The culinary action is heating up on Thursdays in November in the High Limit Slot Room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.  Featuring a Taste Experience Curated by Executive Chef Bill Gideon, players are invited to sample a variety of gourmet hors d'oeuvres, complete with sommelier hand-selected cocktails featuring the new Roca Patron tequila. 

Every Thursday in November from 6-9pm (except Thanksgiving Day), players in the gorgeous High Limit Slot Room can enjoy a selection of culinary treats and cocktails personally curated by Chef Bill Gideon.  A 37 year veteran of the culinary industry and Executive Chef at the casino for the past four years, Chef Gideon is committed to "teaching people about authentic food made from scratch" and embraces the use of ingredients from local farms and purveyors as much as possible. 

Constantly innovating, the culinary selections on my visit included Mini Mahi-Mahi Tacos with Papaya Salsa, a Chorizo and Smoked Gouda Empanada topped with Cilantro Cream, a fresh Snapper Ceviche with Sliced Serrano Chili and Autumn Apples and a Rolled Steak Quesadilla topped with Roasted Tomato Salsa.  

Everything was super delicious and fresh, especially the Ceviche:

My favorite of the evening was definitely the Rolled Steak Quesadilla, a twist on one of my classic favorites:

Of course, Chef Gideon doesn't forget dessert! Choices included a Banana Nutella Empanada, Patron Infused Chocolate Covered Strawberries and a unique savory Guacamole Mousse Cup with a sweet hazelnut crust. With desserts this good, it's hard to choose just one. Good thing, I didn't have to:

I especially loved the gigantic Patron Infused Chocolate Covered Strawberries:

Chef Gideon personally designed the hors d'oeuvres to complement a selection of cocktails prepared with the new Roca Patron Anejo tequila.  If you haven't had a chance to try Roca Patron yet, you're in for a unique tequila treat!

Roca Patron is an artisanal, small batch, high proof, 100% percent agave tequila produced the labor-intensive way tequila was first made in the 16th Century.  According to materials received at the event, in this process, the agave plants are hand selected, hand-sliced and then baked in small capacity brick ovens for 79 hours.  Once baked, the agave is placed in a circular stone pit where it's crushed using the ancient two-ton tahona wheel, a process which takes six times longer than the more modern process for producing tequila.

After processing, both the juice and the agave fiber are fermented for 72 hours and then distilled twice in small capacity, handmade copper pots.  Once distilled, the Roca Patron Anejo is aged for 14 months in American bourbon barrels, resulting in a sweeter, much more complex flavor than ordinary tequila. 

Each week, Chef Gideon designs two specialty Roca Patron Anejo cocktails to complement the menu. On my visit, selections included the Tejito, Chef Gideon's interpretation of a Mojito, and a classic Sunrise. Both cocktails are designed to allow the complexity of the Roca Patron Anejo, rather than the mixers, to shine.


The Tejito features Roca Patron Anejo, muddled lime wedges and mint leaves, simple syrup, a splash of club soda and a mint garnish while the beautiful Sunrise is made with Roca Patron Anejo, orange juice, a splash of grenadine and an orange wheel garnish.  Both cocktails were super smooth and delicious. 

This Taste Experience is surely one you don't want to miss! Catch it while you can, Thursdays from 6-8 pm in the High Limit Slot Room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.