Baltimore casino cooks up restaurant concept with John Besh, Aaron Sanchez


Artist’s rendering of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. (Courtesy photo.)

Crews are putting up drywall and paint and doing interior millwork at Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. The slot machines have been delivered to the warehouse. Table-games dealer school is now underway.

Work is proceeding apace at Maryland’s fifth casino, which is scheduled to open in August or September.

Now come more details about the $442 million project in the shadow of M&T Bank Stadium: Horseshoe officials announced Monday that celebrity chefs John Besh and Aaron Sanchez are joining forces to open a tacqueria at the casino.

The restaurant, Johnny Sanchez, will be the first collaboration for the as-seen-on-TV chefs.

Besh, a New Orleans-based restaurateur and author, won the 2006 James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Southeast for his flagship restaurant August. Next month, he will be added to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

Sanchez, a New York-based chef, cookbook author and Food Network star, was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s rising star chef award in 2005.

Johnny Sanchez is just the second restaurant revealed so far by Horseshoe Baltimore officials, who previously announced a steakhouse named for former Horseshoe president Jack Binion.

MGM National Harbor, opening mid-2016, has already announced numerous restaurant plans: During the bidding last year for Maryland’s sixth and final casino license, MGM officials boasted that the Potomac River gambling resort would include a “steakhouse and gastro-lounge” from the Voltaggio brothers Bryan (Volt, Range) and Michael (Los Angeles’s Ink).

MGM also said that the resort casino would include restaurants from James Beard Award winner Andrew Carmellini and Southern barbecue specialists/Food Network stars Gina and Pat Neely.

[An earlier version of this post called Sanchez a Kansas City chef. He has a restaurant, Mestizo, in the Kansas City suburbs, but his home base is New York City.]

J. Freedom du Lac is the editor of The Post's general assignment news desk. He was previously a Local enterprise reporter and, before that, the paper’s pop music critic.
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