Jim Smith is the Executive Chef of the State of Alabama and Chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission.
As the state chef, he has placed an emphasis on using the best local ingredients and has made strides to encourage support of local farmers and Alabama fishermen. He uses his position as ambassador of food to promote farmer’s markets and events that support Alabama food products. This is a critical aspect of his daily routine and is his way of supporting Governor Robert Bentley’s efforts to support Alabama food and Alabama workers.
Chef Smith continues his commitment to the art of food through experimentation and development. His culinary style embraces traditional local ingredients and technique with a more modern elegance. Utilizing global approaches and Southern style, he creates unique dishes that embody a contemporary approach in cuisine.
Smith graduated culinary school at the top of his class from Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has studied food, wine, and service under the acclaimed chefs Chris Hastings and Frank Stitt. He was also the wine director for the “Best of Birmingham” James Beard Dinner. Most recently, Smith worked as a chef at Dyron’s Lowcountry in Birmingham, Alabama.
In 2011 he was crowned the King of American Seafood by winning The Great American Seafood-Cook-Off and became the national spokesperson for Alabama Seafood, American Sustainable Seafood, Gulf Seafood, and the NOAA. As the winner, he traveled the country educating the Americans about the benefits of sustainable seafood.