Chef Jim Smith is Executive Chef and Owner of The Hummingbird Way Oyster Bar in Mobile, Ala. Opened January 7, 2020, The Hummingbird Way is committed to serving the best local and sustainably sourced foods available.
Chef Smith previously served as Executive Chef of the State of Alabama. During his eight-year tenure, he placed heavy emphasis on Alabama-sourced ingredients and was a huge proponent and supporter of local farmers and fishermen. He used his position at the state level to serve as an ambassador for Alabama foods, to promote local farmer’s markets, and to help bring awareness to events supporting Alabama food products.
In 2011 – and after taking home the title of Alabama Seafood Cook-Off Champion – he was crowned the King of American Seafood by winning The Great American Seafood-Cook-Off. As champion, he traveled the country educating Americans on the benefits of sustainable seafood on behalf of Alabama Gulf Seafood, American Sustainable Seafood, Gulf Seafood and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Outside of his Mobile restaurant, Chef Smith serves as Chairman of The Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission, continuing to support the great work being done to promote the state’s seafood industry. He has worked closely with The James Beard Foundation as a Boot Camp for Policy and Change Alum and supporter of James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch Sustainable Seafood and Scholarship Programs. He is also an active member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and a Chef Advocate for Wild American Shrimp.
Chef Smith is best known for his appearances in seasons 14 and 16 of the Bravo television cooking competition show, Top Chef. Smith not only finished in the top 10, but was also a fan favorite. He is very proud of his time on the show and how he represented himself and the entire state of Alabama.
Check out the recipe for an Alabama Gulf Seafood dish from the Top Chef competitor: Alabama Seafood Jumbalaya