We had the good fortune of connecting with Simone James and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Simone, how do you think about risk?
I think of risks as an opportunity to be great. When you take a risk that is saying you have the strength and courage to do whatever it is you set your mind to. Even if it may not work out the way you planned it, you tried and you learned a lesson. Failure is not an option so every risk I’ve taken was a lesson learned for me.

I took the risk of leaving my job and packing up to move to Atlanta a few months ago. Things haven’t been exactly how I would like it to be but I know with hard work, consistency and determination I will be right where I need to be with God’s graces. I truly believe everything happens when it’s supposed to.

I can admit since my move I’ve been catching up on much needed rest and just planning things out that I want to do in the near future. Now it’s time for me to step out and meet new people which I have been doing more often. I can’t wait for Atlanta to taste my food. I think this move might be the biggest risk I’ve taken in my life and it was all for bettering my career. I know there’s a million chefs in Atlanta but I also believe I bring a different flair. This is a risk that I believe will be well worth it!

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I am a Brooklyn, NY born Chef. My parents are both Grenadian so I never really ate much American foods as a child until I got older and was able to hang out with friends of different cultures. I call my style of cooking Caribbean fusion because even with the simplest dishes I find a way to add some Caribbean flair. I’m most excited about what’s to come. I know I haven’t even touched the surface of what I’m capable of as yet. There’s so much I want to do within the culinary world outside of just cooking.

There were many challenges. Most of them being personal. I was very inconsistent when I started cooking back in 2012. When sales were good I was happy but when they weren’t so great I got discouraged. It wasn’t easy for me to process those emotions and keep going. The thing that did make me happy was the feedback I would get from clients. That was my motivation. I had to learn that being in business wasn’t going to always be easy and fun, there will be downtime’s but it’s what you do in those moments that count.

I am where I am today professionally because I allow my work to speak for itself. I cook with love, with passion. Truthfully as a child I never thought cooking would be my talent, I never wanted to help my mom in the kitchen, I always wanted to be a teacher. As I grew older my love for cooking developed because every time I cooked something the feedback was amazing. I started small with chicken wings and pasta dishes but everyone loved it. I saw that it was something I was good at and I kept going. When I’m in the kitchen I’m literally in another world. That is my zone, that is where I belong!

I would love the world to know that Chef Simmi is just getting started ! I want my food to be positively remembered. When I’m making my seasoning blends, prepping and cooking that is just the introduction however, when you’re eating and licking your fingers, that is the story I want you to tell.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting Atlanta we would probably do some sight seeing and shopping first and foremost. I will hit up an outlet mall or 2. We would check out the Georgia aquarium, Martin Luther King Jr.’s home and then probably make our way to the Trap museum. The best part will be heading to some restaurants and lounges. Since I’m still pretty new to Atlanta this will be a trial run for the both of us. I would love to check out a few restaurants that I’ve heard good reviews about such as Toast on Lenox for Brunch, Slutty Vegan, Sovereign Sweets and Hattie Marie’s. We would probably hit up Pasha for some good hookah and appetizers. Papdeaux’s maybe for some crab claws (if they’re in season) and some drinks! I like a good time but I’m also very laid back at this time in my life. A good calm vibe is a perfect setting for me; great food, good music and tasty drinks… I’m there!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe everything I do to my family and everyone who has supported me thus far. When I say family that consists of the one I was born into and the friends God put in my life that became family to me. Without my supporters/clients I probably wouldn’t even be cooking still. I love the friends that tell me when I’m slacking and push me to get up and keep going even when I’m discouraged. I have Chef instructors and friends from culinary school that I can contact at any moment for advice or a helping hand. My parents and grandmother are my go-to’s when I’m trying to get a recipe that I’m unsure of. They’re the first people I call when something is going good or bad. They push me even though they didn’t always agree with my choice of wanting to be a Chef. Everyone plays a role and I appreciate my village so much!

Website: www.ChefSimmi.com

Instagram: @ChefSimmi

Facebook: Chef Simmi LLC

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCa4MZx_KDm1UdZI79oTywNg

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