Chef Timothy Hontzas named a finalist for James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the South Award

chef timothy hontzas
Find Johnny’s on 18th Street South in the heart of downtown Homewood. (Johnny’s Instagram)

For the fifth time, Birmingham-based Chef Timothy Hontzas has been named a finalist for the James Beard Awards ”Best Chef in the South” award. Will this be the year he wins? Keep reading for the full story. 

About the James Beard Foundation Award

johnnys catfish Chef Timothy Hontzas named a finalist for James Beard Foundation's Best Chef in the South Award
Say no more. (Johnny’s Homewood)

The James Beard Foundation aids and supports individuals within the American food industry by recognizing the talent and achievements in the culinary industry. They also consider the heart of their nominees on the subjects of equality and fostering genuine community. 

Chef Timothy Hontzas of Bimingham’s Johnny’s restaurant is the epitome of fostering genuine community through food. Because of that, he has been nominated for this award. 

“Two years ago, they announced them and we made it and then the storm of COVID started. They shut the awards down for a year. Well, then the next year they shut them down again. People and people fall off the list all the time. So for the foundation to actually remember us and still find merit and validity in being nominated is just even more exciting and more important.”

Timothy Hontzas, owner and head chef, Johnny’s

About Timothy Hontzas and Johnny’s

Timothy Hontzas was always destined for greatness within the food industry. His uncle and father, Gus and Connie (Constantine) Hontzas and grandfather, Johnny Hontzopolous owned restaurants specializing in soul food. One of those restaurants is Niki’s West—yes, the famous Niki’s West with the yummy fried green tomatoes.  

Chef Hontzas’ restaurant, Johnny’s, a Homewood staple since 2012, marries soul and Greek food. The restaurant is named in honor of his grandfather’s former restaurant “Johnny’s.

“I want to be remembered as ‘this guy is a fantastic chef and an awesome business owner.’ I want people to remember not only my family’s history but the work ethic that we [Johnny’s staff] put in and the love, care and attention to detail that we take on.”

Timothy Hontzas, owner and head chef, Johnny’s

Ceremony Details

Winners will be recognized at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 13, 2022, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The awards will be broadcast live on James Beard Foundation’s Twitter

Want to stay up-to-date on Chef Hontzas’s nominations? Follow Bham Now on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn and don’t forget to subscribe to our FREE newsletter!

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Camille Womack
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