April Chef of the Month: James Davis of Bayes Southern Bar & Grill

April 4, 2018

Every other month, we’re spotlighting one of our chefs or restaurateurs here at The Wharf. This month is James Davis, Executive Chef of Bayes Southern Bar & Grill. This culinary creative brings his passion for Southern cuisine to the table each day, plated with down-home love. Step into his kitchen to learn more!

Where were you born and raised?
Houston, Texas.

How long has your restaurant been at The Wharf?
We’ve been open for about a year now.

Where did you train to be a chef?
My first experience with cooking came from watching and helping my mother in the kitchen. So, I have a very special, personal relationship with food and cooking.

What other jobs have you held in the restaurant industry?
I was a head chef with the Aloha Hospitality Group.

What does a typical workday involve for you?
Organizing the workday and week are my normal duties. We have a scratch kitchen at Bayes so everything has to be made fresh daily, from our famous grits to the whipped cream.

Who’s the most noteworthy person you’ve ever cooked for?
I had the pleasure to cook for the all of the SEC coaches during an event in Mobile, Alabama. Being a Texas man, football comes right after church!

What would you consider to be your culinary specialty?
Southern cooking.

What’s your favorite meal to cook for yourself and your friends/family?
I love steaks. Nothing better than a ribeye.

Other than your own restaurant, what’s your favorite place to eat and drink at The Wharf?
The Southern Grind is great! Mr. Jim runs an amazing place. Danny, our General Manager, brings us breakfast and coffee from them and it’s consistently great.

What’s your favorite annual event at The Wharf?
The Wharf Boat & Yacht Show. It’s Bayes’ busiest days of the year, so it really tests me and my crew, but the sight of million-dollar boats as far as the eye can see is pretty impressive.

Where do you like to shop or play at The Wharf?
The Daiquiri Bar is always a fun place. Nice folks and I love watching people sing off-key during karaoke.

What’s something your customers might not know about your restaurant?
We recently won People’s Choice at the Best of the Best Awards for Coastal Alabama’s Business Chamber.

Other than cooking, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
Spending time with my beautiful daughter is my absolute favorite thing in the world.

What’s your favorite band/musician?
Barry White.

What’s your favorite movie?
Training Day.

If you could spend the day with any celebrity or historical figure (living or dead), who would it be?
Kevin Durant.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?
I would start a foundation to feed the needy.

Auburn or Alabama?

If you weren’t a chef, what sort of career would you pursue?
Working for a church. God and serving people are very dear to my heart.


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