Meet the Chefs
Scott McCue – Executive Chef
Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, worked in various upscale restaurants and resorts. I attended culinary classes at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York. Then I moved to south Louisiana in 1995 to open Mr. Lester's Steakhouse. In 2005 left Mr. Lester's to become Executive Sous Chef of Cypress Bayou Casino. In 2011 took over as Executive Chef of Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel, overseeing all nine food outlet kitchens.
I am a member of the American Culinary Federation since 1996 and a founding member of the Atchafalaya Basin Chapter of The American Culinary Federation since 1999. Competing in culinary competitions in Louisiana has earned me 115 medals: 47 Gold, 39 Silver and 29 Bronze. Best of show winner in Culinary Classic competitions in Shreveport 2007, Lafayette 2007 and 2013 and in Baton Rouge 2000 and 2009.
I have 3 children, a wonderful wife and reside in Berwick. In my off time I enjoy fishing, hunting, reading and experimenting with new food ideas and presentations.
Willie Gaspard – Executive Sous Chef
I was born in Abbeville, La and raised in New Iberia, La. I attended Delcambre High school. After graduation I attended the Culinary Arts Institute of Louisiana while attending culinary school I worked as a cook at Juban's Restaurant in Baton Rouge, La under Chef Terry McDonner learning many valuable tools in the kitchen to help my career. After graduating from culinary school I moved back to New Iberia and worked at Rip Van Winkle Gardens under Chef Pat Mould also learning many things to further my career. In 1999 I was promoted to Executive Chef at Rip Van Winkle Gardens and held that position until the restaurant closed in 2001.
After leaving Rip Van Winkle Gardens I joined the team at Cypress Bayou Casino in 2001 as a Roundsman of Café Bayou. Soon after in 2002 I became Banquet Chef in the Pavilion. Then in 2004 I became the Restaurant Chef of Café Bayou and stayed in that position until 2012 when I was promoted to the position of Executive Sous Chef. While at Cypress Bayou Casino and Hotel I have had the privilege of going to many culinary competitions around the Gulf coast winning over 150 medals and 1 best of show award in Shreveport, LA. I look forward to the future here at Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel and strive to keep the restaurants here fun with new and exciting dishes.
Blake Payne – Pastry Chef
To start with, I have devoted twenty-five years of my life solely to the hospitality industry. I started out working in hotels specifically in the kitchens and restaurants along with whatever the chef wanted me to do. I have worked at some really fine properties that held five diamond and five star ratings such as; Intercontinental, Westin, Hyatt Regency, Hilton hotels and Marriott.
I am a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, class of 93 and completed my studies with an A.O.S. in Culinary Arts. I was employed by the very well-known Brennan family restaurant Commander's Palace in New Orleans just shy of two years before moving on to achieve bigger goals. I accepted a position as Pastry Chef at Cypress Bayou Casino in 1995 and I have been involved in the building of several restaurant concepts to present day. I also have entered many food competitions in past years; I have been awarded over sixty medals along with three Best Of Show's. I do like to do cooking seminars for adults and children especially during the holidays. I have one beautiful daughter, Sadie, whom keeps me grounded and challenges me to always do my best.
Dennis Puissegur – Restaurant Chef
Born and raised in a French and Italian family in and around the greater New Orleans area, Dennis always knew that he wanted to be a Chef. Upon graduation from high school, Dennis put himself through culinary school at Delgado in New Orleans. During this time Dennis apprenticed full time at several restaurants, while attending culinary school full time. All energy was put into his craft, and soon he worked his way through the ranks earning the position of Sous Chef by graduation time.
He later moved on to work in a very well respected country club serving as an a la cart Sous Chef, and assisted in banquets. After hurricane Katrina, Dennis moved his family to New Iberia where he found an opportunity to work for the Chitimacha Tribe as the Banquet Chef of Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel. Dennis has found this high volume atmosphere both challenging and rewarding, and has had the opportunity to work side by side with some of the area's finest chefs. Dennis is looking forward to the new and improved direction that Cypress Bayou is offering both for the guests and employees, so he hopes that you will come and experience all that we have to offer.
Roman Landry, Jr. – Restaurant Chef
To start with my name is Roman Landry and I have been in the culinary business for 25 years. I attended culinary school in the mid 80's at Lafayette Regional Technical School, now known as Lafayette Community College. Once I received my degree in 1988 I started working for a catering company. My first real restaurant job was at Charley G's as a fry cook in Lafayette La. I have been on several cooking shows, featured in Southern Living magazine and have recipes published in area cookbooks. I have worked with some well-known chefs like Paul Prudhomme and John Folse.
I like to work at area festivals like Festival International, Festival Acadian and 100th years of Cajun Culture at Vermillionville. I have taken online classes to further my education in the food services business. I have competed in area culinary competitions in Louisiana and surrounding areas as well as the World Wide Gumbo cook-off in New Iberia, La. I have been married for over 20 years to my beautiful wife Rachel and we have five children; Cody, Victoria, Heather, Jazz and Roman Landry III. I love my beautiful family. God has truly blessed me with a gift and I thank God for that. I'm employed with Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel and I love being a chef, working with people and cooking great food. Have Fun and God bless!!!!
Hung Nguyen – Head Sushi Chef
My name is Hung Nguyen and I have been the head chef at RikRak for half a year now. I was born in Lafayette, Louisiana and raised in Abbeville, Louisiana. I am of Vietnamese descent and the third child of six children. I graduated from Abbeville High School in the summer of 2003 and also earned a Human Movement science degree at Louisiana State University in 2008.
I started my training to be a chef at the young age of ten when I was helping at my family's small restaurant. Throughout my grade school years I ran the kitchen at my cousins' restaurant during the school year and went offshore shrimping with my father every summer. When I attended LSU I worked at various Asian restaurants ranging from Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. When I graduated from LSU, I was offered a head chef position at a local Asian Fusion Bistro and that position helped me realize that I have a special talent for food. I moved back to Lafayette to be near my family and my journey led me to RikRak.
With all the experience over the years and background of Vietnamese descent with a little Cajun flare, I've created my own style of Asian Fusion. I love to cook, not only for incoming guests but also my family and friends. My work has not only allowed me to share great food, but it has also allowed me to team up with local charities and use my talent for a better cause which I enjoy the most!