Jim Lewis, Owner & Chef of Bettola Restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama
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Jim opened Bettola a few years ago for which he imported his oven from Italy. He also has been to Italy several times to study under top chefs there. He and his wife, Ana, did much of the interior of his restaurant including the bar. Jim has been a very successful chef, he was voted in 2011 as the best new chef by Food & Wine who wrote the following about him:
"Campania's sun-soaked Southern Italian cuisine breathes life into James Lewis' Bettola Restaurant, located in Birmingham, Alabama. As chef and owner, Lewis regularly returns to Italy to work and study with leading culinary masters, including Chef Antonio Pisaniello at La Locanda di Bu in Nusco and Dario Cecchini of Antica Macelleria in Panzano. An advocate of sourcing locally, Lewis works with regional farmers and artisans to offer the best of each season, including Henry Fudge Farms, Snow's Bend Farm, and The Farm at Hollow Springs. Chef Lewis is also one of a few American members of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN). With a few bites of hand-rolled maccaronara, guanciale and fresh fava beans, Bettola diners experience Chef Lewis' soulful approach to food and his commitment to authenticity. His lighter-than-air gnocchi, tender breads, and signature pizzas are the result of countless weeks of training with seasoned Italian artisans,learning the arts of butchery, curing, and pasta-making.
Bettola's beating heart—its wood-fired Neapolitan pizza oven—was handcrafted in Naples and shipped to Birmingham's Lakeview District. The oven's unique structural elements, including handmade Sorrento terra cotta baking tiles, create an ideal environment for producing exceptional breads and Neapolitan pizzas".
If you visit Birmingham you should definitely try and visit his restaurant it will be a thrilling experience.
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