Palm Beach Wine Auction Chef de Cuisine
Zach Bell, Executive Chef
Addison Reserve Country Club
An early fascination with the kitchen dates back to the fourth grade when his family’s relocation meant several months residing at a hotel. He was immediately captivated with the workings of the hotel banquet kitchen, which became his after school playground. Before, he could drive, Zach began what would be a long successful career in the kitchen. From his hometown of Clermont, FL to Orlando, Miami and finally New York City, he continuously sought out challenging kitchens in which to develop his skills. Zach perceives cooking as a craft melding technical skill with a love of food and a respect for process. No short cuts! The wonderful bounty of Florida and the Southeast drive his cuisine, guided by years of practicing the best of French technique at Le Cirque and with Daniel Boulud. Zach is thrilled to work with as many local farmers and fisherman as possible as well as being able to source the finest ingredients around the world. This philosophy, along with his team building skills and detail orientated work ethic earned Zach four consecutive trips to New York as a finalist for Best Chef : South at the James Beard Awards.
After 12 years with Daniel Boulud, Zach accepted a fresh new challenge as the Executive Chef of Addison Reserve Country Club. He was offered a unique opportunity to rebuild the kitchen as well as the kitchen team’s philosophy, dining concept and food and beverage team focus and technique from the ground up during a $20 million clubhouse renovation. Addison Reserve is ranked 9th best Country Club in the United States as a Distinguished Emerald Club of America by Board Room Magazine and is also ranked 51st of over 630 worldwide clubs as a 5-Star Platinum Club of the World.
Zach is a dedicated member of the Palm Beach community participating in several local charitable culinary events. His work with No Kid Hungry has taken him to Capitol Hill lobbying for Child Nutrition In 2010, Share our Strength recognized Zach with a National Community Leadership Award for his work with the No Kid hungry campaign. Zach continues his work with Share our Strength as Chair of Palm Beach’s Taste of the Nation event and No Kid Hungry dinners.
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 resort. An 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.