Cragun’s Resort is pleased to welcome Chef Brian Diumenti to the Cragun’s Family. Irma Cragun has always been the heart and soul of the food operations at Cragun’s Resort and she is working closely with Chef Brian to insure that Cragun’s tradition of serving fresh, wholesome food in a welcoming environment is carried on. “I have every confidence that Cragun’s guests and the local community will appreciate and enjoy the wonderful new dining options Chef Brian is bringing to the Cragun’s experience”, said Eric Peterson, General Manager at Cragun’s Resort.
Chef Brian has always had a love for food. While growing up in California, his family was very particular about food with an emphasis on its proper selection, handling, and preparation. His Grandmother was militant with regard to technique and presentation even though she was only cooking for her loved ones. Everyone in Chef Brian’s family has contributed to his culinary repertoire and inherent passion for food.
Chef Brian’s initial responsibilities will include converting the Snack Bar at the indoor pool to the Cragun’s Cabana and creating a new restaurant concept called Irma’s Kitchen in the space currently occupied by the Hungry Gull Restaurant. Cragun’s Cabana will be open daily during the summer months and will serve a light breakfast, lunch and dinner menu that will include make your own salads and wraps, sandwiches and side items as well as a full cocktail selection. Irma’s Kitchen will open in mid-June and will serve a lunch and dinner menu Monday-Saturday through Labor Day and weekends in September. All menu items will be made in-house using many of Irma’s recipes and the freshest local ingredients. Chef Brian will source ingredients from local producers and artisan farmers and provide a “fresh to table” dining experience. “I have met with many of the local growers in the area and I am truly excited about the creative new menu items we will be introducing at Irma’s Kitchen” said Chef Brian.
One of Brian’s first Chef Positions was in Napa, California in 1984 where he was Assistant Executive Chef at one of the most famous hotels in the area. It was there that he fell in love with all things food, using natural local ingredients and working with local farmers and ranchers. After leaving Napa, Brian was a Chef with Omni Hotel in San Francisco and Westin Hotels in Houston, Texas. While with Westin he attended the Westin Culinary Institute.
Chef Brian also lived in Bismarck, North Dakota for six years. He was the opening Executive Chef for Prairie Knights Casino, and Chef/Partner at The Bistro. Brian also worked as Executive Chef on the Las Vegas Strip for many years. Most recently, Brian was Executive Chef for HoDo at the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, ND. Chef Brian has made appearances on The Travel Channel, conducted demonstrations on Food TV and performed cooking shows at UNLV and has made many guest appearances on local TV and radio shows.
In 2007, Chef Brian and his son Stephen started a consulting company called Culinary Business Intelligence. They developed many concepts such as: Prime Burgerhouse (Illinois); The Martini Las Vegas (Nevada); Indulge Show Kitchen Buffet (Illinois); and Crave Deli (Illinois) working with companies such as Hyatt Gaming, Caesars Entertainment and MGM International. Chef Brian has also enjoyed working with many Celebrity Chefs helping to develop menus, recipes and concepts.
He sincerely loves what he does and is very excited about working for Cragun’s Resort.