Earlier in February, Atlanta soul food institution Busy Bee Cafe was named an America’s Classic, one of six restaurants honored as such by the foundation this year. The award pays tribute to independent and family-owned restaurants that exhibit “timeless appeal” and have been open for more than a decade.
This year marks the return of the annual awards, known as the “Oscars of the food world,” after ceremonies were canceled for the past two years due to the pandemic. It’s also the first awards season to take place following an extensive audit by the foundation to overhaul its policies and procedures in order to be more inclusive and transparent in how nominees are scouted, vetted, and voted upon for awards.
Out of the semifinalist list for 2022, which included Mia Orino and Carlo Gan of Filipino restaurant and pop-up Kamayan ATL for emerging chef, chef Jason Liang of Brush Sushi Izakaya for best chef Southeast, pastry chef Chef Jen Yee for outstanding pastry chef, and Lyla Lila for outstanding wine list, one restaurant and two chefs will represent Atlanta at the awards ceremony in Chicago. No chefs from Atlanta were named finalists in the best chef Southeast category this year.
Below is the full list of the 2022 Atlanta, Georgia, and Alabama nominees. Award winners are announced during a ceremony taking place June 13 at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago.
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Chef Mashama Bailey for the Grey in Savannah, Georgia
Chai Pani in Asheville, North Carolina (with a second location in Decatur, 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.