The James Beard Foundation just released its list of the 2022 semifinalists in the restaurant and chef categories, and there are a few Atlantans and Atlanta establishments among the names.
Earlier this month, soul food institution Busy Bee Cafe was one of six restaurants named as an America’s Classic by the foundation. The award, given out every year since 1998, honors independent and family-owned restaurants open for more than a decade that exhibit “timeless appeal.”
Known as the “Oscars” of the food world, 2022 marks the return of the annual awards after ceremonies were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Then, last year, the foundation conducted an extensive audit in an attempt to overhaul its policies and procedures to be more inclusive and transparent in how nominees are scouted, vetted, and voted upon each year. The audit followed years of accusations of racism and sexism and scandals surrounding bad actors in the restaurant industry who were subsequently nominated for awards by the foundation.
Below is the complete list of the Atlanta, Georgia, and Alabama semifinalists. Finalists in the 2022 restaurant and chef categories will be announced Wednesday, March 16, with winners announced during an awards ceremony taking place June 13 at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago.
Mia Orino and Carlo Gan for Filipino restaurant and pop-up Kamayan ATL
Best Chef Southeast
Chef Jason Liang for Brush Sushi Izakaya in Decatur
Chef Craig Richards for Lyla Lila in Midtown
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Outstanding Wine Program
Lyla Lila in Midtown
Golden Age Wine in Mountain Brook, Alabama
Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama
Chef Mashama Bailey for the Grey in Savannah, Georgia
Best Chef South
Chef Adam Evans for Automatic Seafood and Oysters in Birmingham, Alabama
Chef Timothy Hontzas for Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.