Chef Thomas Raymond's passion is taking simple, everyday ingredients and turning them into something extraordinary. His goal is to exceed guests' expectations on each and every dish - whether by the sheer size of a dish (have you seen the Open Face Roast Beef?) or by his unique twists on American classics.
Of course, none of this is possible without a great team in the kitchen, and building a passionate, talented team is something that Chef feels very strongly about.
"We believe in the team in our kitchen. As the saying goes you are only as strong as your weakest link. We make sure that we have total buy in from all levels of our culinary team. We have several cooks that have been promoted from the stewarding ranks and we have several supervisors and leads that have been promoted up through the cook ranks. Identifying talent and the desire to better oneself is who we look for in our culinary team. We don’t care if you have never cooked a day in your life, if you have the will and the drive to become a cook or a chef then we will develop you."
Chef Raymond's own background and career spans across many facets of the culinary world with and across the United States itself. After graduating from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University with an A.S. in Culinary Arts, he began his career at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston, where he had the opportunity to work with Michelin-starred chefs and hosted many dignitaries and celebrities. As Chef says about these early days of his career, "the opportunity to personally cater to these individuals and try to match the flavors and favorites from home for them was a true challenge and a great joy to accomplish."
Chef Raymond then moved into the casino realm and embarked on the next phase of his culinary career, which included opening new restaurants, designing kitchens, and developing restaurant concepts in casinos from Florida to Las Vegas. To round out this already impressive resume, he has also been an Executive Chef in a private club and has opened multiple stand-alone restaurants, taking them from the concept stage into successful restaurants.
The geographic diversity of Chef's career has been very influential in his culinary taste and styles.
"I've had the privilege of opening restaurants and renovating expansions in casinos, hotels and private restaurants, in Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. I've learned about the diversity of cuisine in this great country and the different regional specialties - from crab cakes on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, to pierogies in Pittsburgh, to down home Creole cooking in Mississippi, to refined upscale dining in the foodie towns of Boston and New York. Each part of our nation has such diverse tastes and specialties - and I had the opportunity to travel a lot, learn a lot, and sample a lot. My experiences have allowed me to bring these tastes, flavors and favorites from each region to our guests in our own special way is a true joy to myself and my staff, and I believe it is what separates us from our competition."
Since joining Lady Luck Nemacolin as Executive Chef, Chef Raymond has utilized his considerable culinary talents to improve every aspect of our customers' dining experiences - from brand new menus to the fresh, from-scratch cooking that he and his team deliver every day. We're thrilled to have Chef Raymond here with us at Lady Luck Nemacolin - visit us and see for yourself what all the excitement is about!