I have talked to him numerous times and have always found him out going and extremely friendly and passionate about his job. I talked to him earlier this year and he said Grain and Grill was CEDAR FAIR's most improved restaurant year other year in sells and profit margins. He said it was one of the company's top five food location performers last year in sells. He also told me that when he came on board that both KD's and CF's management were skeptical of his vision. Their concern was two fold could you get people to revisit their ideas of park food from the quick greasy grab and eat menu items to full meals. He said one of their big points to this argument boiled down to look these ideas are to heavy people are not going to want to sit there on a sweltering hot day and eat a heavy meal and then go ride roller coasters. He said that doubts about price point were there but were really secondary to that argument. He gives both CF's and KD's management a lot of credit for saying here is the Panada Express location it's under preforming for it's location take it and show us what you got. The results spoke for themselves.Otherwise something else he mentioned, which I really admire... Early on after initially coming to KD, in his role as Executive Chef, a personal goal was to create the best amusement park food, anywhere, here at KD. At the time he relayed this ambition to the CEO - where I assume this was to Richard Zimmerman at the Cedar Fair level. But as this was all before inception of Grain & Grill, it sounds like he was not taken all that seriously.
So here we are, almost three years later since Chef Denis has come onboard (much less if you take into account the Covid-shortened seasons). And though there's always room for improvement, it's amazing to think how we actually have prime rib at a park restaurant; and even better, how it's actually part of the all-season dining plan.
He's a great guy to talk to, where he seems to take a lot of pride in his job. So if you see him around the park, I would highly suggest you take the time to chat with him -- where as you can see from the above conversation, I'm amazed how much time he spent chatting with me (one lone patron, out of many, at a brand new park restaurant that day; where I'm sure there must have been more important things for him to do and oversee).
And if you do chat with him... please make sure to not tease him about the Orange Chicken
Fresh prepping all ingredients in-house at Victoria's would be a game changer, even if the menu itself is hardly touched.
Low-grade Sysco/PFG dough and sauce for a high priced slice ruins it for me - has ok texture and mouth feel, but also has a chemical sweetness thing going on in both the front and finish... Similar to what you may find with frozen pizza.
It may not be so obvious to some, and it also may be expected for others used to getting crappy food at high prices in a theme park, but with an actual chef in control and making some incredible changes elsewhere, this is a no-brainer of immediate fixes.