Named one of the 50 best chefs in New York City in 2014, by FOOD & WINE magazine, Sarah Simmons is the CEO of CITY GRIT Hospitality Group, the founder of CITY GRIT Culinary Salon and Executive Chef/Owner of Birds & Bubbles, a full-service restaurant in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Rise Gourmet Goods & Bakeshop (Rise) in Columbia, SC.
In 2010, she was named “America’s Home Cook Superstar” by FOOD & WINE magazine as part of its search for the nation’s best home cook. This recognition inspired her to leave the corporate world to pursue cooking full-time and focus on bringing the CITY GRIT concept to market.
Since opening CITY GRIT in September 2011, Sarah has been recognized as an influencer and tastemaker in the industry and acknowledged for both her culinary and business talent. In 2012, she was once again recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of “America’s Best New Cooks” alongside nine other chefs including Mike Solomonov and Alex Stupak.
In 2013, she was recognized by the Charleston Wine + Food Festival as a “New & Notable” chef, and was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company magazine, which called her “the chef cooking up the most exciting dining experience in New York.”
CITY GRIT continues to be recognized as “One of the Most Innovative Restaurants in the Country” (Zagat in 2014) and Sarah’s first full-service concept, Birds & Bubbles, opened last year earning her numerous accolades including three stars from Time Out NY and two stars from Adam Platt, New York Magazine’s extremely discerning food critic.
In 2015 she was named to Williams-Sonoma’s Chef Collective alongside nine other chefs including Mei Lin, Nick Anderer, and Thomas McNaughton and launched the first products in her CITY GRIT product line in partnership with the company.
In October of 2015, Simmons returned to her Carolina roots to open Rise, her first counter-service concept serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as artisanal breads, pastries, sweets, and gourmet goods in Columbia’s Five Points Neighborhood.
In 2016 she has the honor of cooking at The James Beard house, participating on a keynote panel at SXSW, cooking as a featured guest at Charleston Wine & Food Festival, presenting at The Culinary Institute of America’s global Worlds of Flavor Conference, and speaking at the inaugural BevCon conference.