Miami Heat Q&A: Tyler Johnson cookin’ on and off the court

Miami's Tyler Johnson defends against Houston's James Harden during the Heat's victory Tuesday. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS)
Miami’s Tyler Johnson defends against Houston’s James Harden during the Heat’s victory Tuesday. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI – Tyler Johnson stole the ball and sprinted down the court.

With nobody between him and the rim, the anticipation grew as Johnson, who at least warrants consideration for the Slam Dunk Contest, got closer to the basket.

But instead of flying through the air, the 6-foot-4 Johnson hesitated, slowed down and gently laid the ball in as the Heat started to build their lead over the Rockets in the fourth quarter on Tuesday. No highlight reel dunk. No resume builder for All-Star weekend.

Johnson then smiled as he turned to get back on defense, knowing what everyone was thinking.

Now, I’m not going to say it was the chicken pesto pasta or the rock shrimp tempura that might have been sitting in Johnson’s stomach that would not allow him to elevate during the Heat’s upset . Surely it had something to do with his typical 34 energetic minutes in which he scored 16 points and helped defend James Harden; and probably making sure he was not going to mess up a sure two points during such a crucial point of the game.

But you never know. … not with a budding Gordon Ramsay (or perhaps more appropriately, Tyler Florence) on the Heat’s roster.

Yes, Tyler Johnson loves to cook. So we talked to him about his favorite off-court activity for out latest Q&A installment.

Q: What got you interested in cooking?

  TJ: My mom (who serves in the U.S. Air Force) being deployed a lot I had to figure out what I was going to eat while she was gone and then I would cook for my four siblings when they were around. It just started from kind of putting things together. Random things, trying spices and all that type of stuff. Then I starting trying to actually cook things. I used to love watching the Food Network, Master Chef and Iron Chef America. The interest kind of grew.

Q: Speaking of TV shows: Rachel Ray or Hell’s Kitchen?

TJ: Oh Hell’s Kitchen easily. Easily. Because it’s more like competition setting and (host) Gordon Ramsay is just way funny.

Q: What is your favorite dish to cook?

   TJ: I’m big into breakfast, making omelets and stuff but probably my best thing is I just started making veal parmesan and things like that.

Q: Do you have a go-to, pre-game meal?

   TJ: I used to have one before every game. Chicken pesto pasta. I just played well and I felt like I always had energy.

Q: Favorite place to eat in South Florida?

   TJ: Probably Ill Gabbiano. It’s authentic Italian food. It’s really good.

Q: So Italian is your favorite?

   TJ: Italian and I like Japanese.

Q: If you could have your own dish on the menu at Erik Spoelstra’s restaurant what would it be?

   TJ: It’s not necessarily mine but rock shrimp tempura. It would be fried shrimp pieces in a spicy mayonnaise sauce. It’s real good.

Q: Could we see a Tyler Johnson Cookbook in the near future?

    JJ: No but I want to go to school. Right now I just have very much a high interest. I’ll cook at the house whenever I can. I definitely want to go to school for it when I’m done and actually learn real techniques. Right now it’s just whatever I learn on TV.

[Miami Heat receive $1.3 million disabled player exception for Justise Winslow’s injury]

[Who expected Rodney McGruder to get this many starts, minutes in rookie season? Not Rodney McGruder]

[Mailbag: Could the Miami Heat really trade center Hassan Whiteside?]




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