Team & Chefs

Executive Leadership & Administrative Team

Mike Simms

Founder, Owner & CEO
at Simms Restaurants

Chef David Lefevre

Founder, Owner & Chef
at MBPost, FWD, & TAJ

Adam Bassuk

VP OF Operations
at Simmzy's & Tin Roof Bistro

Chef Adam Bussell

Director of Culinary Operations
at MBPost, FWD, & TAJ

Ali Rucinski

Director of Happiness (H.R.)
at Simms Restaurants

Brian Khoddam

VP of Finance
at Simms Restaurants

Ed Derrico

Marketing Manager
at Simms Restaurants

Francesca Mak

Senior Accountant
at Simms Restaurants

Jerry Garbus

Operating Partner/Wine Director
at MBPost, FWD, & TAJ

Paul Ditty

Director of Training
at Simms Restaurants

Chef Tony Gurske

VP of Culinary Operations
at Simmzy's & Tin Roof Bistro

Restaurant Leadership

AAron Garisek

General manager
At Tin Roof Bistro

Chef Alice Mai

Chef de Cuisine
at Fishing With Dynamite

Barry Donnelly

General Manager
at Simmzy's Manhattan Beach

David Ferrier

Complex General Manager
at MBPost & FWD

Chef David Keller

Executive Chef
At Tin Roof Bistro

Jessica Kouzoukas

General Manager
at Simmzy's Huntington Beach

Jim Lynch

General Manager
at Simmzy's Long Beach

Michael Valdivia

General Manager
at Lil Simmzy’s on The Deck

Nick DiLullo

General Manager
at The Arthur J

Chef Ray Hayashi

R&D Chef
at MBPost, FWD, and TAJ

Chef Robert Lee

Chef de Cuisine
at The Arthur J

Mike Simms

Founder, Owner & CEO at Simms Restaurants

Mike Simms and his brother grew up running around the kitchen and under tables at West Hollywood’s French Market and Manhattan Beach’s The Kettle –– his father’s and grandfather’s restaurants.

Mike attended Cornell’s prestigious Hotel School. After graduating, he immediately started managing restaurants and immersing himself in food. Simms began connecting local eateries to surrounding farms, brewers, and wineries.

In 2009, Simmzy’s Manhattan Beach & Tin Roof Bistro were born, creating the Simms Restaurant Group.

Contact Mike

Chef David LeFevre

Founder, Owner & Chef at MBPost, TAJ & FWD

David LeFevre is the chef-­‐‑owner behind the critically acclaimed Southern California restaurants Manhattan Beach Post (M.B. Post), Fishing with Dynamite and The Arthur J. Educated at the renowned Culinary Institute of America, the Wisconsin native’s expertise has been nurtured by time spent in the world’s best kitchens, including ten years at Charlie Trotter’s celebrated restaurants in Chicago and Las Vegas, and seven years at Water Grill in Los Angeles, where he received accolades for his mastery of seafood and earned a prized Michelin Star. LeFevre has traveled the globe immersing himself in diverse food cultures and amassing a library of techniques attained from experiences ranging from stages at La Côte d’Or and Restaurant Jean Bardet in France, to a two year trek through Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and the Caribbean. Since opening M.B. Post in 2011, LeFevre is a three time James Beard Best Chef Semi-­‐‑finalist. M.B. Post, Fishing with Dynamite, and The Arthur J are a true reflection of LeFevre’ʹs roots, his travels, and his passion for preparing bold and playful, ingredient-­‐‑driven dishes that are artisanal, soulful, and handcrafted.

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Adam Bassuk

VP of Operations at Simmzy’s and Tin Roof Bistro

Contact Adam

Chef Adam Bussell

Director of Culinary Operations at MBPost, FWD, and TAJ

Contact Chef Adam

Ali Rucinski

Director of Happiness (H.R.) at Simms Restaurants

Contact Ali

Brian Khoddam

VP of Finance

Contact Brian

Ed Derrico

Brand Storyteller & Marketing Manager

Contact Ed

Francesca Mak

Senior Accountant

Contact Francesca

Jerry Garbus

Operating Wine Partner/Wine Director at MBPost, FWD, & TAJ

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jerry Garbus is a self-proclaimed Southern California boy. He got his start in the restaurant business as a bus boy at P.F. Chang’s and worked his way up to management in less than two years. Consequently, he was chosen to be a part of the opening Management team for P.F. Chang’s Burbank, an experience that he calls an extraordinary opportunity as he helped build and train all departments of the staff from scratch. These experiences prepared him for his time as the General Manager and Wine Director at King’s Seafood Company (Ocean Avenue Seafood, Water Grill, and i Cugini).

