One of us is a famed Southern chef and the other is has a heavy Southern accent.

D O N N I E   S I M M O N S

Donnie lives by three rules: cook food right the first time, source locally-raised ingredients, maintain and run a clean kitchen.

Donnie’s style of cooking pays homage to his loving grandmother who sparked his love of cooking when Donnie was younger. If it hadn’t been for his grandmother’s ways of crafting in the kitchen, Donnie would not be where he is today. In his 20+ years of being behind the line of famed restaurants in the Charlotte area like The Mandrake, Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe and others, showcased on Guy Fieri’s hit Food Network show “Diners’, Drive-Ins’ and Dives”, it is safe to say Donnie has honed his skills in brainstorming, creating and plating exceptional cuisine.

It’s not just the local Carolinians praising his name, either. Donnie has won countless chef awards, been recognized by notable cooking organizations for his dedication and passion, worked with A-list celebrities/athletes and top executives, and the list goes on.

Donnie is the one of the most genuine, down-home rooted and humble people you could ever meet. I encourage everyone reading this to experience Donnie and his love of food for yourself.

Be sure to follow along with what Donnie is up to via his Instagram @thedonchef.


Hunter is a self-taught photographer, University of North Carolina student, and lover of all dishes by Donnie. His love of photography began when he was 16 years old when he accompanied his family’s photographer to photograph a wedding in Lake Norman, North Carolina. Although it wasn’t necessarily photographing the wedding that had Hunter interested but more of how the photographer was able to seemingly freeze time and capture a moment that could not be redone. From then on, Hunter was hooked.

He consistently worked to heighten his level of skill with the goal of being sought out to photograph someone’s moment. Since then he was photographed automobiles, athletes, company’s apparel/products, CrossFit, food/cuisine, homes for sale, landscapes, family portraits and so on.

Hunter met Donnie when he was invited out to co-shoot dishes at The Mandrake in downtown Charlotte last year with the good folks over at @704LifeStyle. From that point on, these guys have became close friends and will continue to work closely with one another for the foreseeable future.

Because of this newfound relationship, Hunter has been more prone to think outside of the box and look at things differently just from being around Donnie. He has pushed Hunter to do and be more and it has showed.

This duo will inevitably take over Charlotte. Just wait on it.

Be sure to stay current on what Hunter is doing via his Instagram @hunterhenrickson


Please submit any and all questions/comments/recommendations to the form below.

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