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Jamul Casino elevates James Donovan to Executive Chef

Jamul Casino has promoted James Donovan to Executive Chef as it looks to bolster its non-gaming offer.

JamulDonovan

Citing his “culinary track record,” the tribal enterprise run by California’s Jamul Indian Village (JIV) has tapped the veteran chef to oversee its 85-member back-of-house team.

Donovan’s culinary career began in 1996, when he started working as a line cook at Viejas Casino & Resort. Since then, the chef has spent time in various casino’s kitchens, eventually rising to leadership roles.

In 2016, he was recruited by Jamul Casino to serve as Sous Chef, the third highest rank in a kitchen. After nearly six years with the operator, Donovan has now climbed to the top of the culinary ladder, and as Executive Chef, will purportedly focus on “providing fresh, healthy and very popular cuisine.”

Mary Cheeks, President and General Manager of Jamul Casino, said: “James brings a remarkable enthusiasm, creativity and leadership to our culinary team. We are thrilled to recognise his talent with this well-deserved promotion.” 

Anchoring Jamul Casino’s culinary offering is eatery Prime Cut Steak & Seafood, providing hungry gamblers with what the property describes as, “gourmet steak and seafood entrees” alongside “a famous dessert cart with seasonal specialties.”

“The culinary experience at Jamul Casino is the result of a very talented team,” remarked Donovan.

“Prime Cut’s Chef De Cuisine, Cheryl Cruz, has become well-known for her Chef’s Table experience; Manager & (Level 2) Certified Sommelier, Dennis Reiter, has built an unparalleled wine program and Benjamin Petell, our VP of Non-Gaming Operations, is a great leader and has cast an incredible vision for our team. 

“I’m honoured to work alongside them.”


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