3 Birmingham area restaurants and chefs named 2022 James Beard Semifinalists

Automatic Seafood and Oysters in Lakeview(Jacob Blankenship/ Bham Now)

Three Birmingham area restaurants, chefs and an innovative wine shop were named  2022 James Beard Semifinalist this week. 

Described as the “Oscars” of the food world, the James Beard Awards were established in 1990 by the James Beard Foundation to “recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and furthers the foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.”

And the Local Nominees Are…

Birmingham, Alabama, Homewood, Johnny's Restaurant
Find Johnny’s on 18th Street South smack dab in the middle of downtown Homewood. Photo via Johnny’s Instagram

Who made this year’s prestigious list? The envelope please.

Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood: A multiple James Beard Semifinalist over the past decade, this year,  the popular eatery made the Semifinalist list in two categories. 

  • Best Chef:  South — Chef and Owner Timothy Hontzas
  • Outstanding Hospitality – Johnny’s Restaurant

Automatic Seafood and Oysters: In 2020, Lakeview’s Automatic Seafood and Oysters was named a James Beard Best New Restaurant Finalist. This year, the judges honored their executive chef and owner!

  • Best Chef: South — Adam Evans

Golden Age Wine in Mountain Brook: Birmingham always seems to garner an entry in the best bar program category (Atomic Lounge). This may be the first time a Birmingham area establishment has been named one of the best wine programs in the nation. If you have ever been a guest at Golden Age Wine, you know the honor is well deserved.

wine guide
(Golden Age Wine/ Facebook)

Past Winners

Over the years several beloved Birmingham chefs and restaurants have won the prestigious James Beard Award including:

Birmingham Alabama
Bright Star in Bessemer. (Pat Byington/ Bham Now)

Will this be the year for Johnny’s Restaurant, Automatic Seafood and Oysters and Golden Age Wine? 

Stay tuned.

Winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 13, 2022, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Who do you think will win this year? Tell us on social media by tagging @bhamnow on social media

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

Articles: 2007