Since 2014, Happy Belly has been offering unique, healthy options to South Sound residents in search of fresh, delicious meals. Happy Belly owner and executive chef Jennifer Johnson has created a thriving casual-dining establishment that has a loyal following and new converts every day. It features Johnson’s unique perspective on balance in daily living and feeding one’s mind as well as one’s body through a variety of nutritious foods.
Johnson is always looking for new flavor combinations for her dishes. “I am inspired by the way the senses work together—the smell of crushed tomato leaves, the ultra-sweetness of fresh pineapple, salty sea water, the dry feel of crumbling tobacco leaves, the silky feel of apple skin. I create food I wished was made for me and that I want to share with others,” she says.
This spring, Happy Belly is all about revitalization and renewal. Coming out of winter, the focus will be on lighter dishes and herbjuice fusions. “We’re excited for the coming sun and citrus,” says Johnson, noting “a kaleidoscope of color and flavor in blossoms and berries, mint, basil, cilantro, ginger, tropical notes and earthy beet, turmeric and greens.”
In addition, Happy Belly’s Kitchen Self-Sufficiency class series starts up again in March. The series will help you sharpen your knife skills, discover alternative flours and sweeteners, tackle multimeal preparation, and explore flavor combining.
For Johnson, connecting with and caring for her guests and staff has brought her more success than she could have ever imagined. “Listen to the community. They’ll tell you exactly what is needed,” she says. “Then my job is to deliver it in a creative, tasty and affordable way that keeps bringing them back. Also, smiles, kindness and positivity are contagious. Everyone can use more of it.”
For additional information:
1122 Market Street