One of the things we take great pride in here is our restaurant, Alexis Gardens. We sat down with Executive Chef Joseph Rawls and asked him a few questions. The next time you stay with us, be sure to drop by and try his recommendations!
Q: How long have you been the Executive Chef at Alexis Gardens Restaurant?
A: I’ve been chef here for 2 years now.
Q: Why did you become a restaurant chef?
A: I became a chef because cooking is my passion; I’m always looking for new ways to re-create myself in the kitchen, I study a lot and I’m always thinking of new recipes, ideas or how can I refine a recipe and put my own spin on it.
Q: What motivates you?
A: My motivation comes from a hunger of wanting to be good. I constantly challenge myself to learn new things about different foods and their origins; I love a challenge and love to be challenged. I also love pairing wines with cheeses that’s my ultimate guilty pleasure: I was once a cheese monger.
Q: What has been your favorite experience as Executive Chef at Alexis Gardens Restaurant?
A: I canʼt say that I have one favorite experience here, but I can say managing a kitchen this size is a challenge. With our 50,000 square feet of catering space, we could be preparing a romantic dinner for 2 in the restaurant, have a dozen Room Service orders, while at the same time, plating the dinner for a 1,000 attendee gala event in the Parthenon Ballroom. When it’s busy, we can be very busy! My favorite thing is turning my staff on to new cuisines and different foods as well as cooking and preparing high-end banquets that require a lot of attention. But I can’t just speak for myself; I speak for the entire kitchen day in and day out. Our success shows through the happiness of our customers.
Q: What sets Alexis Gardens Restaurant apart?
A: Alexis Gardens Restaurant separates itself through its panoramic views of the property pool and lobby areas. It’s very cozy and quiet. You don’t have to walk though a casino or listen to loud machines while dining; the menu offers an array of fine dining items at a great price. Our staff goes above and beyond for each of our guests.
Q: What do you want guests to take away from a meal at Alexis Gardens Restaurant?
A: I want guests to remember the quaint ambiance of our restaurant and the detailed plating of our food as well as the food profiles and how they intermingle well with each other.
Q: What dish does the chef recommend?
A: I would have to recommend our seafood pasta dish: it has salmon, shrimp, jumbo lump crab and fresh sautéed asparagus tips. But if you’re a beef eater, all of our steaks are certified Angus beef and the flavor of the steaks are like no other.