Delish Food That Just Happens to Be Good for You!
Chef Brack Johnson has been the food editor of Carolina Woman magazine since its launch in 1993.
Carolina Woman is proud to offer Chef Brack's healthy cooking classes in the Triangle.
Chef Brack structures his curriculum around the idea that food should be not only healthy but delectable.
Send an email to the address below to sign up for lively classes at all levels. You'll have fun and learn a lot, too!
Intimidated in the kitchen? No worry! Chef Brack is a nice guy with a great sense of humor.
Contact Chef Brack
P.O. Box 8, Carrboro, N.C. 27510
- Take a Class!
- About Chef
- Articles by Chef
- Health at Every Size
Take a class!
Whether you're working up the courage to try out that knife set you got as a wedding gift, or you've been trussing chickens for years, Chef Brack has a hands-on class for you!
Every class can accommodate one to three people. Each participant gets generous tastes of everything that's prepared.
Private instruction in a wide range of cuisine is available at your home or Chef's professional studio. Standard and customized options are available. High protein? Got it! Gluten free? Check! Low-calorie? Sure! To learn more, email or call 919-960-5050.
Examples of classes offered:
Basic Knife Skills
If you're a beginner in the kitchen, this is the one for you! Knife skills are the foundation of all things culinary. Discover the three knives every chef needs in her kitchen. Learn how to chop, dice, mince and julienne like a pro.
Less Is More
Looking for low-cal, but not ready to part with your favorite comfort food? Chef Brack's specialty is taking the guilt out of guilty pleasure. You'll never taste the difference, and you'll feel like a million bucks!
Secrets of Healthy Cooking
Learn how to use healthy ingredients and techniques to create big flavors. Explore how to create wholesome meals using nourishing oils, grains, dairy, fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and herbs and spices. From comfort food to elegant suppers, good-for-you dishes are on the menu.
Quick 'n Healthy Tricks
Weeknight meals often get put on the back burner by busy women in the Triangle. But don't stoop to frozen dinners just yet! Chef Brack can show you how to whip up simple, healthy and wholesome meals in a flash.
Cooking without animal products is not as difficult as you may think. Even if you haven't committed to a strictly vegetarian lifestyle, this class offers alternative ways of cooking and eating that are friendly to your body, the environment and all the creatures in it.
It's popular (and thankfully, much easier!) nowadays to reduce the amount of meat in your diet – even if just on Meatless Mondays. Chef Brack can help make this way of eating – vegetarian plus fish – diverse, satisfying and, best of all, tasty!
When Chef Brack was a child, he would run into his grandmother's house in West Virginia after a five-hour car ride from the Triangle knowing that made-from-scratch cornbread would be waiting on the stove. Later, he'd wander through her rural landscape, picking apples, strawberries and pecans for the pies and cobblers they would bake together.
In those days, Chef Brack's favorites were biscuits and gravy, mashed potatoes, fried chicken...really, just about any dish of Southern comfort. By the age of 10, he was rustling them up in his family's kitchen. As a teenager, he worked as a fry cook and deli clerk; in college, as a line cook in a steakhouse.
Today, after traveling to 39 countries and 47 U.S. states, Chef Brack's tastes have broadened, but his roots in Southern kitchens have not been lost. It wasn't just the new flavors that changed Chef Brack's outlook on food. His increasing weight was becoming a major issue, and he knew something drastic needed to happen.
As he started cooking healthier foods, he began experimenting with ways to make them as savory and satisfying as the calorie-laden treats he used to enjoy. In the process, he lost 75 pounds.
It became Chef Brack's passion to create big flavors from wholesome ingredients. He looked to his Triangle community for more advanced skills to pass to readers of Carolina Woman, where he had signed on as food editor in 1993. Over a decade, he participated in scores of nutrition workshops at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center in Durham, the No. 1 rated medically supervised weight-loss center in the country.
In summer 2013, Chef Brack attended boot camp at the Culinary Institute of America, the nation's premier culinary school, in Hyde Park, N.Y. Chef Brack came home that fall and enrolled in Central Carolina Community College's natural chef program, which included instruction in gluten-free, farm-to-table and vegan cooking. He graduated with an associate's degree in applied science in the spring of 2016.
Chef Brack now makes everything from scratch with fresh, local ingredients. He has a motto for his culinary philosophy: "Delish food that just happens to be good for you." And he's happiest when teaching other people how to make it.
Articles by Chef
Chef Brack has been the food editor of Carolina Woman magazine since its launch in 1993. Here are a few of his recent articles:
CIA Secrets are on the Menu. Food comes to life on culinary campus
In the spring of 2016, I spent five days at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA for short) preparing luscious dishes with 15 other boot-campers. Clad in chef's whites, we sliced and diced, roasted and grilled, baked and braised like pros, and then gathered around the table to savor our handiwork. READ MORE >
Yes, Chef! The joys of cooking school
I'd never taken a cooking class until last month, when I attended a five-day boot camp at the Culinary Institute of America, the country's premier college for chefs. The jam-packed days of learning, cooking, eating and drinking made for more than just an inspired vacation. They changed what I can do to feed my family and myself. READ MORE >
Get Your Grill on. No-sweat dishes to fire up fast
This time of year, Triangle neighborhoods are aglow with backyard barbecues as folks fire up seasonal favorites. Sure, you could simply toss hot dogs and hamburgers on an open flame. But you can quickly and easily do even more. READ MORE >
Cheers! Beer entrees on tap
The only thing better than quaffing stout with your food? Downing it in your food. Direct from the Craft Beer Association, here are recipes (noting the originating person, blog or firm) for spirited entrees representing fish, beef, lamb and chicken. READ MORE >
Mad About Pork. For hoops parties, it's a slam dunk
March Madness is at fever pitch. Whether you're a Cameron Crazy, bleed Carolina blue or back the Pack, basketball's championship matchups are on your mind. If you're hosting a gathering to watch the tournaments, pork's got game. This fast-break star shows its versatility in off-the-boards eats from nachos to popcorn. READ MORE >
Breakfast in Bed. Romantic start to the day
In past years, our February recipe column focused on dinners for two, chocolate desserts, homemade cordials all standard Valentine's Day fare. But this year, the calendar presents a special opportunity: Feb. 14 is a Sunday. Why not brighten the morning even before your sweetheart tosses off the covers? Express your love with these quick main dishes for breakfast in bed from local farmers (via the N.C. Egg Association). READ MORE >
Where's the Beef? The All-American vegan burger
I say "vegan." If you're the typical Triangle resident, your mind leaps to "Raw. Kale. Tofu. Salad." Fuhgeddaboudit! The nonprofit Veganuary campaign (think "vegan in January") offers recipes that'll make you shout, "Flavorful. Beefy. Delicious." READ MORE >
Health at Every Size
Chef Brack believes it's possible to enjoy healthy food and nurture your body no matter your size. He's an advocate of the Health at Every Size movement, which highlights respect for body diversity. Chef Brack teaches wholesome cooking with unprocessed ingredients to anyone who wants to learn.