Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa has appointed Chef Matthew Zappoli its new Creative Culinary Director.
A New Jersey native, Zappoli will oversee all the restaurants at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa. He was previously chef de cuisine at Cipresso.
Zappoli began his long-standing career in 1998 when he graduated with honors from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Following graduation, he was hired by his now mentor, celebrity chef, and restaurateur Charlie Palmer, at the highly acclaimed Aureole located in New York City. Zappoli’s appetite for success and creativity led him to advance quickly and work across the country in various Charlie Palmer properties including the Las Vegas-based Aureole located in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Dry Creek Kitchen located in Hotel Healdsburg in Sonoma County, California.
In 2008, Zappoli decided to take his wealth of experience and return to his New Jersey stomping grounds where he successfully opened and managed his own restaurant, Tre Amici, along with his brother. In 2010, Zappoli garnered national attention when he was crowned champion on an episode of The Food Network’s “Chopped.”
Zappoli’s culinary talents have led to appearances at The James Beard House, high praises by Bon Appétit in a piece titled “Five Chefs to Watch,” followed by Restaurant Hospitality naming him “Rising Star Chef.”
Prior to his arrival at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, Zappoli served as executive chef at NYY Steak located at sister property Seminole Casino Coconut Creek since 2016.
Zappoli is grateful for the many experiences he has had throughout his culinary career. When he is not hustling on the line, he enjoys exploring and experiencing new and different restaurants, beaches, and cities around Florida and beyond.
His other hobbies include gardening (growing his own herbs and vegetables), snowboarding, playing the guitar and trying new recipes at home.
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is one of the largest and most successful casinos in the world offering award-winning gaming, hospitality, and entertainment. The casino features nearly 5,000 of the hottest slot machines, 179 table games and a state-of-the-art Poker Room featuring 46 tables. Additionally, the casino offers a smoke-free Mezzanine Level Casino. The hotel is AAA Four Diamond rated and proudly offers ten restaurants, including the upscale dining venues Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and The Rez Grill, as well as the new elegant Italian restaurant, Cipresso. Recent openings include a new hotel tower, an elevated arrival experience, the Hard Rock Event Center and Rock Spa® & Salon. The resort is located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa. For more information, please call 866-502-PLAY or visit us online and via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Hard Rock®:
Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in 68 countries spanning 253 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 86,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. In 2021, Hard Rock was honored as one of Forbes Magazine’s Best Employers for Diversity, a Top Employer for Women and the Top Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. Hard Rock was also designated as a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal and named the top performing hotel brand in J.D. Power’s North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study for the third consecutive year in 2021. The brand is owned by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com