Submitted by Yavapai Gaming Agency
The Yavapai Gaming Agency, Bucky’s and Yavapai Casinos, is pleased to introduce our new food and beverage management team to our hometown of Prescott and the Tri-City area.
Our new team includes, Alex Rivera, food and beverage director; Mert Dorsey, kitchen manager; and our front of house managers Rachael Olson, and Yoshiko Jai. The team is revising menus for breakfast and lunch with a separate dinner menu and ambiance. We’ll be using all fresh ingredients, refurbishing Bucky’s Café and upgrading Yavapai Cantina to a sports bar.
The team extends their gratitude and appreciation to the dedicated food and beverage staff who worked through many challenges the last several years as they worked with grace, warmth and a friendly focus on each other and customers.
Chef Alex’s culinary journey began in Puerto Rico at 11 when he started cooking with his grandmother and mother while learning to treat everyone with respect and love.
“At work, our team is a family, and we have to take care of each other. I treat employees the way I want to be treated, and I share my enthusiasm and desire to succeed,” he says.
Chef Alex studied at the Hotel School of San Juan and the Florida Culinary Institute, where he added confectionary and international cuisine.
His professional career includes the Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, and being on the opening team for Desert Diamond Casino’s Glendale facility.
As executive chef for two Arizona IHG hotels, his restaurant was the highest producing Burger Theory in the nation.
His most recent experience is the new family businesses, Abondance International Cuisine and The Kitchen, both in Prescott.
Chef Alex thanks is wife Alma and daughters Maya, and Thalia, for their unconditional love and support. Alma is an accomplished chef, too, and her mother Guadalupe prepares traditional family recipes in their kitchen.
Mert has been employed by Yavapai Gaming Agency for six years. Beginning as a cook, Mert has worked his way up to kitchen manager. His career began at the age of 11 at a restaurant on Gurley Street as dishwasher.
He has been in the food and beverage industry for 40-plus years. Mert believes his success is a direct result of the family like relationship shared with the Yavapai Gaming kitchen staff.
On a personal note, Mert met the love of his life in grade school in Chino Valley. Their son is a CAFMA firefighter.
Living in Prescott as a small child brings fond memories of the Square, Washington Elementary School and the Cat’s Meow store on Gurley Street.
Growing up in Cave Creek, Rachael’s first job was at Harrold’s Cave Creek Corral, and from there she has worked every position a restaurant has to offer from dishwasher to manager.
With 27 years in the food and beverage industry, and currently working on her BA in business management, Rachael encourages a fun and energetic work environment.
She returned to the Prescott area in 2014.
Yoshiko was born in New York and relocated to San Francisco as a child where she was raised by her Japanese grandmother who shared her talents and love for cooking.
Yoshiko was taught American style cuisine with Japanese flair.
Moving down the West Coast and landing in Long Beach, she expanded her skills and knowledge in the kitchen working alongside world renowned chefs and adding the unique skill of butchering to her repertoire.
Applying skills from front of house to back of house is seamless as her bartending skills are as impressive as her kitchen abilities.