Steven Johnson was born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio in 1956 and went to Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, graduating in 1978. He also went to France in between semesters and attended Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, France, graduating in 1979. He began working his way up the kitchen ladder, ending up as sous chef in 1988 for Great Chef Gordon Hammersley at his Boston restaurant.
The Great Chefs television crew showed up in February of 1993 to tape Chef Johnson at Hammersley’s Bistro for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the East television series (episode #15).
Later that year, Chef Johnson moved over to the East Coast Grill to work under Great Chef Chris Schlesinger. In 1995 he bought the Blue Room from Chef Schlesinger and ran that until 2004. In 1998 he was voted Best Chef in the Boston area, and in 2001 was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as Best Chef of the Northeast. In 2015, he opened the Rendezvous Restaurant in Central Square, closing it in 2014, only to open The Red Dory in Tiverton, Rhode Island in 2015, where he remains today.