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Winner of the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook

“Between Harlem and Heaven presents a captivatingly original cuisine. Afro-Asian-American cooking is packed with unique and delicious layers of flavor. These stories and recipes lay praise to the immense influence the African Diaspora has had on global cuisine.”― Sean Brock

In two of the most renowned and historic venues in Harlem, Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson created a unique take on the Afro-Asian-American flavor profile. Their foundation was a collective three decades of traveling the African diaspora, meeting and eating with chefs of color, and researching the wide reach of a truly global cuisine; their inspiration was how African, Asian, and African-American influences criss-crossed cuisines all around the world. They present here for the first time over 100 recipes that go beyond just one place, taking you, as noted by The New Yorker, “somewhere between Harlem and heaven.”

The Simple Art of Rice

"Comforting, joyful and utterly delicious. this is an essential cookbook"

-Jamie Oliver

"The Simple Art of Rice is a beautiful book and a masterclass for your family’s table."

-selena gomez

"Rice unites countries and cultures and JJ makes sure they’ll all come together for a delicious meal

-Tom Colicchio
Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality

"The Simple Art of Rice is a multi-cultural and history-filled masterpiece"

-Carla Hall

JJ Johnson is chef/founder of FIELDTRIP, an acclaimed restaurant group headquartered in Harlem that highlights rice traditions from around the world. JJ was introduced to cooking by his Afro Puerto-Rican grandmother and attended the Culinary Institute of America. He was chef de cuisine at the Cecil, which Esquire named the best new restaurant in America. He is the co-author of BETWEEN HARLEM AND HEAVEN, which won the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, and has been nominated for a Beard Award for Best Chef in New York State. JJ is the host of ‘Just Eats with Chef JJ’ on Cleo TV and has been featured on Netflix, HBO Max, and Forbes 30 under 30. He lives in New York City with his wife and twins.

About the Author




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JJ Johnson is most recognized for his innovative approach to African Caribbean cuisine. His work has earned him numerous accolades, including the James Beard Foundation Book Award and a two-time spot on theNation’s Restaurant NewsPower List.






Cooking with JJ

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