CHEF, RESTAURATEUR, PITMASTER
Born and raised in St. Louis, Christina discovered her passion for the culinary arts at an early age. As a young child, she preferred to watch Ina Garten and Paula Deen over Sunday morning cartoons. The only girl out of seven siblings, Christina grew up in a large family and recognized her competitive nature early on. She graduated from culinary school at the top of her class and proudly served as the captain of the culinary competition team (ACF, American Culinary Federation), winning many competitions along the way. Her success encouraged her to audition for Season 11 of Food Network Star, where she was honored to be cast.
Post-show, a friend introduced Christina to Chef Mike Johnson, and it was love at first sight! Though her culinary career to date had been French-influenced fine dining, Chef Johnson showed Christina the light — that barbecue was the way to go! Christina joined forces with Chef Johnson and the Sugarfire brand, and together the duo opened Hi-Pointe Drive-In in the winter of 2016. Since, Hi-Pointe has received national acclaim and was named Best Burger in Missouri by the Riverfront Times in 2018.
Chef Christina has served as a celebrity guest and has competed in over 100 barbecue events stateside and overseas alongside Mike, including Hogs for the Cause, the Perth Yak Ales BBQ Competition, Australia’s Meatstock, Brazil Churrascada, The Kansas City Royal, Charleston Wine & Food Festival, Memphis in May and the World Food Championship. Christina has many top ten and first place winnings all while being a mother of five children and two huge dogs! When Christina is not traveling the world teaching and preaching American barbecue, serving as an SCA Ambassador with B&B Charcoal, being a mother, or winning barbecue competitions, she enjoys judging and hosting competitions. A fierce competitor with a wild sense of humor and big heart, Christina brings the sweet and the heat to whatever she is tackling next!