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Russ Johnson

Chef & Owner

The culinary awakening of Ludivine Chef Russ Johnson came in the high altitudes of Colorado. The Oklahoma City native studied restaurant management at Colorado State University and worked in Aspen under celebrated chef and James Beard Award nominee Todd Slossberg. Somehow he also found time for a memorable belly-up-the-bar experience with noted gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (he still has Dr. Thompson’s cigarette butt to prove it, but that’s another story).

Upon graduation, Russ moved to Denver and won acclaim with the Brown Palace and, later, an award-winning French bistro called Z Cuisine. Eventually, he found his way back to OKC and opened the small bar and dining room concept that would become Ludivine.

“It is the ultimate, unrestricted outlet for my love and passion for food and cooking,” Russ says. “I also absolutely love that it is. somehow, still the only restaurant of its kind in the city, if not the state.”

In what little there is of free time, Russ enjoys classic cars and motorcycles. When not in the kitchen, chances are you can find him out on an open country road