Chef James Boyce
With his experienced, inventive approach to the culinary arts and dynamic leadership qualities, Chef James “Jimmy” Boyce has been tapped to create successful restaurant concepts and run the kitchens of numerous world-class culinary destinations. A 25-year industry veteran, Boyce launched his culinary career at New York's Le Cirque, where he worked for six years under the tutelage of Daniel Boulud. While working in New York, Boyce studied at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, and graduated with top honors. In the 1990s, Boyce gained experience by working at well-known establishments such as, Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician Resort & Spa, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and San Diego’s Loews Coronado Bay Resort. While heading culinary operations for Loews, he made a name for himself as one of Southern California's leading chefs, earning critical acclaim and a variety of awards including a James Beard Foundation “Best Chef Southwest” nomination in 2002. Boyce raised the bar for high-end dining in Southern California when he teamed up with Montage Hotels & Resorts in 2003 to open the luxurious oceanfront Montage Resort & Spa Laguna Beach and the signature fine dining venue, Studio.
In 2008, a chance meeting with Alabama Governor Bob Riley and Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer introduced Boyce to Alabama after he was invited to cook at a dinner recruiting Volkswagen to open an assembly plant there. Just months later, Boyce brought his forward-thinking culinary expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to Huntsville, Ala., where he and his wife, Suzan, founded the family-owned and operated Boyce Restaurant Concepts. The group’s first concept, Cotton Row in Downtown Historic Huntsville, features fine American cuisine with strong Southern influences. Housed in a 1831 brick building along what was once the cotton exchange, Cotton Row was inspired by the enduring passion of the cotton traders and offers a creative amalgamation of the past and present, in taste, décor and experience. Boyce Restaurant Concepts then opened Pane e Vino Pizzeria, a casual pizzeria featuring rustic-chic Italian fare in a superbly artistic setting – just below Huntsville’s own Museum of Art and overlooking Big Spring Park. In December 2010, on the opposite end of the Courthouse Square, he opened Commerce Kitchen - influenced by turn of the century style and classic cuisine.
Boyce has consistently accrued the industry’s top awards, accolades and respect throughout his career. He has appeared numerous times on NBC’s “The Today Show” and was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Epicurious TV;” the PBS television series “How To Cook Everything: Bittman Takes On America’s Chefs;” and PBS’s “At The Chef’s Table;” as well as in numerous publications, among them: Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Cooking Light, Garden and Gun, House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, Cookie, Coastal Living, Sunset, Riviera, Relish, Food Arts and Nation’s Restaurant News. Among the many accolades bestowed upon the restaurants during his tenure, Boyce is particularly proud of brining Mary Elaine’s and Studio to national prominence with the vaulted Mobil Five-Star award. He has also had the honor of cooking at the James Beard House in New York City and is a two-time nominee for the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Best New Chef.
Most recently, Boyce Restaurant Concepts has expanded into the Birmingham area to rebrand an existing restaurant, Veranda on Highland Avenue. Partnering with Ed Hardin, Boyce will rebrand the current Veranda Restaurant on Highland Avenue as Galley & Garden, a top-dining destination featuring modern American-French cuisine with Southern influences. For more information on Chef James Boyce, please visit www.chefjamesboyce.com.