01.19.2017

On The Move: See Which Alabama Restaurants, Chefs Forged New Paths in 2016

For many folks in Alabama’s seafood industry, our life’s passion is a decades-long endeavor—sometimes a century or more. Businesses are passed down through generations and time-honored traditions are upheld through the years.

But our industry is growing, too.

And when there’s a higher demand for fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood, there’s always bound to be new developments in our restaurants, markets, and kitchens.

A handful of restaurateurs and chefs were on the move in 2016. If you missed any of the news, here’s a recap.

Dauphin’s opens in Mobile

Bob Baumhower and Chef Steve Zucker are no strangers to Alabama Gulf Seafood. With restaurants like Bob’s Victory Grille and many Baumhower’s locations on their Aloha Hospitality roster, they’ve become a well-loved staple in Alabama’s food scene.

Their newest restaurant, Dauphin’s (pictured above), located near the top of Mobile’s Trustmark Bank Building, is all about Alabama Gulf Seafood.

In just a year’s time, they’ve been glowingly reviewed by folks like The Daily Meal, and they even made OpenTable’s Most Scenic Restaurants list. Hard to beat great food with a great view, right?

Fins Bar on Dauphin Island opens kitchen

If you haven’t ventured just past the coastline in a while, you may not know that Dauphin Island’s food scene is on the rise.

A big part of that is Fins Bar, owned by Gene Fox, friend of Alabama Gulf Seafood. After opening the bar two years ago and establishing a loyal local following, Fox turned some unused space at the bar into a kitchen and began serving food last month.

And with other restaurants like Dority’s Bar and Grill, Miguel’s Beach’n Baja, and Billy Goat Concessions opening recently, islanders don’t have to leave the mainland for lunch anymore.

Chef Chris Sherrill expands Flora-Bama’s seafood menu

If you keep up with Alabama’s food scene, you probably know that Chef Chris Sherrill and the NUISANCE Group are doing wonderful work raising awareness of invasive species (and how we can eat them), especially the Lionfish.

After a big year in 2016 of serving “trash fish” at special events and right in his own restaurant, Sherrill, the chef/owner of Flora-Bama Yacht Club, is set to expand the menu at Flora-Bama’s Ole River Bar to include many of these underutilized species.

So if you’ve never tried Lionfish, Red Porgy, Jack Crevalle, Pigfish, or Pinfish, you’ll soon have your chance.

Chef Brody Olive moves to Voyager’s Restaurant in Orange Beach

Our friend Chef Brody Olive – who competed in both of our Alabama Seafood Cook-Offs in 2015 and 2016 – was on the move this year, leaving his former post at Spectrum ResortsThe Beach Club in Gulf Shores for a new gig at Perdido Beach Resort’s Voyagers Restaurant.

Having witnessed Chef Olive’s cooking in person a lot over the last few years, including cooking demos at the National Shrimp Festival, we can tell you that he’s only getting better. Pay him a visit sometime this year!

Chef Brandon Burleson moves to Central in Montgomery

Another esteemed former ASCO competitor, Chef Brandon Burleson, was also on the move in 2016.

After serving Voyagers Restaurant at Perdido Beach Resort and his alma mater of Auburn University (working with his friend and 2016 ASCO competitor Chef Leonardo Maurelli III), Chef Burleson is now the executive chef at Central in Montgomery. Next time you find yourself in our capitol city, a visit to Chef Burleson will serve you and your taste buds quite well.

Did we miss any new restaurant/chef stories in 2016? Let us know and we’ll add them to the list!