James Simmons’ Lowcountry roots span six generations, and with that family history, comes a keen understanding of Southern cuisine. Growing up, Simmons family gatherings were always centered on food. Both mother and grandmother were avid cooks who appreciated traditional Lowcountry fare with simple, consistent food, where the flavors of the food to speak for themselves, while cooking “low and slow”. These time-honored traditions have been passed down to Simmons and his siblings, so much so, that it’s a family affair at Hospitality Management Group, Inc., with brother Landice (sous chef) and brother Delon (kitchen manager) at Magnolias.
Simmons’ start in the culinary industry was at the young age of 16 when he joined the team at Magnolias in 1997. Under the influence of culinary arts director Don Drake and executive chef Kelly Franz, Simmons realized the value of hard work, paving his way to success as shift leader in 2007, sous chef in 2010 and most recently as executive chef at sister restaurant Blossom.
When not in the kitchen, he enjoys spending time with his wife Sheena and four children, Antonio, Curry, Jayla and most recent addition James, Jr. Their favorite pastime as a family is spent outdoors at local area parks.