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Crystal Smith dishes on her new Atlanta retaurant Johnny's Chicken and Waffles

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Ne-Yo‘s wife Crystal Smith is putting her stamp on Atlanta’s popping food scene with her new restaurant, Johnny’s Chicken and Waffles.

Backed by Ne-Yo and Love & Hip Hop star Karlie Redd, the restaurant opened last December with a menu featuring Chef Crystal’s Asian-Inspired Lamb Chops and crispy fried chicken made with a special spice blend.

Smith was inspired to open her own restaurant after receiving rave reviews for Instagram photos of her cooking.

“It just started blowing up. People were requesting videos and recipes, and it just kind of created itself,” she tells the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “So I formed Crystal Creations.”

The Crystal Creations YouTube channel led to a collaboration with Gobble, the 15-minute gourmet dinner kit, and “ended up being my therapy,” says Smith.

“Five years ago, when I started cooking, I had no idea that this was what would happen. I just wanted to start a YouTube channel, and try to do something with that,” she continues. “But once I did the meal kit, and it had the success that it did, it gave me the drive to see what else I could do.”

Johnny’s Chicken and Waffles is located in Atlanta’s College Park. Smith said she plans to open more locations in the future and support the Smith Family Foundation, which supports children in foster care. 

In other news, Crystal and Ne-Yo are expecting their third child. The couple share two sons and co-parent Ne-Yo’s son and daughter from a previous relationship.  

By Rachel George
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