2019 CHEFS AND SOMMELIER

Jeff Simms, Executive Chef, Banquets
The Breakers Palm Beach

In May 1996, a talented young chef named Jeff Simms joined the culinary team at The Breakers Palm Beach. More than 20 years later he holds the position of executive chef of banquets at the award-winning resortAn effective leader, he oversees a team of 60 staff members to orchestrate all resort banquet operations including food service at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.  His outstanding banquet fare rivals that served in the finest restaurants in the country, yet he is able to deliver that quality to as many as 25,000 guests per month. 

 

Simms attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.  Prior to his arrival at The Breakers Palm Beach, he was the executive chef at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.   He has garnered many culinary accolades, particularly for his expertise in preparing restaurant-quality cuisine in a banquet setting.  Among them the Culinary Excellence Award from La Chaine Des Rotisseurs, a prestigious food and wine society, and the Outstanding Culinary Achievement Award from the American Academy of Chefs.  Johnson & Wales University honored Simms as Distinguished Visiting Chef and Palm Beach Daily News named him one of 100 leaders in Palm Beach.

 

Under Simms’ leadership, The Breakers received the Award of Excellence from the American Culinary Federation in 2012. The award was created to honor properties that demonstrate excellence and passion for the culinary arts through its unparalleled food and beverage program. Simms was also inducted to the American Academy of Chefs as an honorary member in 2016, and received the Chef Professionalism Award in 2016, Chef of the Year Award in 2011 and 2007, and Member of the Year Award in 2005 from the American Culinary Federation of Palm Beach County.

 

In his free time Simms donates his culinary artistry to charities such as Children’s Home Society, the Chef and the Child Foundation and serving on the advisory board for Quantum House. He is also currently a member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and serves as First Vice President of the ACF Palm Beach County Chapter’s Board of Directors.

 

 

Palm Beach Wine Auction Sommelier

Brian Chamis, Certified Sommelier

Cafe Chardonnay; The Vine Post, Owner

 

Brian Chamis, "the wine guy", and Certified Sommelier, began feeding his passion for wine in 1991 working at Jonathan's Landing in Jupiter, Florida. His professional wine career later began in 1994 while employed at Cafe Chardonnay; where he soon-after became the Wine Director via his mentors, Chef Frank Eucalitto, and former associate, Jim Ferguson. He has since been a student of wine and all other beverages, traveling and honing his craft as much as possible, while managing the wine program at Cafe Chardonnay, and consulting for private clients' wine cellars throughout Palm Beach County.

 

In 1999, Brian completed his Intro Sommelier Course with The Court of Master Sommeliers, and later achieved the next level, Certified Sommelier. Later in 2013, he and a colleague started a wine concierge business to provide full wine service for his clients, including delivery and cellar inventory. He now specializes in wine consultations, overall beverage purchasing, wine tastings & catering, events, appraisals, and private wine cellar management for homes, yachts, planes, wine storage facilities, and businesses. 

 

Brian is still managing the wine program at Cafe Chardonnay, where you can find him most evenings swirling a glass and treating guests to a wine adventure. He recently expanded his concierge business and opened a Wine Shop & Tasting Room in Juno Beach called The Vine Post with his wife, Tish Sawyer, and Co-owner, Thomas Battaglia. He resides with his family in Jupiter, Florida, and is a proud Florida native. 
 

Chefs and Sommeliers