Brad A. Johnson is a writer and photographer specializing in food and travel. He is the only critic in America to win both the James Beard Award and the Cordon Bleu World Food Media Award for restaurant criticism—two of the largest prizes a food critic can win in America and worldwide, respectively.
Brad’s writing on food has also garnered recognition from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Association of Food Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Los Angeles Press Club, the Orange County Press Club, the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards and the Jesse H. Neal Business Journalism Foundation.
Brad’s travel writing is equally notable. He has won more than a dozen awards from the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Society of American Travel Writers for topics as wide ranging as tracking 800-pound gorillas in Uganda’s Impenetrable Forest to an exhaustive quest to find the best pizza in Naples or the best pozole in Zihuatanejo. He has visited every continent and has traveled by train, boat, bicycle, vintage car, private jet… even by camel. Brad was the only travel journalist from the United States to fly aboard the maiden voyage of the Airbus A380 Super Jumbo, the world’s largest airplane, on its inaugural flight from Singapore to Sydney.
Brad currently serves as restaurant critic for the Orange County Register in Southern California. He is a former longtime contributing reporter at Food & Wine, frequent contributor to Robb Report and columnist at Food Republic and Mexico Today. He previously helped pioneer Modern Luxury Media, the largest publisher of luxury lifestyle magazines in the U.S., where he served as national food and travel editor. His writing and photography have appeared in dozens of other publications worldwide, including New York Post, Toronto Star, The Hollywood Reporter, The Star Malaysia, Time Out Los Angeles, Sunset, Angeleno, Manhattan, St. Regis Bespoke, and Mandarin Oriental’s MO. Brad also served as the resident critic on the tv show Beat The Chefs, which aired nationally on GSN.
Brad is one of America’s most illustrious food and travel writers. This is an abbreviated list of global achievements.
WORLD FOOD MEDIA AWARDS
Best Food Critic, 2010
Best Food Critic – Nominee, 2007
Best Food Critic – Nominee, 2005
JAMES BEARD AWARDS
Best Restaurant Critic, 2008
Best Restaurant Critic – Nominee, 2007
Best Restaurant Critic – Nominee, 2004
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CULINARY PROFESSIONALS
Best Food Column – Finalist, 2016
NORTH AMERICAN TRAVEL JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION
2002 – 2017, 18 Awards, including:
Best International Destination Travel Writing
Best Travel Column
Best Culinary Travel Writing
Best Travel Photography
Best Travel Series
LOWELL THOMAS TRAVEL JOURNALISM AWARDS / SOCIETY OF AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITERS
Best Travel Photography / Illustrated Story, 2017
Best Travel Blog, 2011
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA JOURNALISM AWARDS
Best Restaurant Critic, 2017
Best Restaurant Critic, 2018
Best Travel Writing – Finalist, 2017
NATIONAL ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALISM AWARDS
Best Criticism, Food/Culture – Finalist, 2017
Best Criticism, Food/Culture – Finalist, 2018
ORANGE COUNTY PRESS CLUB
5x Best Restaurant Critic
3x Best Food Story
2x Best Travel Writing
1x Best Blog, Entertainment/Culture