Food has become all about trends and creative complexity, but James’ mission is to veer away and do what others don’t. With years of experience in the kitchen, his passion and potential for cooking grew out of pure on-the-job experience.
His focus on reestablishing the connection between farm and community shouldn’t come as a surprise, he is the son of Agritopia founder and influential Valley entrepreneur Joe Johnston. James grew up around innovative, entrepreneurial spirits his entire life.
Like the rest of his family, James also centers his work around a dedication to the land that supported him. Many of the ingredients that he uses are pulled straight from The Farm at Agritopia’s soil, washed, prepped and cooked. It’s the true definition of farm to table.
“That’s the way I really believe food should be done, and to be quite honest, it’s the easiest way to cook,” he said. It’s only recently that we’ve really relied on mass producers halfway across the world to give us tomatoes that could’ve been grown in our backyard.
This new restaurant is the perfect example of how a craftsman can use the past to influence the present. In Fire & Brimstone’s case, this means rustic cooking methods prepared over an open flame in a fresh, always rotating seasonal menu.
Like his neighboring tenants at Barnone, James founded Fire & Brimstone on a strong sense of community – he knows the power great food has to bring people together. The open kitchen and dining space encourage conversation and togetherness.