Harrah’s Resort SoCal says: Goodbye, buffets. Hello, Gordon Ramsay
The chef and TV personality’s 332-seat Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, set to open in spring 2022, will take over the now-shuttered buffet area at the Valley Center casino
Fiery British chef Gordon Ramsay will open a 332-seat Hell’s Kitchen restaurant next spring at the Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Valley Center.
The large-scale restaurant, bar and lounge — named after Ramsay’s Fox TV series “Hell’s Kitchen” — will take over the casino’s former buffet restaurant, which closed permanently at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. It will be the fourth and largest Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, joining existing locations at Caesars Place in Las Vegas, Caesars Bluewaters Dubai and Harveys Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino.
Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Mission Indians that owns Harrah’s Resort SoCal, said the new restaurant project is one of the most thrilling projects in resort history.
“It’s an exciting moment to be able to bring such a well-known, high-energy concept to the resort and it’s perfectly in line with our continued commitment to keeping our guests excited, energized and full of options, while visiting us here at our resort,” Mazzetti said in a statement.
Construction on the new restaurant project will begin this summer with the goal of completion in early 2022.
Like most of the other tribal-owned casinos in the San Diego County region, Harrah’s SoCal has repurposed its once-popular buffet restaurant. Since all California buffet restaurants were forced to close under COVID safety measures last year, only one of the local casinos’ buffet venues — at Valley View Casino & Hotel, also in Valley Center — has reopened, but it is only serving a limited number of guests pre-plated food items.
The Hell’s Kitchen restaurant design and menu will be inspired by the long-running Fox culinary competition series, which is broadcast in 41 countries worldwide. The venue will include a full-service restaurant, bar and a lounge. The menu will feature some of Ramsay’s signature dishes that are often featured for challenges on his TV show, including pan-seared scallops, lobster risotto, beef Wellington, crispy skin salmon and sticky toffee pudding.
Robert Livingston, senior vice president and general manager at Harrah’s Resort SoCal, said Ramsay’s “contagious energy” and oversize personality are a good fit with the resort’s “Funner” reputation. Back in 2016, the Rincon tribe officially renamed the land on which the resort sits “Funner, California” to celebrate the resort’s dedication to promoting a fun experience for guests.
“Chef Ramsay’s reputation for delivering world-class cuisine, alongside his notoriously fearless personality, creates a thrilling dining experience that perfectly complements what a Funner experience is all about,” Livingston said in a statement.
Including the Hell’s Kitchen locations, Ramsay operates 43 restaurants worldwide, including his flagship Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London’s Chelsea neighborhood, which has a coveted three Michelin stars, and Petrus in London’s Knightsbridge area, with one Michelin star.
The new restaurant is a partnership between Ramsay and Caesars Entertainment, in conjunction with ITV America, which produces the “Hell’s Kitchen” TV show. For details, visit harrahssocal.com.
Sign up for the Pacific Insider newsletter
PACIFIC magazine delivers the latest restaurant and bar openings, festivals and top concerts, every Tuesday.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Pacific San Diego.