KEVIN THAO| EXECUTIVE CHEF AT CHULA VISTA RESORT
You’ve heard the old saying: “People gotta eat.” We eat to live, but some of us live to eat. If that sounds like you, your taste buds are in for a treat!
Here at Chula Vista Resort you won’t go hungry thanks to our food and beverage management department. Craving seafood? Burgers? Steak? Your appetite will be taken care of thanks to Kevin Thao,our Executive Chef at Chula Vista Resort.
Kevin crafts and prepares the classic and diverse dishes that appear on our menus here and is one of the top chefs in Wisconsin Dells. We sat down with Kevin and he gave us a glimpse into his role here at Chula as well as what inspired him to become a Chef.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Laos and moved to United States in 1978. I lived in Alabama where I learned the English language. My family then moved to Detroit where I call home.
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I’ve always had an interest in cooking since I can remember. I learned a lot from my mother.
She taught me how to cook mostly Southeastern Asian Cuisine blended with Hmong Cuisine. I was lucky to see, learn, and make lot of products that were on Asian grocery store shelves made from scratch by my mother.
She showed me how to make rice noodles from scratch and from these noodles we made Pho and Curry noodle soup. There are hundreds of varieties of these soups in Southeast Asian countries. Tapioca desserts were another one of my favorites I learned from my mother.
Where did you train to become a Chef?
I started out at home helping my mother when I could in the kitchen. In 1998 I ran a Chinese Restaurant until 2003 then went to Culinary School at the LE Cordon Bleu at Brown College.
What is your role here as Executive Chef?
I am responsible for all aspects of food at the resort from menu to recipe development. I supervise day- to- day operations for all chefs as well as food cost and labor cost for culinary employees.
What is your favorite kitchen tool?
Chef knife is the basic and main kitchen tool for a Chef to use. It is like an extension of a Chef’s right hand when creating beautiful garnishes or just using for any cutting purpose in preparing food.
What do you love most about your job?
There is never a dull moment never knowing what could be next. I love the fast pace so I could never have a factory job, it would be too monogamous.
What do you consider to be your best creations so far?
I cannot narrow to any specific creation since I have done so many over my career. I am classically trained in French cuisine and Chinese cuisine as well as a bit of every cuisine from around the world.
What should our guests look forward to in the catering/dining department at Chula Vista Resort?
There are many options at Chula Vista Resort from fine dining steak house at the nationally known Kaminski’s Chop House, classic American grill at Kilbourn City Grill, Tavern Restaurant, Mexican Cantina at Margarita, Sunset Dinner Cruise on the Winnebago Clipper, and Banquets Conventions.
So, who’s hungry? To view more of our dining options please visit our dining page and see what we all can offer for you during your stay!