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It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of a good friend, mentor, and community icon, Chef Stephen Simmons. Stephen was one of the most grounded and integrity-based humans, loving his family, food, and a passion for service. Stephen was an owner of the beloved Bubba’s Diner in downtown San Anselmo for years, plus “FORK” on San Anselmo Avenue (which was later turned into the Michelin Star “Madcap” by Chef Ron Siegel). In and around these times, Stephen consulted for many fine dining restaurants on menu design and hospitality management throughout the Bay Area, including becoming culinary head chef for a well known local filmmaker. It was from here I met Stephen at Skywalker Ranch where I worked with Stephen for two years plus some mercenary “VIP” catering at “Groves” in Sonoma County and another in Los Altos hills. Stephen’s passion for utilizing seasonal vegetables, contrasting and expertly pairing flavor balances, and eye-catching presentation were evident on every plate; simple and elegant. If we were doing executive dinners for six or dinner for 200 celebrity guests, every detail was spot-on. With the added pressure of the clientele’s expectations, Stephen was by far, the calmest and composed chef I’ve ever met. On the extremely rare off-chance something unexpected came up, Stephen wouldn’t miss a beat, staying composed, directing the team with an even and soft voice. His pre-planning and coursing ensured there were never any mishaps. Professional, passionate, and compassionate.

I left “The Ranch” properties to open Creekside, and things changed at The Ranch once several divisions left for Letterman. Stephen continued consulting, became head chef at the renovated Peacock Gap Country Club, we had several conversations on menu design for Stonework along the way, and he was most recently proud to be a the award winning Birch & Rye in San Francisco. Today, I regret I never took him up on his multiple invites for dinner there.

Memorial services TBD. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stephen’s family, extended family, and friends in this time of grief.

Stephen Simmons, another great contributor to the fabric of the quality of life here in San Anselmo. You are missed. Thank you Chef.

– PT