2023 Chefs

Hamilton Johnson


Washington, DC

Featured: Saturday, May 13 Grand Tasting

Situated in the former Vidalia space in Downtown Washington, D.C.,  Honeysuckle debuted in January 2017 and blends innovative American cuisine with Southern accents and European technique, featuring a menu of playful juxtapositions between high end ingredients and techniques with Southern “low country” flair. Honeysuckle is the brain child of South Carolina native Chef Hamilton Johnson, who most recently worked as Chef de Cuisine under esteemed D.C. Chef Jeffrey Buben at Vidalia for seven years.  Prior to moving to D.C., Chef Johnson earned his stripes as a rising star in the Southeast, working under award-winning Frank Lee at Maverick Southern Kitchens in Charleston, S.C.  When he is not in the kitchen, Chef Johnson regularly competes successfully on the international stage, including Finland and Iceland, and incorporate both country’s cooking style into his food at Honeysuckle.  Each space in the restaurant has its own unique vibe, including a red room featuring six foot gold gilded framed photos of rockers David Bowie and Lou Reed and a restored working piano from France, flanked by candelabras.  Repurposed cork fashioned to look like wood runs across the main dining area floor and all of the banquettes and seating will be re-upholstered with rustic Belgian fabrics. Other highlights include an area with custom mother of pearl walls, which will create a luminescent glow.  In that space, three pendant lights constructed out of repurposed fishing baskets from Thailand will hang from the ceiling and a portrait of Freddie Mercury, complete with a banana hat, hangs on the wall.