As the Wine Director of Ocean Avenue Seafood, Jerry’s personal involvement yielded an appearance in Patterson’s Beverage Journal  – now Patterson’s Tasting Panel – that highlighted his efforts with the wine list and the beverage program as a whole. The beverage program also earned him a nomination for Food & Wine Magazine’s “Hot Shot Sommelier” in 2008. In addition, Jerry’s beverage experience also bleeds into the procurement and management of craft beer and artisanal spirits.

Jerry’s true love for the restaurant business comes from the fact that dining out is a special experience. “I remember most of the great meals I’ve had, who I had them with, the food I ate, the wine I was drinking and the occasion” he says, “ My job is essentially, to facilitate that kind of experience. To be an orchestrator of memories, if you will.”

When he’s not busy working on M.B. Post, Jerry loves to travel, run, take afternoon naps and enjoy great meals with friends.

Contact Jerry

Paul Ditty

Director of Training

Contact Paul

Chef Tony Gurske

VP of Culinary Operations at Simmzy’s & Tin Roof Bistro

Contact Chey Tony

Aaron Garisek

General Manager at Tin Roof Bistro

Contact Aaron

Chef Alice Mai

Chef De Cuisine at Fishing With Dynamite

Contact Chef Alice

Barry Donnelly

General Manager at Simmzy’s Manhattan Beach

Contact Barry

David Ferrier

Complex Manager at MBPost & FWD

Contact David

Chef David Keller

Executive Chef at Tin Roof Bistro

Contact Chef David

Jessica Kouzoukas

General Manager at Simmzy’s Huntington Beach

Contact Jessica

Jim Lynch

General Manager at Simmzy’s Long Beach

Contact Jim

Michael Valdivia

General Manager at Lil Simmzy’s On The Deck

Contact Michael

Nick DiLullo

General Manager at The Arthur J

Contact Nick

Chef Ray Hayashi

Research & Development Chef of MBPost, FWD, and TAJ

Ray Hayashi’s regard for excellence and passion for food can be traced back to the produce on his family’s farm in Kyoto, Japan, which required meticulous maintenance in order to supply the Michelinstarred restaurants in the area. Closer to home, Hayashi’s understanding of discipline and success were formed at his parents’ Japanese restaurant in Gardena, CA and stayed with him through his culinary career. 

A South Bay native, Hayashi spent most of his free time as a teenager body boarding at the Manhattan Beach Pier, and in doing so developed a keen appreciation for the ocean. Ready to pursue a culinary career, Hayashi traded the beach for the bay and headed out to CCA in San Francisco where he worked at a sushi bar while attending the program. Upon graduating in 2005, Hayashi returned to the South Bay to gain practical experience working under Michi Takahashi (Michi’s, Manhattan Beach) and Akira Hirose (Maison Akira, Pasadena), before venturing out to explore his roots in Japan. It was there that Hayashi first challenged himself to establish and cultivate his fine dining skills as a stagier at Bordeaux in Kyoto under Chef Takao Omizo, whose French-influenced Japanese cooking style would serve as a source of inspiration for the young chef. 

Hayashi returned to Los Angeles in 2008 determined to land a position at a renowned restaurant working with his favorite medium, seafood. With the self confidence of an assured chef, Hayashi landed a position at Providence, Chef Michael Cimarusti’s seminal seafood restaurant, where he studied the power of pure, unembellished flavors and deft execution required for brilliant seafood.

 In 2011, Hayashi caught wind of another seafood savant’s adventurous social house opening near his South Bay stomping grounds, and joined Manhattan Beach Post as Chef David LeFevre’s Sous Chef. At Manhattan Beach Post, Hayashi played an instrumental role on the team that has since garnered the restaurant three James Beard semi-finalist nominations. Upon opening his second Manhattan Beach Restaurant, Fishing with Dynamite, LeFevre tapped Hayashi to become the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine where he demonstrated his passion for excellent seafood, and contributed a Japanese aesthetic to showcase only the very finest treasures from the sea. 

In 2016 Hayashi departed for a yearlong culinary immersion cooking in Michelin starred kitchens in Japan and traveling throughout Europe. He returned recently to re-join the team as Culinary R&D Chef for Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite and The Arthur J. In 2019, he became Simms Restaurant’s Research & Development Chef.

Contact Chef Ray

Chef Robert Lee

Chef De Cuisine at The Arthur J

Contact Chef Robert