Mike Johnson

With 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 Smoke House, an award-winning restaurant – famous for its succulent brisket, pulled pork, ribs, signature sandwiches and over the top daily specials – that shines a light on Johnson’s dynamic capacity. More recently, Johnson opened Hi-Pointe Drive-In which has since been acclaimed as one of St. Louis’ Best New Restaurants, also receiving national attention for its smash patty burgers.

Johnson has also served as a celebrity Pitmaster and competed in events statewide and beyond on behalf of Sugarfire, including Hogs for the Cause, the Perth Yak Ales BBQ Competition, Memphis in May, Australia’s Meatstock, The Kansas City Royal, Charleston Wine & Food Festival and the World Food Championship.


  • Founder Sugarfire Smoke House Restaurants
  • Appeared on BBQ, Brews & ‘Que on Food Network
  • Appeared on BBQ Pitmasters on Destination America