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James Wierzelewski Named Executive Chef at Foxwoods Resort Casino
and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods; Will Oversee Operations
of 29 Restaurants and Lounges


MASHANTUCKET, CONN. (June 9, 2008) – Foxwoods Resort Casino, North America’s largest casino, has appointed veteran chef James Wierzelewski as the new executive chef at Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. In his new role as executive chef, Wierzelewski will be responsible for managing all culinary operations for Foxwoods and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods including overseeing the day-to-day operations of 29 restaurants and lounges. 
“We are thrilled to welcome Chef Wierzelewski to our team here at Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods,” said Dennis Khanh, vice president of food and beverage for both properties. “With 20 years of experience working in France, Belgium, Thailand, Malaysia, Micronesia and the United States, we are confident that his worldly expertise in the kitchen will contribute to our continued culinary success and will bring amazing depth to our award-winning restaurants.”  
James Wierzelewski cultivated his passion for food early in life beginning a two-year internship at the historic Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee at the age of 16. Following his internship Wierzelewski spent a decade with hotel restaurant innovator, Hyatt Hotels, opening several new restaurant concepts for the rapidly expanding Park Hyatt brand at locations across the United States.
Wierzelewski spent much of his career abroad working as an apprentice with world-renowned chefs, including Chef Roland Durand at the two-star Michelin-rated Le Pre Catalan in Paris and working in more than 18 restaurants, including: Ma Maison, a fine dining restaurant featuring innovative French cuisine in Bangkok, Thailand; Lafite, a traditional French fine dining restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Paulaner Brauhaus, a Bavarian microbrewery in Bangkok, Thailand; Miyako, a Japanese restaurant in the Mariana Islands; and stateside spots like The Wine Cellar, a modern French restaurant in Newport Beach, Calif.; and Parian, a culturally inspired fine dining restaurant in Las Vegas.
In addition Wierzelewski received several prestigious awards including the Golden Siam Award for best French Restaurant (Ma Maison) in Bangkok in 1993 and in Kuala Lumpur he received the Bonlac Great Chefs of Asia Award, naming him one of the Top Twelve Chefs of Asia in 1996. That same year he was also named Malaysia's Best Chef of the Year.
Wierzelewski has also worked as a consultant on many restaurant projects and opened a dozen new concepts; his most recent success being Vix at the Hotel Victor in South Beach, Miami, which Zagat awarded "Best New Restaurant/Newcomer 2005."
North America’s largest casino, Foxwoods Resort Casino® is located in the rolling hills of southeastern Connecticut. Owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Foxwoods features six casinos with more than 7,200 slots, 380 table games. There are 1,416 guest rooms and suites in three hotels, more than 30 restaurants, a luxurious spa, more than 50,000 square feet of premium meeting and event space, 24 retail shops and five entertainment venues, including the 1,400-seat Fox Theatre plus two, 18-hole championship golf courses designed by Rees Jones and a state-of-the-art Golf Academy.  
May 2008, the $700 million MGM Grand at Foxwoods® debuted, adding 825 luxurious guest rooms, 115,000 square feet of meeting space,  a 4,000-seat MGM Grand Theater, 21,000-square-foot spa as well as more dining, retail and gaming facilities, bolstering Foxwoods'  preeminence as the East Coast's ultimate casino resort destination.  

Sue Dorn 

Also See: Gillian Murphy Appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Highly Anticipated MGM Grand at Foxwoods Opening in 2008 / October 2007
Edward Stanton Appointed Vice President of Hotel Operations for Foxwoods Resort Casino's Three Hotels / February 2008


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