Chef Rebecca Barron, executive chef of St. John’s Restaurant in Chattanooga, has received the highest honor bestowed by Georgia-based poultry producer Springer Mountain Farms, the Celebrate the Chef Award. The award is presented to a select handful of chefs that demonstrate culinary excellence, consistency in the dining experience and a commitment to the use of fresh and local ingredients.
“The Celebrate the Chef award is given to only those chefs that prove their great talent not only through food excellence and great customer service in their restaurants, but just as importantly through their commitment to community, exhibited in the events they participate in outside of the restaurant,” says Dale Faunce, Springer Mountain Farms marketing director.
St. John’s Restaurant is located in the restored St. John’s Hotel building. Built at the turn of the twentieth century, the flatiron building evolved over years and was almost condemned in the 1990s. Today, St. John’s Restaurant and St. John’s Meeting Place call the building home along with a variety of businesses and luxury apartments.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chef Barron has always loved the kitchen as the sounds, people, food and way of life enchanted her from an early age. She began cooking professionally at The Walden Club in 2002, and moved on to Hiroshi’s and Table 2. During Barron’s four years at Table 2, her hard work earned her both sous and pastry chef under executive chef Eric Taslimi. While at Table 2, she learned an appreciation for farm to table cooking and the importance of fresh ingredients.
“It was an honor to be selected represent Springer Mountain Farms,” Barron said. “I’ve been working alongside of them this past year, and it’s been nothing short of a great product. And, they are so much fun to work with.”
In 2011, realizing she had more to learn, Barron sought work under James Beard Award nominee Chef Daniel Lindley. Cooking under Lindley for three years, Barron honed her creativity and eventually took over as executive chef. Barron strives to refine and improve her cuisine each night, believing that high quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients are essential for creating dishes that are clean, simple and delicious.