Shelia Johnson talks about her original YouTube show Gansta Goodies Kitchen in The Pitch Questionnaire

Shelia Johnson standing in front of a Gangsta Goodies Kitchen sign.

Shelia Johnson hosting Gangsta Goodies Kitchen.// Courtesy of Shelia Johnson

Shelia Johnson has a love for cooking that has been nurtured from a young age. In 2015, she decided to use her skills in the kitchen to uplift change-makers in the KC community. The show Gangsta Goodies Kitchen, of which Johnson is the host and executive producer, invites KC leaders to discuss their newest project or program while learning to cook a delicious meal. For example, one episode features WeCode/KC’s Founder & CEO, Tammy Buckner, to discuss her work in providing KC youth with opportunities to learn code. She posts new episodes on the Gangsta Goodies Kitchen YouTube channel every Monday. 

Learn a little bit more about the Gangta Goodies Kitchen creator’s background and what the future looks like for the show.


Kansas City

Current neighborhood: 

Historic Jazz District

Social handles: 


The best advice you ever received: 

I’ve received my share of amazing advice during my lifetime, but I would say the best advice came from my Mama. She reminded me to always give my very best, regardless of the task or project.

What does Kansas City need more of? 

Lively entertainment for people ages 50 and over.

What’s your hidden talent? 

Interior decorating.

How did you learn to cook? 

I learned the basics of cooking from my beloved Mama.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

African and Caribbean foods are my favorite to cook.

What is Gangsta Goodies Kitchen? 

Gangsta Goodies Kitchen is a show that utilizes food and cooking to inspire viewers to try new recipes. It is a platform for gaining information and resources they could use to elevate the quality of their own lives. We invite people from the community into the studio who are doing amazing work to impact positive change in Kansas City. Guests range from local politicians to non-profit executives to musicians/artists to youth entrepreneurs.

What is your favorite interview question to ask on Gangsta Goodies Kitchen? 

I love asking guests to share a fond childhood “food” memory. Doing so allows the guest to share more about their upbringing, their values, and who they are outside of the work they do in the city.

Who is your dream guest to have on Gangsta Goodies Kitchen? 

Viola Davis, Oprah Winfrey, and Michelle Obama.

What is the most difficult thing you encounter when making Gangsta Goodies Kitchen? 

One of my biggest challenges has been connecting with others in the media industry, finding industry-relevant resources, and finding a production team.

What inspired you to create Gangsta Goodies Kitchen? 

I was inspired in so many ways. I’ve always loved cooking and hosting. My desire is to impact my community and my beloved Mama in a fundamental way. Everything I am or hope to be is rooted in the love and support she showered me with. Being in the kitchen is where I feel most connected to her spiritually.

Who helps you produce Gangsta Goodies Kitchen? 

I am the sole producer of Gangsta Goodies Kitchen. However, I look forward to hiring a production team that can lead the production side. This will allow me to focus on product development. In April, we’re launching “Mrs. Jones,” a natural kitchen cleaner. In November, we’re launching “Gangsta Style: Kitchen Decor and Accessories.” The first products to market are a cutting board, spice rack, and wine rack.

Congratulations on your Tailgate Takedown win. What does winning that competition mean to you? 

Thank you! Winning this competition reminded me that dreams do come true and that consistency is the non-negotiable bottom line.

Categories: Questionnaire