TAMPA — Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa announced Sept. 16 the appointment of Walter M. Apfelbaum as executive butcher at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.
In his latest role, he will also oversee butchering for the property’s other contemporary and fine dining establishments.
Apfelbaum, a renowned butcher, has been in the meat industry for more than 30 years. Born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and raised in a German household, he began learning the tricks of the trade at his father’s best friend’s butcher shop at age 12.
Apfelbaum’s increased passion for the culinary arts led him to attend The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
Following graduation, he was recruited by Whole Foods to participate in their butcher training program, where he was mentored by the lead butcher for Whole Foods tri-state locations.
This experience eventually led him to travel abroad for several years throughout Europe visiting various regions from Denmark to Southern Italy to continue mastering his butchering skills, while also learning about the seafood trade.
Upon his return to the States, Apfelbaum worked at various butcheries and world-renowned steakhouses located within the tri-state area including Peter Luger’s, Delmonico’s, Gallaghers, and Keens.
In 2009, he relocated to Tampa and joined the butcher team at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.
Three years later, the Seminole Tribe of Florida team offered him the opportunity to transfer to Seminole Casino Coconut Creek to open NYY Steak.
Additionally, he was asked to join the opening team for NYY Steak in Midtown Manhattan.
In 2017, Apfelbaum’s career path led him to Detroit, where he brought his craft and knowledge of big city steakhouses to launch Prime + Proper steakhouse.
As of this summer, he has rejoined the team as executive butcher for all of the eateries within Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.