Gulfport Casino Chef Wins Prestigious Award

Island View Casino Resort Executive Chef David Crabtree was awarded a bronze medal for his entry at the 2007 Culinary Classic. The event, presented by the American Red Cross, was held in Bossier City, La. on Monday, Jan. 22.

Crabtree's dish, a Cajun-fried turkey salad with apple relish and Creole-honey-mustard dressing, was among 16 entries in the salad category for the 10th annual event, which featured more than 35 chefs competing for medals. The unique salad, with a regional twist reflecting his New Orleans training, has proven to be a repeat success for Crabtree. At similar competitions in Baton Rouge, La., Biloxi, Miss. and New Orleans, Crabtree won two gold medals and a silver medal for the dish.

"Chef Crabtree brings a level of excellence to Island View Casino's buffet with his exceptional skills and talent. This award, as well as the many others he has earned in the past, represent his dedication to his craft and desire to be the best in his field. We continue to be proud to have Chef Crabtree as part of our team as Island View moves forward in expanding our food and beverage offerings," said Rick Carter, owner of Island View Casino Resort.

Crabtree, a Mississippi Gulf Coast Native and founding member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Culinary Federation, has served in the executive chef position since the Gulfport, Miss. casino and resort opened in September 2006. He has worked in the food industry since 1978 and apprenticed under acclaimed chefs Emeril Lagasse, Gerard Maras and Gus Martin, as well as Chef Bill Vrazel, owner of Vrazel's Restaurant in Gulfport. Crabtree has served as an executive chef for 17 years, winning more than 40 awards during his career.