Don Drake

Culinary Arts Director

Joining Magnolias as sous chef in 1991, Don Drake continues to be one of the forces keeping Magnolias at the top of the nation's list for exceptional Southern food.

Prior to relocating to Charleston, Drake simultaneously attended the Culinary Institute of America and trained under Chef Barry Wine at the critically acclaimed, four-star Quilted Giraffe in New York City. Embarking on a culinary world tour after receiving his degree, Drake immersed himself in global cooking techniques, spending a majority of his time in London, Australia and Hawaii. Notably, Drake worked in Honolulu's celebrated Roy's mastering his culinary skills under famed Chef Roy Yamaguchi.

Integrating his international culinary background into the distinctively Southern meals for which Magnolias is legendary, Drake prepares dishes with surprising worldly flavors that remain true to the history and culture of their Lowcountry beginnings.

Mallory Ellis

Executive Pastry Chef

Mallory’s love of baking began as a child, when she would prepare homemade cakes for her family’s table. It didn’t take her long to realize this was something she wanted to pursue as a career.

After attending the Culinary Institute of Charleston where she earned a degree in Baking and Pastry and certifications in Food Service Management and Advanced Beverage Service Management, she worked for a family-owned bakery, Butter Blossom, preparing cupcakes and cookies before heading to the pastry department of HMGI’s Magnolias and Blossom.

The same excitement from her early days of baking has carried into her current philosophy on cooking: to always create with passion, care and effort. Like her mentor at HMGI, Andrea Upchurch, she hopes to carry the same playfulness in baking as one of the first chefs that inspired her, pastry chef and television personality, Duff Goldman.

When not whipping up pastries, Ellis is reading books, heading to a movie, or spending time in the sun and grass.