The Mill Casino • Hotel & RV Park has a new Executive Chef!
His first job, at age 16, was washing dishes in a seafood restaurant on the Jersey Shore. Now, after more than three decades in the kitchen, Chef Henry is Executive Chef at The Mill Casino • Hotel & RV Park.
Chef Mark Henry took The Mill’s culinary reins in late September after serving as Executive Chef at the Portland Marriot Downtown on the Waterfront. He had worked with Marriott International for 17 years beginning at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, the company’s flagship location in Arizona, and including stops at the Marriott Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale, McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale and the Sea View Resort and Spa in New Jersey.
But Chef Henry’s culinary roots go back much further. He credits his New Jersey childhood for sparking his interest in food preparation.
“Growing up in North Jersey we always had good food made with fresh local ingredients,” Chef Henry said. “We also learned how to prepare meals at an early age. I’ve been working in the kitchen since 1977.”
Chef Henry is wasting no time in bringing his commitment to local and sustainable foods to The Mill’s kitchens. He already is at work revising the menus at The Mill’s key dining venues.
“I want to re-energize our kitchen and our restaurants by introducing different foods and some of the newer trends to our menus,” Chef Henry said. “We need to have menus in place that will cater to the differing diets and preferences of our guests.”
Taking advantage of his experience with a variety of international cuisines in restaurants throughout North America, Chef Henry said he also plans on introducing new ingredients and dishes to guests at The Mill.
“Although we will focus on local, regional and West Coast foods,” Chef Henry said, “we also want to offer our guests and opportunity to explore some unfamiliar dining experiences.”
Chef Henry graduated in 1983 from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) program in Hyde Park, New York. He was just 19. During his training he moved to Southern California to complete an externship at the Anaheim Marriott. Immediately after graduation, he had a brief stint at the New York Hilton before returning to California and the Irvine Marriott.
His culinary odyssey took him to the Plaza Hotel in New York City and then to the Poseidon Restaurant and the Westin Harbor Castle in Toronto before returning to the U. S. and the Vista International in Waltham, Mass., and the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. From there, he began his career with Marriott International.