> height = "844 " data-width = "1142 " class = " id = ">
" Crab Sofrito Fettuccine "- Handmade pasta 62Degree Egg Jumbo Crab chair Allium Ash. Adahlia Cole
If you haven't tried Pan-African Soul Food yet, the gourmet chef-owners Solomon Johnson and Michael Woods of Oakland, Calif. Are here to change that.
"The Bussdown is a Pan African Soul Food concept inspired by the food Mike and I grew up on " says Chef Johnson, who also passed by Chef Swoop. “It is inspired by the food we love both at home and abroad when we travel. It is inspired by our ancestors and the sacrifices they made to make our lives better.
Chef Johnson, who is also a private chef, caterer, and kitchen consultant, and Chef Woods, who raves 10 years in the culinary industry under his belt, met by chance in 2017 while working for the upscale catering company Paula Le Duc.
Both were presented by Daniel Capra, the Chef Du Cuisine of Paula Le Duc. He insisted they get to know each other outside of the kitchen because he believed he had similar interests in the Bay Area food scene, according to Chef Johnson.
"Reef & Beef & Grits " - Crab Cake, Filet Mignon 62Degree Egg, Royal and Blistered Trumpet Mushroom ... Cherry tomatoes Adahlia Cole
Before joining forces, Chief Johnson was working full time at Omni World Kitchen LLC, a private dining concept focused on the 'ubiquity' of food around the world. Meanwhile, Chef Woods worked as a chef at Tribune Tavern, where the Chef Johnson was also working for lunch.
had just excepted a huge job offer as aSou Chef at Sobre Mesa, a new Afro-Latino cocktail bar, working under chef Nelson German and perhaps a week later the pandemic strike. Mike and I had talked about property before the pandemic, ”says Chief Johnson. “But not necessarily together. We didn't know what would happen next due to the lack of jobs and the uncertainty the pandemic presented. It almost forced us to make the decision to go into business together. "
Head owners Solomon Johnson (green shirt) and Michael Woods of The Bussdown in Oakland, CA Chelsea Davis
If the two chefs understood that opening a restaurant, especially in the event of a pandemic, would be risky, they decided to take the plunge head on. After Chef Woods' successful stint at a month-long take-out restaurant in Sobre Mesa, they were convinced that with their talent and fine dining experience, they could 'recreate on their own if we had the right space', remembers Chief Johnson. "Chef German insisted that we both go to the plate and have a cloud kitchen to try and run an errand before meals inside reopened.
Although their current meansto serve high quality food are a bit unconventional, they overwhelm it with what they have. Cooking in a small kitchen in a huge cloud kitchen shared by over 30 different restaurants, the team at Bussdown is "tiny but mighty," Chef Johnson says of the two-person operation.
The Cloud Kitchen is called Oakland Food Hall (formerly Jingletown Eats) and is a place for take out orders only. With little space to work with and with, the chef duo make it a priority to cook with only the freshest ingredients, using ingredients from scratch - be it chicken broth sauces. They even destroy their own birds.
Chief Johnson and Chief Woods. Adahlia Cole
"Occupying the kitchen in the cloud has its challenges," continues Chef Johnson. "While our food has a gourmet flair, our execution is not. affected by the use of take out boxes. As we adjust to the fast pace of cloud cooking, I can honestly say that working here makes Mike and I better chefs because we have to keep up with the time management, multitasking and attention to detail.Our space is small, so we have to improve every day to make work more fluid.
There are no sharp corners or those enterprising and driven chefs who recognize that while other restaurants can take shortcuts when it comes to the quality and freshness of their food, that's not what they decided to do.
“Mike and I made a commitment to make our basic groceries from scratch. The physical demand is intense. We only take off on Sunday. But we're opening late Monday to make up for the work and preparation it takes to make production a success, says Chef Johnson. "Mike and I would rather sleep in the car in the parking lot than open a can of beans and serve it to our community labeled as 'fresh food'.
They do all the cooking and part of the promotion. But let us quickly note that the majority of their presence onsocial media was shaped by their "stellar social media and public relations strategist, Ileana Ponce, who has worked with us since day one.
Some signature dishes from The Bussdown. Dana Plucinski
“Mike and I have dedicated ourselves to a levelu of very high excellence in food quality and presentation, ”says Chef Johnson. “This was the key factor in our final decision to open a restaurant together. I trust Mike's judgment. We take into account each other's reactions, good and bad; positively. It’s so rare in a kitchen and that’s why I truly believe our business model is so effective.
The Bussdown was greeted with open arms by the community and the press. They were quickly recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle and have only grown in popularity since.
"Much of our growth is based on interacting with our customers and teaching them where we are," he continues. “The facility is new and some people still don't understand that we don't have bricks and mortar yet. Overall, our transition to the Oakland dining scene went smoothly.r. Mike and I both have a reputation and a strong following. We have become a destination restaurant that draws people from as far away as Napa Valley and Santa Cruz.
Their top sellers right now? The Jerk Yard Bird and Adobo Pork Bussdown plates. “Our Jerk Yard starts out as whole, organic, cage-free birds that we break down internally. We season and marinate them for 24 hours in a custom spice blend that I created with Trent Blodgett, the owner of SPICE TRIBE SF, ”says Chef Johnson. "It is then grilled to perfection and braised in homemade chicken broth and more custom spice blend until the tender bone falls out.
A variety of pan-African soul dishes. Chelsea Davis
"Our Adobo pork is a whole with pork shoulder bones, we braised with charred pineapple skins and local citrus fruits for eight hours. It's hard to say which one is better, so we made it easier for everyone to order both by getting a two or three protein dish.
Smoked Sofrito seafood is also popular with shrimp covered in a sofcharred vegetable rito that comes with a mix of red peas and Carolina Gold rice and works: fried plantains, charred citrus, grilled fruit, house pickles and two condiments, a BBQ Jerk sauce and kijani kibichi, a bright green sauce with a bold taste.
"Our food is rich in history, tradition and flavor", explain the chefs. "We want our dinner to be where we don't just experience one-of-a-kind seasonal food products, but we want to educate our diners on what they're eating and why it's so important to source locally. and seasonally. It is not enough for us to feed the community. We also want to teach them.
The Bussdown is open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday for pickup at Oakland Food Hall or delivery via UberEats, ChowNow, Grubhub and Doordash.