Encore Boston Harbor Announces Changes to Culinary Team

Encore Boston Harbor is raising its culinary bar with the addition of a new Red 8 Executive Chef and a new Executive Director of Food & Beverage and Culinary Operations.

Award-winning chef Richard Chen has joined the team as the Executive Chef of Red 8 and Encore Boston Harbor’s Executive Chef, Joseph Leibowitz, has been promoted to Executive Director of Food & Beverage and Culinary Operations. 

Chef Chen, a seasoned culinary veteran with an area of expertise in Cantonese cooking, has received numerous awards and accolades. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Chen has opened more than a half dozen new concepts across the country, including luxury hotels, casino resorts, cruise ships and standalone restaurants. 

He launched his career in Chicago at the Ritz Carlton of Chicago, earning Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards during his tenure. He then moved onto the Peninsula of Chicago, a five-star hotel, where he earned two AAA diamond awards, two Mobil star awards, and the title of “Best Chinese Restaurant” in Chicago. 

From there, Chef Chen went on to open Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas. It was at Wing Lei that he earned a Michelin star in both 2008 and 2009, along with a collection of Mobil and AAA Diamonds five and four-star awards. Wing Lei remains the only Chinese restaurant in North America to have ever earned a Michelin star. He also spent time at Michi in Texas, consulting for Princess Cruises and Parq Vancouver’s fine dining Chinese restaurant, 1886. Most recently, Chef Chen held the title of the Hard Rock Fire Mountain’s property Executive Sous Chef before returning to the East Coast to join Encore Boston Harbor as the Executive Chef at Red 8. 

Joining Chef Chen in elevating the Encore Boston Harbor culinary team is Joseph Leibowitz. Holding the title most recently as Executive Chef of Encore Boston Harbor, Chef Leibowitz has been promoted to Executive Director of Food & Beverage and Culinary Operations for the property. Chef Leibowitz will now oversee all back-of-house operations for 18 dining and lounge venues. He is responsible for concept and menu development, purchasing, food costing, kitchen design, stewarding, as well as staffing and training all employees. 

Prior to relocating to Boston, Chef Leibowitz spent 13 years at Wynn and Encore Las Vegas in a variety of culinary positions. He began his career with Wynn Resorts under the helm of Chef Alex Stratta, at Alex restaurant where he was quickly promoted to Executive Sous Chef for the Michelin-rated two-star and Forbes five-star establishment before becoming the Chef de Cuisine of the restaurant. He later became Executive Chef of Tableau, the resort’s premier Tower Suites dining venue before being asked to join the corporate side of operations as Executive Sous chef for Wynn and Encore Las Vegas.

For the next three years, Chef Leibowitz helped develop and lead a team of over 1,200 chefs, cooks and stewards. He then went on to assist in designing all of the back-of-house spaces for Encore Boston Harbor, before developing the culinary team for the resort’s grand opening in June 2019.

Since arriving in Boston, Chef Leibowitz has been appointed to multiple advisory boards to help cultivate the future of culinary arts as a profession in Massachusetts. Chef Leibowitz and Encore Boston Harbor quickly formed a partnership with a local non-profit culinary program, the New England Center for Arts and Technology, and spearheaded the fundraising of over $300,000 to fuel the development of the program and its students.

A New York native, Chef Leibowitz lived most of his life on Long Island and graduated at the top of his class from the New York Institute of Technology’s culinary program. Chef Leibowitz spends his free time with his three children and his wife, whose support and love drives him to be the chef and father he is today.

According to Encore Boston Harbor President Brian Gullbrants, “We are thrilled to welcome Richard Chen as the new Executive Chef of Red 8. He is one of the most talented Cantonese chefs in the world, and we are honored to have him as part of our team.”  He continued, “The addition of Chef Chen paired with the promotion of our own Chef Joseph Leibowitz will continue to elevate the caliber of our food and beverage program at Encore Boston Harbor.”

Red 8 is open Thursday through Sunday from noon-9 p.m. Red 8 is located inside Encore Boston Harbor at 1 Broadway in Everett. There is complimentary self-parking available. Reservations can be made online or by calling 857-770-7000. For information on all other Encore Boston Harbor dining experiences, please log onto https://www.encorebostonharbor.com/dining-and-nightlife.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *