Meet the Chefs | Harrington Casino & Raceway
  • Meet the Chefs

Meet the Chefs

Cade Johnson

Executive Chef

Chef Cade Johnson has over 30 years of professional management experience, as well as a 2 year apprenticeship served under certified Master Chef Gustof Mauler at the Golden Nugget Hotel &
Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Johnson’s down to earth personality and friendly demeanor enhanced his navigation through the culinary field. He’s touched a plethora of the culinary cuisine, from pastry/baking, butchering, garde manger, batch cooking, and a la carte services. Domestic and international cuisines such as, American, French, Italian, Latin, Asian, and one of his favorites, the Southern cuisine, are all in his wheelhouse.

As a 1984 graduate of the Atlantic County Institute of Technology’s Culinary Program, Chef Cade maintained a close relationship with the casino industry. The Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, and one of the President’s crown jewels, Trump Taj Mahal (when at its’ peak), were a few of the prestigious hotels and restaurants on the East coast that Johnson has opened and managed. For the following 5 years, Chef Cade stepped out of the casino as the private chef for the AC Coin & Slots CEO. This role included managing on-property operations, as well as, offsite banquets. Chef Cade’s signature hospitality skills were highly developed during this period. Eventually, Chef Cade was recruited by Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, where he oversaw the food and beverage operations for over 14 years. Under his management team, the business grew to become a 24-million-dollar operation, which included opening a restaurant (in partnership with Dover Downs and Herschel Walker) in Athens, Georgia called Herschel’s 34. During his final 4 years at Dover Downs, Chef Cade developed and lead as the director of the C.A.P (Culinary Advanced Program), which created a pipeline to train and employ entry level staff in the culinary field.

Working in such an array of hotels, Chef Cade became fluent in operations such as, buffets, steak houses, Italian restaurants, cafe’s, deli’s, pastry shops, burger shops, banquets, as well as production kitchens. Chef Cade was also co-owner of a family restaurant in Atlantic City, NJ, Munchie’s Restaurant, during the late 90’s. Currently, Chef Cade is the Executive Chef at Harrington Raceway & Casino in Harrington, DE.

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. 

Shannon Zabel

Outlet Chef

Onion Jacks

As a graduate of the Culinary Arts from York Technical Institute, Shannon has spent the last 20 years imparting her culinary skills onto the guests of Harrington Casino. Born and raised in Harrington, she decided to stay close to her backyard, starting 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 in the kitchen as the Chef of the newest edition to the restaurant group; Onion Jacks. Formerly known as the Café, Onion Jack’s has quickly taken its place as a Casino favorite specializing in Prime Rib and Crab Cakes along with an array of delectable creations from Shannon’s repertoire.

Tom Deptula

Executive Chef

Bonz

Chef Tom was born in Wilmington, grew up in Newark. Studied philosophy and cognitive science at UD, graduated in 03. Started cooking at 13, making subs and cheese steaks. Worked at various restaurants upstate for a number of years before leaving to travel and work in Mexico and various parts of the country. Returned to Sussex county in 2008 and started cooking at the Blue Moon in Rehoboth. working under Chef Lion Gardner for 4 years. Leaving to become the sous chef at Victoria's Restaurant in Rehoboth; soon after becoming the Executive Chef. Took the job as Executive Chef at Baywood in Long Neck for a little over two years. Enjoyed teaching a semester of culinary instruction at DTCC with Chef Ed Hennessy.  Came to Harrington Raceway & Casino as the Executive Chef of Bonz.  Currently living in Lewes with soon-to-be wife Ale (pronounced Allie), 2 year old daughter Livy, and 2 dogs.