I'll tell you why Honeywood
by Josh Smouse
Honeywood owner Ouita Michel, who owns several Bluegrass area restaurants, has been besieged with, “Why another restaurant?”
As for me, a chef with a fine dining background, I am asked often lately, “Why did you agree to the executive chef position at Honeywood?”
The underlying question is really, “Why are you, a champion of and chef in small, fierce, free-standing restaurants, opening a 150-seat restaurant in a shopping center?”
In truth, the answer to that question revealed itself well after I agreed to participate in the project.
My answer is, “Because of love.” I love this company. I love what Roger (Solt, longtime Ouita business partner), Chris and Ouita have built. I love that we consistently do things that make sense to us, to our vision of hospitality and dining. I love that we have serious conversations about avoiding some efficiencies in order to create charm and character. I love that we leave money on the table because supporting local farmers and businesses is in our DNA. I love that there is a genuine camaraderie amongst ALL people working in the company. I love that Mike and Amy Perry — Amy is Honeywood Parrish Rouse’s granddaughter— were the first people to eat from the Honeywood menu.
This company is going to double in size in the next year and I believe I can help make Honeywood another Ouita Michel restaurant not only in name but also in action. We can become a faceless restaurant group or we can continue to nurture everything that has brought us here. I choose the latter.