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Treasure Chest Casino hires culinary experts to lead new restaurants

15 April 2024

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Boyd Gaming Corporation and Treasure Chest Casino announce the addition of two chefs to lend their expertise to the new restaurants at the all-new land-based casino. Chef Birai Aguliar and Chef Emanuell “Manny” Willis bring a combined 27 years of culinary experience to Treasure Chest Casino.

The new hires come as Treasure Chest prepares to open four restaurants upon the debut of its land-based casino. Alder & Birch Steakhouse, The Game, Lakeside Café and Infusion will all offer a range of options from traditional American fare to beloved New Orleans favorites, complemented by premium cocktails and craft beers on tap.

Chef Birai Aguilar joins Treasure Chest Casino as an Executive Sous Chef. Chef Aguilar will be responsible for all food operations with a special focus on Alder & Birch Steakhouse. Aguilar has an impressive resume of executive culinary roles, with over 22 years of experience across many popular casinos in Las Vegas.

Chef Emanuell “Manny” Willis joins Treasure Chest Casino as a Multi-Outlet Chef. Chef Willis will focus primarily on three of Treasure Chest’s new restaurants: Lakeside Café, Infusion and The Game. Willis brings five years of culinary experience across the Greater New Orleans area, most recently as Sous Chef for Emeril’s Brasserie in New Orleans.

“You can’t have great food without a great team – and the hiring of Chefs Aguilar and Willis solidifies our mission to provide a culinary experience that visitors look forward to when visiting Treasure Chest Casino,” said Kim Etland, Vice President and General Manager of Treasure Chest Casino. “I am confident their commitment to cuisine will be evident as we embark on this final push to opening our new facility this year.”

Both chefs are eager to satisfy the appetites of Treasure Chest Casino’s guests, as they have been actively involved in crafting new recipes, stocking kitchens and preparing for the grand opening. Chef Aguilar and Chef Willis help round out an elite culinary team under the leadership of Executive Chef Eddie Garcia and Food & Beverage Director, Greg Nay, who assumed their roles late last year.

“I couldn’t be more excited as Chef Birai and Chef Manny begin their new roles,” said Executive Chef Eddie Garcia. “We have been hard at work preparing menu items that are sure to wow every person who dines at any of our four restaurants. We cannot wait to showcase what we have come up with.”

Treasure Chest Casino first opened in 1994, offering locals and tourists alike premier gaming experiences on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Later this spring, Treasure Chest will open its new 47,000 square foot, land-based casino with double the gaming capacity, new eateries and a FanDuel-branded sportsbook

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