There is only one way to improve upon the fabulous meals you can find in any of the award-winning restaurants at Saracen Casino Resort: Save room for dessert.
With over 20 years of experience under her belt from casinos, resorts and clubs across the country, Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Embry has made sure that you won’t regret springing for that cheesecake at the end of the night.
An Arkansas native, Embry spent time in various food service roles before finding her passion for pastry. She began her professional career in Florida as an apprentice under Executive Pastry Chef Bernard Kazenske. Her travels in the time since span from Arizona to Indiana, and her exposure to a variety of culinary traditions across the U.S. has only sharpened her tastes. Embry styles much of her work after the influences she picked up in Miami, where she was immersed in the diverse scene of Cuban, Haitian, Jamaican, South American, Jewish and European food and culture.
A well-stamped culinary passport serves her well at Saracen, where she arrived just before the grand opening of the Quapaw Kitchens buffet. Saracen guests benefit from Embry’s expert touch no matter where they opt to dine, as she currently oversees pastry production for all of the resort’s restaurants. From a sophisticated steakhouse to a lively sports bar to buffets offering everything from Cajun to Asian cuisines, Embry ensures that there is a dessert available for even the pickiest palates.
“I’m always trying to push the boundaries of what’s familiar to create something unique,” Embry says. “You have to offer what people can’t get anywhere else.”
And Saracen offers just that: in a little over a year, Embry has grown the resort’s pastry kitchen into the gold standard of casino dining, right here in Arkansas.
“The quality definitely sets Saracen apart,” Embry explained. “We set a high bar for other casinos because we try to provide the best service and the best food possible.”
Despite her administrative duties as an executive chef, Embry still takes a hands-on approach with her bustling team of bakers, and the support she provides is evidenced by the quality of their work. No matter which restaurant you order from, Embry’s positive influence can be seen and tasted in the dishes her kitchen puts out.
Not sure what to order? Embry has that covered too.
“Everyone goes for the cheesecake,” Embry says, “and it is a great cheesecake. But if you want to try something different, go for the passionfruit tres leches cake.” If her expertise in the matter doesn’t persuade you, maybe the coconut rum reduction and tropical fruit flavors will.
Thanks to Amanda Embry and the hardworking chefs at Saracen Casino Resort, world-class gaming and dining go hand-in-hand to create a must-visit experience down in Pine Bluff.