See which chefs and restaurants in the South were named semifinalists

The James Beard Awards are the highest honors in America for chefs and restaurants. After a year-long hiatus, the awards have returned. On Wednesday the James Beard Foundation announced the semi-finalists for the 2022 awards.

In each of the national award categories, 20 semi-finalists are named. The exception is the Best New Restaurant award, which has 30 finalists. Here are the restaurants, bars and chefs from across the South who made the cut:

Best New Restaurant

Fritai in New Orleans

Lengua Madre in New Orleans

MACHETE in Greensboro, North Carolina

Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken in Asheville, North Carolina

Zitz Sum in Coral Gables, Florida

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Emerging Chef

Cleophus Hethington of Benne on Eagle in Asheville, North Carolina

Serigne Mbaye of Dakar NOLA in New Orleans

Mia Orino and Carlo Gan of Kamayan ATL in Atlanta

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Serigne Mbaye prepares for his Dakar NOLA pop-up at New Orleans' Southern Food and Beverage Museum on June 12, 2020.

Serigne Mbaye prepares for his Dakar NOLA pop-up at New Orleans’ Southern Food and Beverage Museum on June 12, 2020.

Outstanding Baker

Susannah Gebhart of Old World Levain (OWL) Bakery in Asheville, North Carolina

Evette Rahman of Sister Honey’s in Orlando, Florida

Zak Stern of Zak the Baker in Miami

Outstanding Bar Program

Alley Twenty Six in Durham, North Carolina

Attaboy in Nashville

Avenue Pub in New Orleans

Cafe La Trova in Miami

The Avenue Pub, a New Orleans craft beer bar, is shown before the coronavirus pandemic.

The Avenue Pub, a New Orleans craft beer bar, is shown before the coronavirus pandemic.

Outstanding Hospitality

Cúrate in Ashville, North Carolina

Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama

The Preacher’s Son in Bentonville, Arkansas

Ticonderoga Club in Atlanta

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At Cúrate restaurant in downtown Asheville, CEO Katie Button said while visitation is strong downtown, they're struggling to hire enough staff. That means they've had to limit the restaurant to six dinner shifts a week, where they used to offer six lunches as well.

At Cúrate restaurant in downtown Asheville, CEO Katie Button said while visitation is strong downtown, they’re struggling to hire enough staff. That means they’ve had to limit the restaurant to six dinner shifts a week, where they used to offer six lunches as well.

Outstanding Chef

Mashama Bailey of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia

Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Antonio Bachour of Bachour in Coral Gables and Doral, Florida

Claudia Martinez of Miller Union in Atlanta

Rabii Saber of the Four Seasons in Orlando, Florida

Jen Yee of Hopkins and Company in Atlanta

Outstanding Restaurant

Brennan’s in New Orleans

Butcher & Bee in Charleston, South Carolina

Chai Pani in Asheville, North Carolina

Christian Pendleton, general manager at Brennan's restaurant in the French Quarter, greets guests and requests vaccine cards during the first week of New Orleans' citywide vaccine mandate for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Christian Pendleton, general manager at Brennan’s restaurant in the French Quarter, greets guests and requests vaccine cards during the first week of New Orleans’ citywide vaccine mandate for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.

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Outstanding Restaurateur

Jason and Sue Chin of Good Salt Restaurant Group in Orlando, Florida

Kevin Gillespie of Red Beard Restaurants in Atlanta

Todd Richards and Joshua Lee of The Soulful Company in Atlanta

Outstanding Wine Program

Golden Age Wine in Mountain Brook, Alabama

Lucky Palace in Bossier City, Louisiana

Lyla Lila in Atlanta

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The regional awards honor outstanding chefs in 12 regions across the country. The James Beard Awards’ South region includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Puerto Rico. Here are this year’s semi-finalists:

Best Chef: South

Alabama

Adam Evans of Automatic Seafood and Oysters in Birmingham

Timothy Hontzas of Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood

Chef Adam Evans created a modern seafood restaurant at Automatic Seafood in Birmingham, Alabama. (Courtesy of Automatic Seafood)

Chef Adam Evans created a modern seafood restaurant at Automatic Seafood in Birmingham, Alabama. (Courtesy of Automatic Seafood)

