Brandon Johnson, cousin and personal chef to Damian Lilliard of the Portland Trail Blazers, has died suddenly. Lillard shared several remembrances of Johnson, known as Chef B, on Instagram.
Johnson was also the personal chef for CJ McCollum and former Blazers forward Evan Turner. Both posted about him after they heard about his death.
Johnson was a self-taught chef who moved to Portland to join brother Kenny’s personal chef business in 2017. Kenny began cooking for Lillard six years ago, but Johnson joining the business helped it take off. Lillard had gone vegan but was losing too much weight, and Chef B’s recipes and dedication to nutrition helped get him back on track.
Lillard’s praise opened the door for Johnson and his brother to cook for other Blazers. Johnson worked with the team nutritionist to craft specialized meal plans for players like McCollum, who praised his food during a press conference, and Jusuf Nurkic, who was recovering from an injury.
“Anytime they see the weight difference changing or they want them to put on a different type of muscle mass, or whatever, they will let us know," Johnson told Fox 12 Oregon in May 2019.
Johnson posted pictures of his food creations on Instagram, and was friendly with commenters looking for recipes or advice on healthy cooking. He would often reply to commenters and send them recipes directly, something which numerous fans praised in a Reddit discussion about his death.
The cause of Johnson’s death has not been disclosed, but it doesn’t appear to be related to COVID-19. He had been posting to Instagram almost daily leading up to his death, with the most recent being a picture of a yogurt parfait he’d made for McCollum.
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