TAMPA, Fla. (July 22, 2015) – Council Oak Steaks & Seafood in Seminole Hard Rock Tampa has announced the hiring of Omar Torres as its new Chef de Cuisine.
Torres, who will report to Executive Sous Chef Michael Balles, began his 20-year career with the Hard Rock Cafe in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as a dishwasher. He quickly rose to be a leader in the kitchen.
His extensive knowledge and expertise was cultivated by James Beard Award-winning chefs and prestigious Five Star, Five Diamond Hotels such as the Waldorf Astoria and Ritz Carlton.
He represented the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott at the Chef’s Garden Food & Wine Festival in 2007, 2008 and 2009. This huge event is also known as the “Woodstock” of the culinary world, where the best 50 restaurants and hotels participate alongside various renowned celebrity chefs.
A two-time American Culinary Federation medal recipient, he most recently brought his innovative thinking to multiple restaurants at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, incorporating local farm to table ideology into his cuisine.
Torres, who will also oversee the property’s Plum VIP Lounge, has already been hard at work crafting a menu that will now include seasonal changes to make it more American and balanced. The new menu will elevate fine dining to the next level.
Among the additions to the “Summer 2015” menu includes Smoked Wagyu Tartar, Bone Marrow, Ahi Tuna and Oyster Shooters.
The Smoked Wagyu Tartar represents a change in protein from choice filet to top of the line Wagyu. Bone Marrow offers the perfect introduction to those who have never tried it – made with Council Oak bacon and red onion jam, radish, pea shoots and watercress.
The Ahi Tuna dish is Council Oak’s idea of a tuna tartare wrap in a carpaccio creamy sauce with pickled radish, salmon caviar and osettra caviar. Oyster Shooters, made with lobster, Council Oak Bloody Mary mix and vodka, offers the perfect combination of beach, seafood and cocktail.
Within a month, Torres is also expected to introduce a new buttercake.
About Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
After its 2007 opening inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Council Oak Steaks & Seafood quickly became Tampa’s number one destination for prime steaks, fresh seafood and an award-winning wine list served in a contemporary upscale atmosphere. It’s considered fine dining at its best. All steaks are dry aged 21-28 days and cut right in the restaurant’s very own on-site butcher shop. The fresh fish is line-caught in Florida and the Alaskan king crab legs are right from the Bering Sea. Custom salt water tanks also keep the live Maine lobsters fresh.
The namesake for Council Oak Steaks & Seafood comes from an actual tree located on the Seminole Tribe of Florida (STOF) reservation in Hollywood (Fla.) where ceremonial and official STOF business is conducted.
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier entertainment destination of Central Florida and the place where celebrities love to stay and play. Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, this electrifying casino destination is one of the most successful and largest casinos in the world and is located in Tampa, Florida off of I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, between I-75 and I-275, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa. Featuring high stakes table games along with thousands of the hottest slot machines, the rock star amenities at this AAA Four Diamond rated hotel and casino range from seven award-winning Zagat-rated restaurants, a newly renovated Rock Spa® and VIP services galore. The casino offers a valet service or free, self-parking. For more information, please call 866-502-PLAY or visit us online and via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
About Hard Rock International
With a total of 201 venues in 64 countries, including 155 cafes, 21 hotels and 10 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Fl., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Chicago, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Macau and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include San Juan, Lagos and Busan, South Korea. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Daytona Beach, Dubai, Los Cabos, Tenerife, Abu Dhabi, and Shenzhen and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.
Nikki Yourison, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, (813) 523-5673, [email protected]