Meet Johanna Wilson Jones: Journalist, Food Writer & Culinary Expert

Johanna Wilson Jones is an award-winning writer, regional culinary expert, and host of the YouTube Show "Finding Our Flavor'' which focuses on the food, folks, and tastes that make Grand Strand eateries distinctive.

As an award-winning journalist whose work appeared in local and national publications, she explored the diverse eateries of the Grand Strand and showcased its accomplished chefs.

However, long before arriving in Myrtle Beach, she discovered the power of food and fellowship in her youth.

Her mama, Catherine Wilson, always made dinner time a divine time of fellowship.

“We ate as a family seven days a week,’’ said Wilson Jones, an associate judge for Seasons 1 and 2 of Chef Swap at The Beach. “Nothing was lacking in our meals. My mama put her heart into every morsel. She made food delicious enough to be irresistible and comforting enough to linger at the kitchen table for hours afterward.”

Jones, a native of New York City, developed a fascination and fondness for food while growing up in Orangeburg County, S.C. Her tiny community she lived in called Boyer was a place where faith, family, and food stayed prominent.

On Sundays, people, many of whom were her family members, would leave the community in droves to attend church. After worshipping for several hours, they returned home to feast on food harvested by their hands.

Poultry, pork, beef, and a wide array of vegetables like collard greens, okra, butter beans, cucumbers, and squash were among the food served to yearning mouths.

“Pastors in the area enjoyed coming to our community to eat with us,’’ said Wilson Jones, who has been telling stories about Grand Strand food culture for more than 20 years. “This was when it was commonplace for preachers and their families to have Sunday dinner with members of their congregation. We had repeat preacher visits. They never tired of eating at our table.”

Her grandmama, Virgie Lee Brown, who fished most days of the week, would prepare her bream for breakfast. The fish, prepared with secret spices, was coated in cornmeal and then fried until caramel brown in a cast iron skillet. The lone protein guest starred with smooth, buttery grits topped with stewed tomatoes plucked from her vast garden.

Wilson Jones incorporates her heritage and learning into her writing about food and the culture surrounding dishes. For her, food has a connective power that pulverizes pain and ignites passion and compassion.

She and her husband, Marvin K. Jones, an executive chef and Charleston, S.C. native, spend time in their kitchen creating Gullah Geechee favorites like okra soup and red rice while recounting stories connected to their culinary history.

“From my youth, I discovered that food brings people together when nothing else can,’’ Wilson Jones said. “People fuss and fight about religion and politics, but they relax when great food is the focus. They relish relationships then, not riffs.”

About Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau

Since 1938, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) has stood as the unified voice of the Grand Strand's business community — serving Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Little River, Loris, Atlantic Beach, Carolina Forest, Conway, Aynor, Socastee, Surfside Beach, Garden City Beach, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded MBACC its five-star accreditation — one of only a few chambers in South Carolina to earn this distinction. The Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and its destination marketing arm, Visit Myrtle Beach, promote tourism through various partnerships and initiatives to advance the economic success of the Grand Strand. For more information, visit, and
cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram