Chef Barry Honan and his team prepare meals at the world-renowned James Beard Foundation in New York

Less than a year after opening, Chef Barry Honan’s Lotus Noodle Bar has received accolades that are bestowed on the nation’s finest restaurants. Chef Honan and his team were invited to create a meal at the prestigious Beard House, an invitation extended by The James Beard Foundation to only the finest chefs in the country. His team “performed” for Foundation members and the public, presenting an exquisitely crafted dinner, with every detail and ingredient coordinated to perfection. Located at 56 Grove Street in the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida, Lotus Noodle Bar’s reputation has gone beyond local favorite to a Southern stand-out.

“I’ve always had these goals and dreams for Lotus,” says Barry Honan, chef and owner. “Seeing them come to fruition is incredibly satisfying. This is a milestone moment in my culinary journey, one that fills me with a profound sense of honor and reverence. To be invited to these hallowed halls is a distinction that I wear with the deepest respect and appreciation. Culinary legends have graced the Beard House with their genius. To follow in their footsteps is both humbling and inspiring. It is my sincere hope that through my cuisine, I can pay homage to the rich legacy of the James Beard House while also offering a glimpse into my own culinary vision and the unique perspective that Lotus brings.”

The St. Johns Cultural Council is engaged with the James Beard Foundation to celebrate St. Johns County’s food culture and elevate the people championing our culinary scene. In 2023, the Cultural Council published a culinary guide titled A Taste of Time to highlight the area’s cuisine, culinary history, and the chefs redefining our food scene. Flip to page 18 to check out Chef Barry’s profile.

The James Beard Foundation house director invites chefs based on specific criteria, including reputation, use of high-quality ingredients, and demonstrated excellence in a particular discipline. The director makes the final selection based on the proposed menu and wine list, schedule, and their judgment. Chef Honan and his crew served 74 guests on the evening of Tuesday, June 25, at the Beard House, a bespoke multi-level townhouse in Greenwich Village in New York. The home belonged to the late James Beard, America’s most famous food critic, author, and educator. Beard, who passed in 1985, was known as a champion for regional and seasonally influenced American cuisine during a time when the nation was fascinated by mass-produced convenience foods. This passion for fresh, seasonal cuisine is perfectly in line with Chef Honan’s culinary ethos. The Lotus team prepared two dishes for the distinguished diners at the Beard House. The first was a Japanese Congee or Okayu, a Japanese rice porridge featuring Kurobata Bacon, Japanese mushrooms, truffle confit, Katsuobushi Furikake, Negi, and French Burgundy truffles. Their second dish was an Izakaya Smoked Potato Salad with blue crab, yuzu koshō, Sunomono cucumber, fried garlic, Japanese ikura, and toasted togarashi.

ABOUT LOTUS NOODLE BAR: Lotus Noodle Bar offers a refined and seasonal menu featuring shared plates and exquisite bowls of ramen. With dishes curated to tantalize the tastebuds and a sophisticated ambiance, a visit to Lotus promises an unforgettable culinary journey. Located at 56 Grove Avenue in St. Augustine, the dining room is open Tuesday through Saturday, with seating from 5 PM to 9:15 PM.