Meet the Chefs

Meet the Chefs

Michael Spence

Director of Culinary Operations

A native of central Delaware, Michael began his career in the hospitality industry at the Delaware beaches.   

Throughout his years in the industry, he has spent time in a variety of positions ranging from dishwasher to General Manager. Prior to coming to Harrington Raceway and Casino, Michael served as the General Manager of the popular Ruddertowne complex in Dewey Beach, DE.

Over the years, Michael has worked with a wide array of talented chefs, caterers, event planners, and management teams.  Always striving to learn and improve his skills, Michael has spent countless hours learning from his peers and mentors while refining his cooking, hospitality and customer service skills. 

 He cites some of his most influential times as those spent working with then industry consultant, Hank Rosenberg, who is presently Harrington Raceway and Casino’s COO of Hospitality, as well as Scott Kammerer of Highwater Management and So Del Concepts.

When the chance arose to return close to home and apply his years of knowledge with the talented team at Harrington, he leapt at the opportunity.  From cooking in the casino’s various eateries to putting on custom VIP events, Michael strives daily to bring the best experience possible to all guests throughout the casino. 

Rubin Collins

Executive Chef

Buffet

Rubin hails from Yazoo City, Mississippi before completing his culinary training at MSA School in San Diego, California. He furthered his education in Hotel Management in Norfolk, Virginia through the United States Navy. Rubin embarked on a Navy career after his education spanning nine years and was exposed to many different culinary offerings and cultures but was really taken by the cuisine he was exposed to while serving in Bermuda.

Rubin has collected a vast array of eclectic recipes and culinary dishes during his travels. From his native Creole style to contemporary American and everything in between, Rubin possesses a diverse culinary portfolio. Rubin continues to strive to keep the progression of his repertoire current and fresh by exposing himself to culinary adventures at every opportunity.

Rubin has served many influential people such as foreign dignitaries to the Governor of Delaware but regardless of who you are you can count on his culinary precision to impress. Rubin’s dedication and work ethic are the result of many years in the hospitality industry but his true driving force is his passion to provide exceptional dishes served from the heart.

Ryan Cunningham

Executive Chef

Bonz Restaurant & Lounge

Ryan Cunningham was born and raised in Lewes Delaware, a proud graduate of Cape Henlopen High School.  At the tender age of 12, he entered the work force as a bus boy and dishwasher.  By the time he was 15 he had found a home cooking on the line.  Upon graduation from high school, Cunningham attended Johnson and Wales University.  He worked at a few seasonal restaurants after graduation as a sous chef.  There he learned valuable lessons on what to do and what not to do while working in the industry.  His next stop was Nage where the passion for the industry and product blossomed. 

He was seriously inspired by Chefs Kevin Reading and Hari Cameron and at the age of 28, Cunningham became Executive Chef of Bonz.  Over the next 10 years he served as Executive Chef of Bonz and also as the Corporate Chef and Partner of the Abbott’s Grill group.  He has found his home at Harrington Raceway and Casino.  Cunningham strives to always use high quality ingredients with great care and execution.  He works side by side with his staff to produce the best product possible. 

Shannon Zabel

Outlet Chef

Murphy’s Race/Sportsbook & Grill

As a graduate of the Culinary Arts from York Technical Institute, Shannon has spent the last 15 years servicing the guests of Harrington Casino. Born and raised in Harrington, she decided to stay close to her backyard and started out as a Chef in the Buffet before taking on the challenge of becoming the food and beverage purchasing agent.

Now she finds herself back at home as the Chef of the local’s favorite, Murphy’s Race/Sportsbook & Grill. She also heads the Grab ’n' Go and the ever popular sandwich shop, Bolo’s. With a wealth of experience after learning under the tutelage of accomplished chefs like colleague Rubin Collins, Shannon is a vital member of the food and beverage team.