Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort Welcomes New Food and Beverage Management Team, 95 Years of Restaurant Experience Combined to Drive Award-Winning Outlets

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Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort

“Food and drink go hand in hand with gaming in our industry, and at Scarlet Pearl we expect the best quality and service,” said LuAnn Pappas, CEO of Scarlet Pearl. “The addition of these proven restaurant leaders will further raise the bar on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for what customers should expect. “

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort is proud to announce a new food and beverage management team to guide award-winning dining and VIP experiences at this nationally recognized property. Industry veteran Ryan Hayes leads the team as Director of Food and Beverage with four new Directors supporting key functional areas: John McCusker as Director, Scarlet’s Steaks and Seafood, Rachel Thompson as Director of Beverages, Zachary Wester as Food and Director, Under the Oak Café and Melissa James as Executive Pastry Chef.

“Food and drink go hand in hand with gaming in our industry, and at Scarlet Pearl we expect the best quality and service,” said LuAnn Pappas, CEO of Scarlet Pearl. “The addition of these proven restaurant leaders will further raise the bar on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for what customers should expect. ”

Learn more about the emerging leaders in food and beverage:

  • Ryan Hayes brings 20 years of experience in restaurant operations on the Gulf Coast, including previous positions as Tournant Executive Chef at Beau Rivage, Executive Chef at Golden Nugget Biloxi and F&B Director for Margaritaville Casino Biloxi.
  • John McCusker was General Manager of Marshall’s Steakhouse, in Holly Springs, MS, which was ranked # 1 for gourmet steakhouses by the Food Network. He has held restaurant management positions at Beau Rivage, Hard Rock Biloxi, Margaritaville Casino Biloxi and Boyd Gaming. John has over 20 years of experience in restaurant and hospitality management.
  • Rachel Thompson previously served in Food and Beverage Training Management at Beau Rivage, where she trained staff at several outlets. She has 19 years of experience in food and beverage operations, including 13 years in managerial roles.
  • Zachary Wester previously held the position of Senior Service Manager at Saltgrass Steakhouse Biloxi. He spent 10 years with TIEN at IP Casino Biloxi, learning all aspects of service and execution. He has 16 years of experience in F&B operations.
  • Melissa James joined Scarlet Pearl in 2016 and delighted guests with her culinary skills before becoming Executive Pastry Chef. She was part of the opening team of Sal & Mookies Biloxi and previously led the Beau Rivage bakery team. She also participated in the opening of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Melissa has over 20 years of baking experience.

The team will report to Dennis Pearse, vice president of hospitality, food and beverage. “Scarlet Pearl has once again shown its commitment to the excellence of the dining experience for our customers,” said Pearse. “These new leaders bring this commitment to a new level.”

About Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort: Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort (scarletpearlcasino.com) is located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in D’Iberville, MS. The award-winning resort features a 300-room hotel and games room with 750 slot and video poker machines, 36 table games and Scarlet Pearl Sportsbook. Recently, the property opened Orchid Room, Elevated Gaming, a VIP experience for high limit gamers. The resort has several restaurants, a 36-hole miniature golf course, an event center and a luxurious swimming pool. The casino opened in D’Iberville, MS on December 9, 2015.

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