Donald Barickman loved food from his early childhood days in Charleston, West Virginia, spending time with his grandparents in their kitchen. After studying forestry at West Virginia University, he went to work in a small restaurant before enrolling at the Culinary Institute in 1983
After graduating in 1985, he worked his way up the culinary ladder, first at the Wild Dunes Resort and a year later as sous chef at the Wine Cellar, and in 1987 he became executive chef at Charleston’s hottest restaurant, Carolina. The owners then opened a second restaurant in Columbia, South Carolina, and Chef Barickman moved up to run that kitchen.
In 1989, he returned to Charleston to become a partner and opened Magnolia. Critics stated, within 30 days of it’s opening, that it was THE place to dine in Charleston. Great Chefs Television crew showed up at the Magnolia to tape Chef Barickman for their Great Chefs of the South television series (episode #18), and for a new series they were producing for the Discovery Channel, Great Chefs of America (episode #117).
Chef Donald went on to expand the restaurant holdings of HMG to include not only Magnolia, but the Blossom and Cypress Lowcountry Grille in 2001. In 2011 he left HMG Restaurants to join the faculty of the Culinary Institute of Charleston where he remains today in 2016.