Arkansas

Matthew McClure of The Hive in Bentonville

Rafael Rios of Yeyo’s in Bentonville

Florida

Michael Beltran of Ariete in Coconut Grove

Valerie, Nando and Fernando Chang of Itamae in Miami

Clay Conley of Buccan in Palm Beach

Jeremy Ford of Stubborn Seed in Miami

Henry Moso of Kabooki Sushi in Orlando

Niven Patel of Ghee Indian Kitchen in Kendall

Michael Pirolo of Macchialina in Miami

Louisiana

Blake Aguillard and Trey Smith of Saint-Germain in New Orleans

Hao Gong of LUVI Restaurant in New Orleans

Melissa M. Martin of Mosquito Supper Club in New Orleans

Michael Nelson of GW Fins in New Orleans

Allison Richard of High Hat Cafe in New Orleans

Isaac Toups of Toups’ Meatery in New Orleans

More: Prize-winning ‘Mosquito Supper Club’ cookbook honors a Cajun village in peril

In "Mosquito Supper Club," Melissa M. Martin captures the recipes and culture of hometown of Chauvin, a small Cajun village in Louisiana. Martin fishes with her father, who goes by Chucky. (Excerpted from Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin (Artisan Books.) Copyright © 2020.)

In “Mosquito Supper Club,” Melissa M. Martin captures the recipes and culture of hometown of Chauvin, a small Cajun village in Louisiana. Martin fishes with her father, who goes by Chucky. (Excerpted from Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin (Artisan Books.) Copyright © 2020.)

Mississippi

Alex Perry of Vestige in Ocean Springs

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Chef Alex Perry opened Vestige in his hometown of Ocean Springs.

Chef Alex Perry opened Vestige in his hometown of Ocean Springs.

Puerto Rico

Francis Guzmán of Vianda in San Juan

Abel Mendoza of Estela in Rincón

The Southeast region is made up of Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Here are the 2022 semi-finalists:

Best Chef: Southeast

Georgia

Jason Liang of Brush Sushi Izakaya in Decatur

Craig Richards of Lyla Lila in Atlanta

Joey Ward of Southern Belle and Georgia Boy in Atlanta

Kentucky

Anthony Lamas of Seviche in Louisville

Ouita Michel of Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Lexington and Versailles

Alison Settle of Barn8 in Goshen

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Executive Chef Allison Settle picks carrots for her restaurant, Barn8.

Executive Chef Allison Settle picks carrots for her restaurant, Barn8.

North Carolina

Katie Button of Cúrate in Asheville

Greg Collier of Leah & Louise in Charlotte

Oscar Diaz of The Cortez in Raleigh

Sunny Gerhart of St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar in Raleigh

Cheetie Kumar of Garland in Raleigh

Ricky Moore of SALTBOX Seafood Joint in Durham

Peyton Smith of Mission Pizza Napoletana in Winston-Salem

Stephanie Tyson of Sweet Potatoes in Winston-Salem

Aaron Vandemark of Panciuto in Hillsborough

More: Chef Katie Button’s culinary reality series ‘From The Source’ debuts on Magnolia Network

South Carolina

Orlando Pagán of Wild Common in Charleston

Tennessee

Jake Howell of Peninsula in Nashville

Philip Krajeck of Rolf and Daughters in Nashville

Mailea Weger of Lou in Nashville

More: Lou who? You’ll want to get to know this brunch cafe/wine bar

Mailea Weger, owner/executive chef at lou. in East Nashville

Mailea Weger, owner/executive chef at lou. in East Nashville

West Virginia

Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm in Lost Creek

Earlier this month, the James Beard Foundation announced the 2022 winners of the America’s Classic Awards, which honors “locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community.” Among the six winners this year was Atlanta’s Busy Bee Café, which opened in 1947 and was a favorite of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders.

The other 2022 America’s Classic Award winners were Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks, California, Corrine’s Place in Camden, New Jersey, Solly’s Grille in Milwaukee, Wo Hop in New York and Florence’s Restaurant in Oklahoma City.

The James Beard Awards were suspended in 2020 after the finalists had been announced. No winners were named that year.

An audit of the awards process was conducted by the James Beard Foundation and new procedures were created to promote diversity and increase transparency. The foundation also established an independent ethics panel to address any accusations of misconduct lodged against the nominated chefs and restaurants.

The five finalists in each category for the James Beard restaurant and chef awards will be announced on March 16, along with the winners of the annual lifetime achievement and humanitarian awards. The nominees for the food media awards will be announced on April 27.

The winners of the restaurant and chef awards will be revealed on June 13 at a gala ceremony in Chicago.

Reporter Todd A. Price is a member of the James Beard chef and restaurant committee that selects semi-finalists. He can reached at 504-421-1542 or email him at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on The American South: James Beard 2022 semifinalists announced

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