The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa brought award-winning Chef Bill to Tampa in 2011. Not only does he possess more than 18 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, but he was also nominated for prestigious awards such as the James Beard Foundation Top Hotel Award in 1996 and the Best of Boston in 2000. One of the driving motivators for moving to Tampa- he said was, “walking in and seeing the set-up and feel of the people; the opportunity felt like it fit me.”
Chef Bill’s background is composed of delivering exemplary cuisine for some of the world’s most refined palettes and he takes pride in all of the work that he does. He has cooked meals for Bill and Hillary Clinton, King Hussein of Jordan and Queen Rania, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Senator John Kerry, and Julia Child.
Chef Bill’s mission at Seminole Hard Rock begins before the sun comes up with an uncanny attention to detail for our guests. He is preparing to feed anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 people and is in charge of all seven of Seminole Hard Rock’s renowned restaurants: Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, Hard Rock Cafe, Rise Kitchen & Bakery, Fresh Harvest, The Green Room, Jubao Palace and Rock N’ Raw Sushi Joint.
His first mission for the day is a pit stop at each restaurant. He says good morning, shakes the hands of kitchen members and gets to work. Chef Bill says music helps him “work in a rhythm”. Often times, he preps while listening to rap music because he says it’s just the right rhythm for that type of detailed work.
Chef Bill takes pride in focusing his efforts on freshness and local foods. He works with a local farm, Three Boys Farm to ensure guests receive the freshest ingredients to their plates. The farm is located in Ruskin, Florida and is certified organic and hydroponic.
So now you know the man behind our stellar restaurant menus. There’s a reason some of our guests come here just for the food.
We asked Chef Bill to share his favorite dishes from each of SHRT’s restaurants, but it wasn’t easy for him to choose. However, here’s what he suggests for you to try:
Council Oak: Long Bone Cowboy Ribeye, dry aged for 21 days and marbled to perfection.
Hard Rock Cafe: Legendary Burger, we are the only Hard Rock in the world to grind our beef fresh daily.
Rise Bakery: The bread is baked fresh each day and sandwiches are a chef’s best friend so there were two Chef Bill couldn’t choose between:
Hot Brisket Melt made with brisket, muenster, caramelize onions & creamy horseradish on rye bread.
The Reuben has an incredible thin sliced portion of corned beef or pastrami with Swiss, sauerkraut & 1000 Island dressing grilled on rye bread. Chef Bill expressed, “it just melts in your mouth.”
Fresh Harvest: It depends on the day because it’s a dynamic marketplace, but Fried Chicken is one of his favorites. One guest loved the chicken so much; they took it back to China with them. 90% of the meals are made in-house.
Green Room: Smoked Pot Roast, served on Texas Toast with mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies.
Jubao Palace: Beef Pho, although the roasted duck is one of the most popular dishes. Jubao goes through 40-50 ducks per day in a 15 seat noodle bar!
Rock N’ Raw: Crispy Grouper with Ginger Wine Sauce.