2017 Los Angeles Rising Star Chef Johnny Zone of Howlin' Rays

2017 Los Angeles Rising Star Chef Johnny Zone of Howlin' Rays
April 2017

Howlin' Rays
727 N Broadway #128
Los Angeles, CA 90012


When Johnny Zone was 16, he ate a burger that was so good, it became the catalyst for his career. Spurred by the burger, and instead of attending college, Zone went to work at a string of restaurants. He helped open Gordon Ramsay’s The London, where he spent three years and worked his way up to chef de partie. Zone simultaneously worked at Nobu West Hollywood as head fish butcher. In 2009, he joined Thomas Keller’s opening team for Bouchon Beverly Hills. 

In 2014, while running the kitchen of Hollywood’s La Poubelle, Zone flew to Nashville to stage with Sean Brock at Husk. During the visit, he was introduced to the local hot fried chicken and fell feverishly in love, eating at every hot chicken joint in town. 

In June 2015, he and his wife Amanda Chapman opened the first exclusively Nashville hot chicken food truck on the West Coast, serving hot-as-hell, all natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken. The couple announced the final stop of their truck in November 2015 and opened Howlin’ Ray’s first brick and mortar in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza. The same year, Zone earned a spot on Zagat’s “30 Under 30” list. Soon, due to demand (Zone sells around 500 sandwiches a day), Howlin’ Ray’s will double its size to accommodate the crowds and spread the gospel of spice.