Yolanda Honeycutt-Francis, Certified Executive Chef
Born in 1978 in West Palm Beach, Yolanda Honeycutt born into Family of foodies, people who spend most of their lives at the kitchen table eating the best of food spending quality time with one another. Yolanda cultivated a deep love for cooking from her father, who was a chef. Honeycutt went on to become a renowned force in the art of small, taste, and flavor, making exceptional cuisine fit for the refined palate. She takes pride in being an Owner and a Certified Executve Chef, receiving multiple awards over the years in several restaurants through the James Beard Foundation and starring in featured magazine such as Vogue and Company photo ops and commercials. Honeycutt is also a Restaurant Consultant, proudly being involved in several Restaurants and Alcohol Treatment centers along the Eastern United States.
Yolanda Honeycutt was born in Florida in 1978 into a family of all Girls. After losing her mother to Breast Cancer in 1987 and her Father to Diabetes and Heart Disease in 1989, she and three of her sisters moved to Fort Pierce, Florida and raised by her Aunt and Uncle Lerel and Ida Frederick who also had five kids of their own.
Growing up, Honeycutt says even though in a 4 bedroom home full of growing kids, we were introduced to finer and healthier food that were fresh and vibrant in color, seasoned with love, heart, and soul. My sister and I, under the direction of my Aunt, each had our night in the week where we were in charge of dinner for the family.
Another early culinary touchstone can be found in the time spent with her Father, Thomas. He was the first black Chef recognized professionally by Woolworth Department store in Palm Beach County. She spent her early years siting on the kitchen counter being taste taster and doing little things that did not require the use of a knife. She gained a keen sense of smell, food texture, and understood herbs and their usage in a variety of dishes and desserts, and these experiences gave Honeycutt a unique gratitude for fresh and local foods.
A Rising Star
After graduating from Lincoln Park Academy High School, Yolanda was quite unsure what path was the correct path to take. She started out a Phlebotomist while attending Indian River College in Fort Pierce, Florida. She moved to Atlanta to pursue a career in Biology, gathered friends on a regular basis, sometimes cooking and other times, traveling to different restaurants, to explore taste and flavors from various regions, still was not able to clearly define her destiny. After, Atlanta she moved to Manassas, Virginia, worked for a Software company training others, this time trying to avoid her destiny.
In 1990’s Honeycutt was officially on her life’s path. She was hired by Walt Disney World Resorts, and moved back to Florida. While working for Disney in Food and Beverage, her path really began to flourish. She began catering many events and thought that she needed more educational foundation, she enrolled in Culinary School at the Le Cordon Bleu, Orlando, Florida. After graduating, she apprenticed in Naples, Florida at Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, she fell in love with the art of Garde Manger, this allowed Yolanda to take the knowledge she gained to catapult her to the next level of her Career. She was offered a position to be the Executive Chef over several food operations from Atlanta to South Florida. She has gained a reputation for being employed by some of the best in the industry. She has also worked as Executive Chef for Neiman Marcus at the Zodiac Room in Bal Harbour, Florida, one of Miami premier shopping destination.
“Having the ability to create any type cuisine requires process, passion, and keen sense of know-how, but in all things be in the moment, enjoy whatever it is, and be proud of what you make.”
Houghton Francis a Long Island Native a direct decendant of Antigua, Barbuda of the West Indies.Houghton has worked and managed several Restaurants from all along the East Coast of the United States.