flight. I’m like, What is he saying? No one wanted to move or talk. They shock everybody. That’s really what they did. This was like 30 years ago. No, Johnson was not describing his first day in the kitchen, but his arrival as an Air Force enlistee at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Johnson joined the Air Force right after high school for G.I. Bill benefits to go to college. The other life-changing moment came soon after when he got his job assignment. “They listed the jobs I had to chose from,” Johnson said, “and I’m like, Well, I don’t want any of these.” He found out Air Force needs came first. Since he went into an open career field instead of waiting for a guaranteed position of his choice, and since he happened to have restaurant experience, and since he was told—no, ordered—to “pick something on the list,” he got a direct duty assignment as a cook at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. From there, he became a baker, because they needed someone for the night shift to make pastries for the base. “That turned out to be pretty successful,” Johnson said. “It turned out I had a knack for it right from the beginning. So when I took over for him, we did good, quality stuff. When I went to Belgium, same thing. And in Wyoming also. Usually people were pretty happy and satisfied.” So much so, Johnson got a wing plaque award for baking when he was stationed at Florennes Air Base in Belgium during the Cold War. Johnson explained: