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The Buzz About Dat Fire Jerk Chicken

Cuisine: Fast casual Jamaican restaurant

Location: Dat Fire Jerk Chicken

Press Inquiries:

Dat Fire Jerk Chicken is more than just a restaurant – it's an experience! This fast casual Jamaican eatery combines the best of music, vibes, AND food to create something unforgettable. Enjoy traditional family dishes featuring their famous impossible-to-resist fiery jerk chicken that has been crafted with love by father and son duo Chef Jay John and his dad, Tim (affectionally known as “Pops”).

Dat Fire has made what could be seen as just another business into so much more! They make it their mission to create job opportunities while supporting local initiatives aimed at enriching their community.

The great news, is they are just getting started!

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About Our Founders

a man in a blue shirt

Jason “Chef Jay John”

Founder & President

“Jerk is not just a seasoning, but a lifestyle that is to be shared with our customers through every dish we serve.”

Jason, also known as Chef Jay John, is the Founder and President of Dat Fire Jerk Chicken, a popular restaurant in Atlanta. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Clark Atlanta University.

Chef Jay's journey began when he stumbled upon a building near his alma mater and decided to take a leap of faith. He called his father from Jamaica, who had a background in the Jamaican restaurant industry, and together they established Dat Fire Jerk Chicken. Drawing upon his own skills and experiences, Chef Jay infused fun and creativity into the menu while staying true to his families recipes.

Through hard work, dedication, and a willingness to take risks, Chef Jay has transformed his passion for cooking into a successful business. His inspiring journey from working in various roles in the restaurant and corporate industries to becoming a successful restaurateur serves as a reminder that anyone can turn their dreams into reality. Today, Dat Fire Jerk Chicken is a beloved destination for both locals and visitors, and Chef Jay's story is a testament to the power of embracing the past to create a bright future.

a person holding a sign

Tim “Pops” Johnson

Head of Product Development

Tim "Pops" Johnson's culinary journey began in the spirited city of Kingston, Jamaica. As a young boy he helped his mother whip up delicious meals for their family and that love continued to grow as Tim immigrated to the United States where he served 6 years in the Navy. His dreams of creating new flavors became reality when he established TJ’s –the first Jamaican restaurant in Los Angeles, California.

He continued to pursue his passion for cooking, and eventually passed it on to his son, Chef Jay John.

Together, Tim and Chef Jay John built the Dat Fire Jerk Chicken brand, which quickly gained a following for its authentic Jamaican flavors and unique spice blends. Tim was proud to be able to share his love of cooking with others, and to build a successful business with his son.

But for Tim, the Dat Fire Jerk Chicken brand is more than just great food - it is about giving back to the community. Tim and Chef Jay John use their success to support various charitable organizations in Jamaica, especially those that focus on helping children. They are committed to making a positive impact in their community, and their dedication to this cause was a source of inspiration for many and the countless lives he touched through his charitable work.

a man sitting in front of a window


Managing Partner, Head of HR & Restaurant Operations

Simone was born in London to Jamaican parents before her family moved across the pond, landing them in New York City. Her career in hospitality began with a bang when she was hired as the HR Manager for Sushi Samba Restaurants, an iconic restaurant group in NYC during her last year of graduate school. From there, it only got more exciting! She became OTG Management’s first ever Director of Human Resources, where she spearheaded the opening of 20+ restaurants at JFK’s Terminal 5 (Jet Blue). Afterward, she spent a decade long tenure as an Executive Recruiter with Amy Falbaum & Associates where she sourced top hospitality talent in the food & beverage industries, including James Beard & Michelin Star restaurants.

Throughout this lifetime filled with success, Simone earned both a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Christopher Newport University and Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from New School University. 

With her experience in both recruiting and HR management, she has a keen understanding of the behind-the-scenes operations of a restaurant, which has proven invaluable in her current role with the Dat Fire Jerk Chicken restaurant group.

Through her leadership and expertise, she has been able to build strong operational infrastructures that ensure efficiency and continued growth. Her commitment to excellence and passion for her work has made her a highly respected HR and recruiting professional in the food and beverage industry.

Celebs Enjoying Dat Fire

Customers Hanging Out