January 29, 2024

Hard Rock welcomes new executive chef


PHOTO: Jerrett Davis stands at the helm of the Council Oak Steaks & Seafood Kitchen, a fine dining restaurant located inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain in Wheatland. (Shamaya Sutton/Appeal-Democrat)

By Shamaya Sutton / [email protected] / Jan 26, 2024 / Updated Jan 26, 2024 

Culinary changes are afoot at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain in Wheatland with Jerrett Davis taking the helm as executive chef.
Described as "farm-to-fork focused," Davis took on his new position last September and is currently overseeing all eight dining venues at this Hard Rock location.
"Coming into an operation like this with a new set of eyes you always see things that nobody else saw," said Davis. "What I'm trying to do is make everything easier for my team, inspire them, and at the same time elevate what they've already been doing."
Part of Davis' vision is to revamp the casino's YouYu Asian Bistro, which has had half of its kitchen closed since the pandemic lockdown of 2020. The goal is to establish both a noodle bar and sushi offerings here, two things currently unavailable onsite.
"I grew up on ramen, my mom was a single mom, so I would always look for things I could add to it as a kid to make it better," laughed Davis. "Honestly, my mom's a terrible cook so I started cooking out of self defense."
Raised as a farm boy in Central California, just north of Santa Ynez wine country, Davis moved to Sacramento in his teens where he graduated from McClatchy High School. From there, he enlisted in the Marines and spent four years traveling to 20 countries.
"The year that I lived in Japan was very influential. I fell in love with the culture and food," said Davis. "But if I had to choose, I'd say Italian is my favorite simply for its diversity."
His career as a chef has also kept Davis moving with opportunities to work in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco prior to landing at Hard Rock in Wheatland. He even spent a decade working as personal chef to the prestigious Maloof family, cooking for celebrities, sports stars, and dignitaries.
"I love what I do. Seeing people enjoy what I create and snapping photos of their plates is a guilty pleasure," said Davis. "I'm thrilled to join the band and be able to work with such an incredibly iconic brand like Hard Rock Café and the other amazing restaurants here on the property to deliver my vision to the palates of our guests."
Out of the eight restaurants, Davis' most recent focus has been on Council Oak Steaks & Seafood. Here guests can enjoy fine dining both inside and on the patio with a relatively rare opportunity to view and eat dry-aged beef. The process for dry aging beef involves a humidity-controlled salt locker with meat hung in a way that exposes all of its sides to unimpeded airflow. This specific environment pulls moisture from the meat and encourages the growth of a healthy mold rind, similar to that of blue cheese. This "good mold" forms a crust and produces enzymes that slowly break down and tenderize the meat. The end result shrinks each meat portion by nearly half but the flavor and texture is substantially enhanced.
"I'd really like to see more of the outdoor dining options here used and elevated," said Davis. "That will be something else we look into including other menu additions and a possible community garden."
Davis currently lives with his family on seven acres in Grass Valley. He loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing, foraging, and farming. He collects whiskeys and has a passion for Bourbon and wine and holds a collection of rare bottles.
"We are thrilled for Jerrett to join our team and oversee our restaurant menu development," said Jarrett Hipp, director of food and beverage for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. "His food and beverage background coupled with his experience as a veteran is incredibly valuable in the fast-paced environment of restaurants. His familiarity with the Central Valley farm-to-fork connection and his roots in Sacramento make him a great fit to design our menus and lead our culinary team."
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento is located at 3317 Forty Mile Rd. in Wheatland. For more information visit hardrockhotelsacramento.com.