JJ Johnson, Harlem chef and subject of our recent video series New Chefs Rising, has a cookbook out that you’re going to love. Dive into his unique style of fusion fine cuisine, with Latin, Southern and island influences that are a sight to behold and a wonder to savor. Freshen up your fish game with Johnson’s citrus jerk bass, then cook your way through the rest of Between Harlem and Heaven.  

Jerk dishes take me back, way back. First to my great-aunt, whose cooking connects me to the West Indies every time I get a taste of pork or chicken that’s been dry rubbed with that island mix. The irony is that as a kid, growing up in a family that hailed from Barbados and Puerto Rico, I didn’t really like island food. I wanted to eat American food like meat loaf and spaghetti. But once I became a chef, I fell in love with all the flavors I grew up with. This is basically my homage to my aunt’s recipe. All I’ve done here is add citrus to it to brighten up the flavors. The notes of orange, lemon and lime in this dish make it a perfect pairing with our Oleo Saccharum Demerara syrup. This syrup is the base for any citrus cocktail.

Reprinted with permission from Between Harlem and Heaven