New business spotlight on International Taste of Williamsport

Derrick Johnson has brought his love of exotic dishes to the local area.

With International Taste of Williamsport, customers can get a taste of street food with a gourmet touch. Johnson cooks out of a mobile unit that usually can be found at 431 W. Third St. But he doesn’t plan on staying put.

Instead, he will be bringing his unique style of cooking to different venues.

“We’ll be doing First Fridays and First Saturdays,” he said. “I’m also interested in catering small events.”

And the menu is eclectic.

“I kind of have a flair for international dishes,” he said. “My menu is going to jump from region to region.”

Johnson likes to cook Lebanese, Caribbean, Spanish, and Asian. About the only food he won’t bother with, he said, is Italian, since the local area is pretty well served by restaurants bringing that type of food. He gives customers what they want, but often with a unique and exotic taste to the dish.

He doesn’t like to make ordinary food, he said, and that keeps him from limiting himself as a chef. His signature sandwich is his donor kabob.

“We also have a Lebanese dish called shishtawook,” he said.

Johnson described it as chunks of chicken breast marinated with different ingredients. And then there is his kofta, which is ground lamb seasoned with garlic.

Overall, he said he strives for authenticity with his food.

“I do everything from scratch,” he said.

Since opening his business Aug. 1, business has been good, he said. He hasn’t done any advertising, but instead has depended on word of mouth to bring in customers. Johnson, 45, has been cooking for many years. He spent a lot of time cooking at different major sports events.

Johnson keeps his mobile restaurant open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

His slogan?

International Taste, bringing the world to you one dish at a time.