Michael McFarlen

As a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America I have spent the last 30+ years honing my passion for Food and Beverage management as an Executive Chef and Vice President of Food and Beverage.

Recipient of the “Beacon of Light Award” as well as the Governor’s Service Awards “Volunteer of the Year”, I have earned repeated recognition for me hands-on approach to my craft and the ability to balance highly driven philanthropic endeavors with the business demands of a casino executive. I currently serve as Vice Chair on The Board of Directors for The Food Bank of South Central Michigan which I have been a member of since 2015. I am also on The Board of Directors for The Albion Redevelopment Corporation.

In addition, I am an American contract chef for Breitling watches; participating in the Baselworld event yearly since 2014. Events are 2,500 VIP’s over 5 nights, each year changing venues, food themes and nationality. I work directly with Cezanne catering out of Berlin and Theodore Schneider, owner of Breitling watches. In 2016, I was invited as an American representative for an Audi Berlin event revealing their new A5 automobile. 500 Pax nightly, VIP, for 7 days.

I have developed, designed and launched complete Food and Beverage openings for companies like MGM Grand, Kerzner International/Atlantis Resorts and FireKeepers Casino Resort Hotel which encompassed menu creation, kitchen layout, staff training, menu engineering, staffing and hiring, budgeting, capital expenditure forecasting, food safety compliance and strategic planning. I have worked in 5 star, 4 diamond properties, managed celebrity chef driven outlets, high profit fine dining and catering operations and led teams of up to 570 team members.

  • 19 years as a casino Food and Beverage Executive, 30+ years in the industry at the Executive Chef position.
  • Worked in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand and New York, New York.  Atlantic City at Borgata, Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas at Atlantis Resort (The Cove and The Reef), St. Louis at Ameristar Casino and Detroit at MGM Grand.
  • I have had complete oversight with multiple MGM Grand Casino remodels in the temporary casino and had 100% oversight and design input for the current Detroit property.  That included the event center, Palette, Breeze food court, EDR, room service and limited input and oversight with the Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina outlets.  Was the opening Executive Chef at the expansion of The Cove and The Reef (1,100 rooms) at Atlantis. This included Bobby Flay’s Mesa, Mosaic restaurant, banquets, room service, Starbucks and Sea Glass.  Participated in two small remodels at Ameristar St. Louis.  Was the principle behind all the food and beverage creation at FireKeepers Casino Resort Hotel.  Phase one included all the BOH areas, Mijem, Nibi, Chi-Monee's, Amazen Blazen, Cafe 24/7, Aurora and Dauber's. Phase two included banquets, Smoke N Fire, in room dining and off site catering. Have also participating in remodels and have had input at Pine Creek Reservation and will be instrumental in their $3 million dining/health center strategic renovation in 2017. 
  • A.O.S. Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY.  Participant in continuing education with The Culinary Institute of America yearly from 1997 – 2016 at the Hyde Park Campus and St. Helena Campus.
  • Beacon of light award – 2015, Governor's Service Awards, Volunteer of the Year – 2016, Audi International Contract Chef (Berlin Division) – 2014, Breitling Contract Chef, Baselworld – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  (Feature chef in 2012 with Ritz Carlton, Berlin), Board Member Food Bank of South Central Michigan, College of Bahamas advisory board, NRA Pro Start advisor.