Chef, NYY Steak
Matthew Zappoli is the Chef at NYY Steak, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek’s fine dining restaurant. He’s responsible for the daily culinary operations, while overseeing a team of professionals.
Prior to his arrival at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, Zappoli worked for his mentor, Chef Charlie Palmer, at the popular Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant in the heart of New York City.
“I’m very happy to be at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek,” said Zappoli. “While I really wasn’t looking to leave New York City when this opportunity was presented to me, I knew I had to pursue it. As it happens, I needed a change. What I’m most excited about is the creative freedom that I will have here.”
A New Jersey native, Zappoli brings a wealth of experience to NYY Steak. Since graduating with honors in 1998 from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., he began his career working for Palmer at the famed Aureole in New York City. He also worked at Palmer’s Las Vegas-based Aureole restaurant located in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
He ultimately moved from the bright lights of Las Vegas to La Jolla, Calif., where he was the Executive Chef at the Fresh Seafood Restaurant & Bar. However, it wasn’t long before Zappoli decided to return to his N.J. roots to become the Executive Chef at the four-star rated Raven & The Peach restaurant in Fair Haven.
In 2008, he took the next step in his career and opened Tre Amici with his brother, Paul, in Long Branch, N.J., which proved to be a resounding success.
Two years later, Zappoli would gain further fame as a champion on the Food Network’s Chopped show.
“It was a great experience being on that show,” he said. “I was actually on twice. I placed second the first time around, but was voted back on by the viewing audience for what was called a redemption episode and I went on to win. It was a lot of fun and I have subsequently had inquiries about being on some other culinary-based TV shows.”
At NYY Steak, Zappoli has quickly implemented some changes designed to make the dining experience even more enjoyable.
“My motto is simple – make it happen,” he said. “We want to make sure there’s a proper and efficient flow relative to the food getting to the dining room. It’s all about the timing of the experience for our guests. We want to be attentive to detail.”