United States

Johnny’s Restaurant Chef Hontzas Named James Beard Award Finalist

HOMEWOOD, Alabama – Renowned Chef Timothy Hontzas,  a star at Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama has again been named a finalist for the prestigious James Beard award named for the famous late cooking school owner.

Hontzas has made it to the semifinal round for the past six years and was a first-time finalist in 2022 in the Best Chef South category, said The Homewood Star of his accolades.


The restaurant offers a menu of foods not just Greek although he features the Greek meatballs keftedes and souvlaki on skewers as well as baked Greek chicken and specialty Greek cheeses along with traditional southern dishes.

It’s named after his grandfather who come on a cattle boat from Greece to the United States at the age of 17 with almost no no money, opened a restaurant in Mississippi and then Johnny’s, in 1956, the name Hontzas took for his.

He said that his Papou taught him a strong work ethic, as did his father, who also ran the family’s restaurants. “You’ve got to want to make it in life, and you’ve got to want to work,” Hontzas said. “No one owes you anything.”

The James Beard Award, considered to be among the nation’s most prestigious honors, recognize “exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive,” the organization said.


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