Antonio J. "Kitchen" Johnson

Antonio Joseph Johnson, 48, of Manchester, Connecticut the husband of Lillie Mae (Ellison) Johnson died Thursday, January 30, 2020 at Manchester Memorial Hospital.  Born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania…..Eagles Country, he was the son of Admiral Joseph Johnson and Cheryl Janis (Moss) Johnson.

 Antonio entered into the world a force, weighing 11lb 12ozs. As a child, wherever he would go he made a new friend, even during short trips to the grocery store. In elementary school he discovered a new talent. He could make people laugh. Antonio accepted Christ at an early age during a Christian camping session in the Poconos. After a family move from Pennsylvania to California when he was a teen, he got right to work meeting new friends and joining Young Life, a ministry which helps kids and teens grow in their faith. Antonio attended Culver City High School, where he played football. He was affectionately, known as “Kitchen”, because when he hit you it felt like you had been hit with an entire kitchen. Antonio loved football but his real passion was cooking and teaching.   He went on to graduate from Santa Monica Junior College and The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College.

 Antonio added love to everything in his life and was a light of hope to many.  In 1994 he married his best friend and their family adventure began. In 1997 Romano’s Macaroni Grill hired Antonio as an Executive Chef and relocated the family to Manchester Connecticut. In Connecticut he cooked and served for many.  As his family continued to grow, he transitioned into a variety of culinary roles, including Corporate Dining, Food and Beverage Director, and Owner and Operator of his own company, Taste N See Catering. Antonio and his family found a home at Crossroads Community Cathedral and shortly after became members. Antonio had so much joy when he was requested to volunteer with Crossroads.

 Antonio’s greatest Joy was sharing his knowledge of food. With this goal he entered into the education system.  Antonio wanted to make a difference, he became an educator of his trade and so much more. Working at Vinal Technical High School from 2012 to 2013, A.I. Prince Technical High School from 2013 - 2018, Emmett O’Brien Technical High School from 2018-2019, and E.C. Goodwin Technical High School from 2019 -2020. Antonio also coached Track and Field and JV Football.   He always left his smile,  touched your  heart, and filled your belly. On his last day of life he told his wife, “I had the best day ever with the kids … I really feel like we made a connection” …. "I love what I do."

However you knew Antonio you would always remember his smile and his love for the Lord and His family. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children Devon W. Johnson and his wife Shelby, Ashli Johnson, Christina Johnson and Serena Johnson all of Manchester; his sister Karen Joy Corbitt and her husband James, his niece Ilia Corbitt of North Carolina; his mother and father-in-law, Luwander and William Ellison; and several more nieces and nephews. 

Funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 8th, at 11:00 a.m. at Crossroads Community Cathedral 1492 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT.  Family and friends may call at Crossroads Community Cathedral on Saturday morning from 9:00-11:00 a.m. 

The John F. Tierney Funeral Home, Manchester has care of the arrangements.  For online condolences please visit