Meet Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City Executive Pastry Chef, Deb Pellegrino

Last updated: October 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm. Posted by in Atlantic City, Atlantic City Hotels, Atlantic City Restaurants, Bally's Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Caesars Entertainment, Harrah's Resort Atlantic City. No Comments on Meet Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City Executive Pastry Chef, Deb Pellegrino.

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If you’ve ever been to Caesars, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat and/or Bally’s Atlantic City (and we’re guessing you have if you’re reading this blog), you have most likely tasted an amazingly delicious pastry (and probably more than one) at a restaurant, coffee shop, buffet or as part of a room service order. Believe it or not, this is all thanks to one woman, Chef Deb Pellegrino, Executive Pastry Chef for all Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City properties.

Chef Deb has a resume of incredible culinary experiences including a crew chef on a private yacht that traveled to exotic locations ranging from Tahiti to Australia to being crowned winner of Food Network’s Chocolate Myths in 2011. Lucky for us, somehow all of her journeys led her to Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City.

If you’re anything like us, you have so many burning questions you’re just dying to ask Chef Deb. We did the work for you. See an interview with her, below.

Chef Deb Pellegrino

TAC: How did your path lead you here to Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City after travelling the world as a chef on a private yacht for 3 years?

Chef Deb Pellegrino: I wanted pastry experience so I could get back on a yacht and travel to the places I hadn’t been to yet.  Being a Jersey Girl from Ocean City, coming home meant getting some experience in the big city, Atlantic City (laughs).  I met my husband Mark at my first job as a Pastry Sous Chef and didn’t think twice about getting back on a yacht.  I certainly made the right decision!

TAC: What do you get from being an Executive Pastry Chef here at Caesars, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat & Bally’s that was missing from all of the other amazing jobs you’ve held?

Chef Deb Pellegrino: I oversee all 4 casinos with pastry for each property.  Caesars Entertainment has always supported me and given me empowerment to do what I know best.  Creating the best tasting desserts that I can and allow me to be as creative as I can be.

TAC: What are your responsibilities for all four properties?

Chef Deb Pellegrino: I create the menu’s for over 34 restaurants/outlets including fine dining, coffee shops, buffets, room service and many more.  I take an extreme amount of pride in the work I do & make sure I personally go to each of the properties weekly to see my product in the outlets and make sure it is being sold as I intended it to, as fresh as possible.

TAC: What does it take to be a successful pastry chef?

Chef Deb Pellegrino: Lots of love and dedication.  If you don’t put love and desire in your food it’s a bit obvious.  You can tell what I pour my heart and soul into as it screams WOW!  It’s extremely challenging to do this for multiple outlets let alone 34, so when I can focus on a special event or party, that’s when I can get my creative on!

TAC: Is there a certain pastry you’ve been most proud to have created that sticks out in your mind?

Chef Deb Pellegrino: This is a tough one.  I get to create an overwhelming amount of cool things, and over the years I’ve forgotten what I’ve done only due to the sheer volume.  What makes me proud is when I have people approach me and tell me what they’ve had that I created and how it has impacted them, from a “Best dessert I ever had” to a dream cake.  That is what makes my job all worth it

TAC: You won the Food Network’s Chocolate Myths two years ago. How did that opportunity come about for you to appear on the show?

Chef Deb Pellegrino: You have to be recommended by a fellow competitor.  I happen to know of a chef who had competed and was kind enough to give them my name.  After sending emails monthly to an address I wasn’t even sure existed, I got the call.  It wasn’t over yet.  It’s quite a process to get cast for a television show.  After they receive your name it’s a video of yourself, it’s personal work photo’s, a phone interview and questionnaire.  You really need to have that desire and energy for them to choose you.

TAC: What was your biggest lesson from being on the show?

Chef Deb Pellegrino: Do things that are right for you and don’t do things to please other people.  I made a poor decision that cost me winning in the first show but I don’t regret that.  It just made me realize that I should put myself first and do what’s right for me.  I am usually a people pleaser, and that’s not always the right thing to do.  I stand behind the choices I make and learn from my experiences.  It definitely makes me a better person.

TAC: If you could give three main tips to beginners hoping to turn out a successful pastry creation, what would they be?

Chef Deb Pellegrino:

  • Don’t be afraid to try something new
  • Follow the recipe but if you think you should make a change, make it.  Worst thing to happen is you’ll have to make it over, or you will have something better!
  • Put love into what you are making and it will come out no matter what.

TAC: Famous last meal question. What would yours be, most importantly, what would the dessert be?!

Chef Deb Pellegrino: Ice cold Amstel, pan seared rib eye with arugula salad, vinaigrette, shaved Asiago cheese, truffle oil.  Jersey Tomatoes sandwiched with goat/cream cheese fresh herbs, breaded and fried golden brown.  Gooey Apple Salted Caramel Crumb Cake warm with vanilla bean ice cream.  Believe it or  not, I am simple when it comes to dessert that I like.

TAC: That’s the best answer EVER to that question. What do you still hope to do with your creations & career?

Chef Deb Pellegrino:  I really love to sculpt and create fun creations for people through cakes, petite pastries or walking pieces of art.  I also really enjoy concocting unusual looking desserts that taste great.  I think it’s time to scale it down a bit and focus back on what I love and am most passionate about.

So here’s an excuse. Head over to Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Showboat Atlantic City and Bally’s and pick up a sweet treat or two or three. It would be a crime to night try a Chef Deb Pellegrino creation! Maybe try one by booking the Foundation Fantasty Friday Package at your own private table at Foundation Room at Showboat!

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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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