The Executive Chef at Cascades Casino strives for the best overall menu in North Bay

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“We plan a lot of sporting events and have a really good sound system with 16 TVs in addition to a 110″ projection TV.”

The chef at the new Cascades Casino has big goals as the facility prepares for a soft opening this Wednesday at 5pm

Steve Strom, executive chef at MATCH Eatery & Public House, told BayToday that the kitchen at the facility is so state-of-the-art that it will allow him to create the “best overall menu” in North Bay.

“I think it’s the best menu north of Barrie,” says Strom enthusiastically.

Strom has a wealth of experience, from Grandview in Huntsville to Deerhurst during the G8 gathering of world leaders in June 2010. He has cooked in the Yukon, Northern Quebec, Labrador and South America.

“I was in the middle of the Amazon and made a remote camp there. We were there to introduce safe cooking and health measures.”

He brings that experience to North Bay.

“My curries are amazing. I have all kinds of ideas!”

The modern kitchen allows current flexibility in meeting customer needs when people need something special for them. He says 85 percent of everything is made in-house.

“If they have nutritional issues or things they just can’t eat, we can accommodate them and give them an amazing meal. I make my own ponzu (a Japanese dipping sauce) that has all kinds of stuff in it. We actually make it ourselves. We make our own pizza, overnight pulled beef, and our own ribs, so it’s an incredible menu.

Strom is particularly proud of the restaurant’s ribs and pulled pork.

“They stand out because they’re cooked overnight. It takes so many small steps. The ribs themselves need to be braised for several hours, which is done in our new combi ovens. It’s a combination of dry and moist heat that makes the perfect braising. Then we fry it with our homemade barbecue sauce.”

James Sweeney is general manager of food and beverage at Cascades and expects it to be a whole new experience for people.

“We invested a lot of money and time. We have a beautiful outdoor heated patio that seats 79 with gas fireplaces. We even have atomizers that spray cold water when it gets hot in the summer.”

Doors open accordion style, giving guests full access to the indoor entertainment, which seats approximately 225 people.

“We’re planning a lot of sporting events and a really good sound system with 16 TVs in addition to a 110″ projection TV.”

The company is partnering with the NFL and will host numerous other sporting events including the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Sweeney also says he plans to make a focus on hiring local musical talent to entertain them.

Popular local musician Peter Cliche will be the first act to fill the venue. On Friday the 11th, Roadhouse will be entertaining at a special St. Patrick’s Day event and bluesman Jake Thomas will also be performing in the near future.

Sweeney encourages local bands to contact him if they want to perform and says the restaurant wants to attract as much local musical talent as possible

“We’re very keen on doing a lot of live music, we feel North Bay has lost that in recent years. We have the casino on the other side, but if you’re not interested in that, you can certainly enjoy our live bands, or do both.”

Although you must be 18 to enter the casino, the restaurant and terrace are family-friendly for all ages.

You can also have a drink in the restaurant and freely enter the casino.

“One of the hallmarks of the gaming brand across all of our casinos is that you’re not limited to just the amenities,” explains Rob Mitchell, Director, Communications. “The 18 year old and over only applies to the gaming floor so families can come in and enjoy the patio and so on. We are fully licensed so you can move freely between locations. It’s not just gaming.”

The casino part has 300 slot machines, six tables and 10 virtual tables.

At the end of the casino is the Summit Bar that will serve the gaming area. There is also floor service and pop and coffee are available.

“You can go to the pitch, have a beer there, then take your beer to The Match and watch the band play or a sports game. It’s basically just an open concept area where you can walk around and have fun.”

The casino is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. at 300 Pinewood Park Dr.

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