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Midwest Makers Spotlight



Hailing from a background in fine dining, Chef Mike Johnson launched his culinary career under a young Emeril Lagasse before heading north to develop his skills under the expertise of Chicago’s Charlie Trotter and Gabino Sotellino. Johnson then traveled to Paris to train at the prestigious Le Buisson D’Ardent, and served a stint under Belgian Master Chef Daniel Joly in Beaver Creek, CO before bringing his culinary expertise home to St. Louis, MO.

Today, Mike is the chef and owner of St. Louis’ Sugarfire Smokehouse, an award-winning restaurant known for its succulent brisket, pulled pork and ribs, as well as its signature sandwiches and sides. With thirteen locations (and counting), Sugarfire has consistently been ranked best barbecue in St. Louis both locally and nationally. Chef Johnson continues to establish himself as a culinary master and renowned competitor, placing 1st in the 2015 and 2018 Memphis in May World Championship, 3rd in the 2015 World Food Championship (bacon), and more recently, spearheaded a grilling demonstration at the 2018 Budweiser Big Bud Sizzle, successfully breaking the Guinness World Record for most people simultaneously grilling at one time.

Through incredible talent, creativity and innovation Chef Johnson has created his own, unique place in the restaurant industry.

A true master of his culinary craft, Chef Johnson, puts his mark on every recipe through his signature spices, rubs, and sauces. The same holds true with every item of clothing Dakota Grizzly creates. Designing a clothing line is like building a recipe... from the fabrics, we select, to custom buttons, and even our tags, we take pride in the signature details and how they come together on each piece in our line.

As third-generation Midwest Makers, dedicated to crafting your next favorite shirt, Dakota Grizzly is proud to recognize Chef Mike Johnson as our Spring 2020 featured Midwest Maker, as we continue to support all Makers nationwide.