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Signature restaurants planned for MGM Grand Detroit

28 August 2007

DETROIT, Michigan -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Chefs Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina each have announced the culinary teams for their restaurants inside MGM Grand Detroit, slated to open October 2, 2007. Executive Chef Marc Djozlija will lead the kitchen at Wolfgang Puck Grille and also will oversee the celebrity chef's 24-hour in-room dining program. Executive Chef Don Yamauchi will make his widely anticipated debut within Mina's Bourbon Steak and Saltwater restaurants.

Opening October 2, 2007, the $800 million MGM Grand Detroit will deliver upscale rooms, celebrity chefs and a world-class spa to list of unrivaled amenities to downtown Detroit.

"With the addition of these remarkable culinary talents to MGM Grand Detroit, we are laying a foundation for what is sure to be the most celebrated cuisine in the region," said Rich Schneider, Vice President of Food and Beverage at MGM Grand Detroit.

Detroit native Marc Djozlija began his more than 15-year career with the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group at Spago Las Vegas, a restaurant credited with sparking the fine dining and celebrity chef revolution that continues in Las Vegas today. Djozlija also played an integral role in the opening, as executive chef of the group's first two bar and grill concepts (Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Wolfgang Puck American Grille at Borgata in Atlantic City), making him uniquely qualified to debut Puck's celebrated California-style cuisine to his hometown with Wolfgang Puck Grille. "After leaving Detroit 17 years ago, I'm elated to return home and work alongside Chef Puck to share his incredible culinary gift to Detroit for the first time," said Djozlija. "Creating inventive, superior cuisine is my passion; Wolfgang Puck Grille will deliver on these objectives with an extensive menu to entice all palates at a variety of price points."

Wolfgang Puck Grille will present a contemporary twist on the traditional "bar and grill" concept and also will be Puck's first venue offering 24-hour dining (Friday and Saturday only). Guests will find Puck's signature dishes utilizing his trademark standards for creating incomparable flavors using fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients. Lunch, dinner and late-night menus will offer creative salads, sandwiches and paninis, pizzas from the wood-burning oven, pastas, steaks and seafood. The restaurant will offer a spectacular setting crafted by esteemed hospitality designer Tony Chi reminiscent of Detroit's bustling motor city culture, midwestern wheat fields and expansive skies. For an exclusive dining experience, guests can take advantage of Puck's signature kitchen table for parties of 12 to 16, from which they will have the ideal vantage point to watch their culinary masterpieces come to life. Wolfgang Puck Grille will accommodate up to 190 guests and will be open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.

Executive Chef Don Yamauchi will oversee the kitchens for both of Michael Mina's MGM Grand Detroit restaurants, Bourbon Steak and Saltwater. A rising star chef, Yamauchi was named one of "America's Best New Chefs" by Food & Wine Magazine and also is a James Beard Foundation "Best Chef Midwest" nominee. Most recently, Yamauchi cultivated a culinary following as executive chef at Tribute, one of Michigan's most celebrated restaurants. Yamauchi also has played an integral role in the success of some of the Midwest's finest restaurants, including Le Francais, and four-star restaurants Carlos and Gordon. Known for his intense attention to detail and dedication to excellence, Yamauchi strives for perfection in his cooking. "With each new venture, creation and dish, I strive to create a remarkable experience for each guest. Every texture and flavor should be individually recognized within each bite before it flows into one incredible taste sensation," said Yamauchi.

A Mina veteran, Randolph Supnet will serve as executive pastry chef for both Bourbon Steak and Saltwater. Supnet will join the team at MGM Grand Detroit after three years as pastry chef at Michelin two-star Michael Mina San Francisco where he played a vital role in the restaurant's opening and overall success. Supnet began with Mina Group at Mobil four-star winner Michael Mina Las Vegas (formerly Aqua Bellagio), where he worked for two years as assistant pastry chef alongside notable Mina alumni including pastry chef JJ Stith.

Also for Mina Group are the appointments of Andrew Ashmore as chef de cuisine for BOURBON STEAK, and Steven Fretz as chef de cuisine for Saltwater. Following his work as sous chef at A.J.'s Steakhouse at Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel, Ashmore began with Mina as the 'rock star' grill cook at Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay and sizzled in the kitchen delivering 500 perfectly prepared steaks every evening. The incredible consistency and quality of his work earned him a promotion to acting sous chef. Fretz has worked alongside culinary greats including George Morrone (at the Fifth Floor and Tartare in San Francisco) and most recently with David Burke on the East Coast. Fretz also contributed to the opening of Mina's ARCADIA restaurant in San Jose.

Upscale, modern and distinctive, Michael Mina's signature restaurants will redefine Detroit's culinary landscape. Bourbon Steak, a classic steakhouse with a down-home feel, will deliver imaginative interpretations of traditional steakhouse favorites in a modern setting. Mina's unique kitchen design will include wood-burning grills to perfect his slow-poached all-natural Angus Beef, prime ribs, short ribs, short beef and short pork. Other Mina classics on the menu will include Duck Fat Fries, Spinach Soufflé and Truffle Mac & Cheese. Bourbon Steak will seat approximately 200 guests within its dining rooms, bar and lounge, and private dining area. Bourbon Steak will open nightly at 5:30 p.m.; the lounge will open at 4 p.m.

Saltwater will feature contemporary seafood and refined American cuisine in an elegant design that celebrates the richness of the sea. Saltwater will showcase Mina's classic dishes including Lobster Pot Pie, Caviar Parfait, Tartare of Ahi Tuna and Mussel Soufflé. Rich hues of blue, sparkling mosaic tiles, carved glass panels and romantic lighting will create an intimate and luxurious dining room where guests are bathed in soft-focused light and surrounded by plush, sumptuous fabrics. Saltwater will seat 96 for dinner, 39 in the bar and lounge, and 22 in private dining rooms. Saltwater will open for dinner nightly at 5:30 p.m.; the lounge will open at 4 p.m.

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