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Setting the Stage for a Culinary Adventure

Meet the chefs who are leading Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s innovative culinary team. Each highly trained in their craft, these talented individuals aim to transcend the norm.

David Ray Roach

Executive Sous Chef at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

David Roach is Executive Sous Chef for the culinary department at the world-renowned, AAA Four Diamond-rated Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Prior to his appointment as Executive Sous Chef, Roach served as Chef of the award-winning Council Oak Steaks & Seafood restaurant located at Seminole Hard Rock.

Roach joined Seminole Hard Rock five years ago as Sous Chef. With more than 25 years of experience in the culinary industry, Roach has prepared gourmet cuisine at some of South Florida’s premier restaurants including La Brochette Bistro in Cooper City, Darrel and Oliver’s East City Grill in Weston, Mark’s Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale and La Vielle Maison in Boca Raton.

Prior to joining the Seminole Hard Rock, Roach served as Sous Chef for La Brochette Bistro, a Golden Spoon, DiRona and 2005 Best of Broward County award winner - where he worked in a variety of capacities.

Before his tenure at La Brochette Bistro, Roach was the Executive Chef for Darrel and Oliver’s East City Grill, a Four-Star and DiRona award-winning restaurant in Weston. He developed and executed the menu selections, maintained food and labor costs and worked with wine distributors on pairing wine for meals while managing the food production team.

He spent six years, collectively, at Mark’s Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, and during his early culinary years, at Pacific Time in Miami Beach and La Vielle Maison in Boca Raton as chef de cuisine and line cook/roundsman, respectively.

In addition, Roach served as Executive Chef for two years at The Wildflower at The Lodge at Vail, Colorado, a Mobil Four-Star restaurant, training team members, controlling labor and food costs and creating special event and daily menus in addition to bi-monthly dinner menus.

He graduated with an associate of science degree from Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Florida.

Alex Becker

Executive Chef of Kuro and Creative Culinary Director

Executive Chef Alex Becker brings to Kuro more than two decades of restaurant experience, including work at celebrated worldwide Japanese restaurants Katsuya and Nobu. At Kuro, Becker plans to source the best quality product available for the restaurant's new-style Japanese creations -- dishes grounded in tradition yet progressive in concept and execution.

Becker believes in building relationships with true artisans and craft purveyors to source the best quality product possible. To that end, the menu at Kuro will include stunning dishes featuring both just-picked produce from Florida farms as well as exotic fish transported from the waters of Japan to diners' plates in the blink of an eye. Becker, who also serves as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Creative Culinary Director, started his career at age 15 in Atlanta. His prodigious culinary education includes a Masters in Italian Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Asti, Italy. Becker has also been accepted into the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. The chef started the globetrotting chapter of his career at Ristorante Gardenia in Turin, Italy, a Michelin-starred restaurant. Becker then turned his hunger for culinary intellect to Japanese cuisine. This led to a seven-year career at Nobu. Later, as Corporate Executive Chef of Katsuya in Los Angeles, he opened multiple restaurants for the brand across the globe.

Ross Evans

Pastry Chef at Kuro

Pastry Chef Ross Evans' career straddles both ambitious hotel projects and more intimate fine dining restaurants. He served on the opening staff and created dramatic dessert presentations for diners at Charleston's Stars Rooftop & Grill Room, dishing up desserts both whimsical and inspired by American roots and Low Country cookery. Prior to Stars, Evans served as pastry cook at the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond Sea Island Resort in Georgia. His training includes stages at Chicago’s hallowed Alinea and The Blackbird in North Carolina. At Kuro, Evans is creating a menu that will beautifully complement Becker’s savory selections while embracing the technical precision and clean flavors Japanese cuisine is known for.

Richard Luppino

Blue Plate Chef

Chef Richard Luppino oversees the Blue Plate restaurant, the resort’s modern twist on a 24/7 diner, and room service at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

Personally recruited by Executive Sous Chef David “Ray” Roach, the Sunrise, Florida native has been a member of the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood culinary team for over five years. Specializing in American cuisine, Chef Richard began his training at the age of 27 at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He then enhanced his skills as sous chef at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Mich., Hyatt Place in Fort Lauderdale and the upscale East City Grill in Weston.

In the kitchen, Chef Luppino maintains a healthy balance of having fun and demanding respect, discipline and excellence from his sous chefs in order to satisfy thousands of guests, including celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Bill Cosby.

Quick on his feet, Chef Richard enjoys the challenge of creating something new with fresh, and sometimes unexpected, ingredients. He draws inspiration for his creativity from American Chef, author and No Reservations star Anthony Bourdain.

“Anyone can take a recipe, for the most part, and make something that tastes good. But to take something you didn’t know you were going to get an hour ago - whether it be scallops or Brussels sprouts – and turn it into food that people eat, pay for and commend you on…well, that’s difficult, but it’s what I enjoy most,” he shared.

To his friends and family, Chef Richard is a top-notch “Mr. Fix-it,” whether it’s installing new wooden floors for a colleague or lending his time to help pressure clean his elderly neighbor’s patio. At home, his biggest challenge, though, is making sure to cook to impress! Luckily for him, his family relishes his many variations of duck and homemade lobster and shrimp cakes.

Chef Richard hopes to continue learning about the business aspect of the culinary and casino industries and aspires to be an executive chef.

Giovanni Genao

Banquets Chef

Chef Giovanni Genao presides over the highly acclaimed banquets culinary team at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. He’s responsible for orchestrating gourmet feasts for up to 3,500 guests per day, designing menus and executing flawless presentations to be served in the AAA Four-Diamond resort’s award-winning meeting and convention facilities.

A culinary team member with the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood family since its inception in 2004, hard-working, self-taught Chef Giovanni has been a fixture on the culinary scene for many years. He learned the basics of kitchen operations at age 13 running food, cleaning vegetables and learning crucial knife skills. He began his professional career as a cook at the prestigious Sheraton Bal Harbour in Bal Harbour and Lago Mar Resort and Beach Club in Fort Lauderdale. Honing his skills, he advanced to sous chef at the Seaside Grille in Pompano Beach and then chef at Gaetano’s Italian Restaurant in Davie.

Chef Giovanni’s specialties are both Global and New American cuisine and he credits his Cuban, Dominican and Italian heritage as inspiration. He favors simple, fresh ingredients with unexpected flavors and accents to fully bring out the flavor of his innovative concepts. Chef Giovanni also enjoys experimenting with “molecular gastronomy,” a culinary technique that involves manipulating food textures and properties to take on unusual forms.

“As the chef you must take all the responsibility but share all of the credit. Celebrating success and showing appreciation keeps our team hungry to learn and motivates them to grow,” said Chef Gio.

Comfortable both behind the culinary scene and in front of current trends, Chef Giovanni was recently featured on NBC 6’s 6 in the Mix and on Peter Greenberg’s nationally syndicated CBS Travel Radio program and website.

He is fluent in both Spanish and Italian.

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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Hollywood, FL 1 Seminole Way Hollywood, Florida 33314 United States Phone: 866-502-7529