Chef Craig Johnson - Founder/Owner of Leavanders Restaurant

Meet Chef Craig Johnson


As our Executive Chef and the head of our Culinary Operations, Chef Craig Johnson’s career spans over 30 years and has taken him around the world, and studied & trained under TV personality & Master Chef Gustav E Mauler, one of the few American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs in the United State, at both the Golden Nugget Atlantic City and in Las Vegas.  His down to earth personality and friendly demeanor help make our guests feel right at home when they dine in our restaurants.

Craig’s first cooking inspirations come from his grandmother, where at the age of 9 he would help her in the kitchen, and she taught him what it meant to “cook with love”, “food from the soul”, and how to express your love through food.  And every Sunday at Craig’s grandmother’s house, there was always a lot of love, and a whole lot of food.  Surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters, the fried chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens were all her specialty and are the dishes that Craig loved the most.

Currently overseeing the entire culinary program at the Claridge, Chef Craig’s resume is an impressive one, including opening the Taj Mahal in 1990 in Atlantic City, opening and running his own restaurant called Munchies, Executive Chef of Culinary Operations at the 4 Star Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch NJ, as well as executive culinary positions with Marriott Hotels, Marriott Renaissance, Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino, Bally’s, Hilton Hotels, Sheraton, Delaware University, Savannah University and Bowie University, just to name a few.

As a local Chef, Craig loves taking advantage of working in the Garden State and having the plethora of fresh jersey vegetables and the vast supply of fresh seafood at his disposal that help him create the recipes that showcase his culinary mastery.

Feel like a member of the family when you join us for some of the most outstanding food in the history of the Claridge, and stop by and say hello to Chef Craig, the nicest, friendliest and most talented chefs you will ever meet.

  • Honor of Host Chef for the Delaware Delmarva Chicken Festival 2010
  • Youth Transition to Work Award 2008
  • Culinary Instructor Award of Excellence 2000


Twenties Italian Restaurant

Twenties Specials


123 S Indiana Ave
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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