TEMECULA – Pechanga Resort & Casino, voted by readers of USA Today in 2015 as the No. 1 casino in the U.S., has just named Jose Mendoza as chef of the new restaurant the Lobby Bar and of Team Dining Room No. 3. With the resort and casino’s $285 million expansion underway, hiring managers are bringing 350 new food and beverage team members on board, causing a shift in management and the need for additional chefs. Both the Lobby Bar and Team Dining Room No. 3 are brand-new additions to the resort and casino. There will also be a new Pool Bar and Grille. With these two new locations, with the exception of the team member dining room, Pechanga will offer guests 13 dining options beginning in December.
Mendoza has more than 10 years of professional cooking and leadership experience in restaurants, hotels and resorts. He has held positions at several upscale casino and resorts and was a Pechanga team member back in 2012, where he served as a line cook at the former Seafood Grotto, which is now standing as Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar. He was quickly promoted as the sous chef; however, he left to pursue other leadership roles. Now finding his way back to Pechanga, Mendoza will create an entirely new menu and lead a brand-new team to operate the new Lobby Bar. Additionally, he’ll oversee the menu and team members for the third team member dining room.
Pechanga is currently under a $285 million resort expansion set to open at the end of the year. It includes the addition of 568 rooms and suites, 70,000 additional square feet of indoor event space, a luxury, two-story spa and salon, a 4.5-acre resort pool complex and two new restaurants. This spring, Pechanga celebrated the grand opening of the brand-new 2,400-space parking garage, featuring 44 electric vehicle charging stations and three Tesla Superchargers, marking the completion of the first phase of the expansion. Enough solar to power 100 homes along with a moving sidewalk to the casino entrance will be added to the new East Parking Garage this fall.