By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 08, 2013 at 12:35 PM contributor Chef Justin Johnson has been nominated for a National Restaurant Association Award, and has been invited to participate in the Culinary Institute of America's Masters program.

Johnson was nominated for a National Restaurant Association Award in the category of "Operator Innovations in Sustainability" for his work with Watertown Regional Medical Center.

He was hired in April 2012 to help the medical center develop a new approach to food service with an emphasis on local sourcing and sustainability. The project resulted in the creation of a large garden, the remodeling of the cafeteria and kitchen, and a new curriculum to teach food service staff to think like chefs.

He has also been selected from over 3,000 chefs nationwide to participate in the CIA's Culinary Enrichment and Innovation Program. He is one of only 16 chefs in the country to be selected. wrote a profile of Johnson, who has also worked as executive chef at Hotel Metro, in 2011.