Changing the Game: Bally’s Jasmine Simmons, A Culinary Journey

Changing the Game: Bally’s Jasmine Simmons, A Culinary Journey
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Changing the Game: Bally’s Jasmine Simmons, A Culinary Journey (Chicago, IL) — In the aftermath of the pandemic, businesses, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sector, have grappled with workforce shortages. Amidst this challenging landscape, the anticipation of Chicago’s inaugural casino, Bally’s, brought a promise of new job opportunities to the city.

Bally’s Casino emerged victorious in securing the bid to launch a temporary casino, marking a significant milestone in May 2022. The subsequent task was building a dynamic team to deliver a distinctive gaming experience to Chicago. With its soft opening in September 2023, Bally’s employs 600 individuals from diverse backgrounds across the Chicago region.

Enter Jasmine Simmons, a culinary enthusiast eager to contribute her expertise to the Medinah Bistro, one of three restaurants housed within the Medinah Temple, the home of Bally’s Casino. Originally from the Bermuda Islands and California, Simmons made Chicago her home in 2007. With seven years of culinary experience in the gaming industry, she eagerly embraced the opportunity at Bally’s, drawn in by the swift response to her application on

For Simmons, the allure of the gaming industry goes beyond her passion for cooking; it’s a family affair. Many of her family members also find fulfillment within the gaming sector, adding a familial connection to her professional journey.

The Culinary Canvas at Medinah Bistro

In her role as a Sous Chef, Simmons wears multiple hats – not just as a cook but as an unofficial counselor, striving to enhance patrons’ dining experiences. Medinah Bistro and the other main restaurant, Kitchen 888, inspired by Chinatown’s Moon Palace, operate daily until 1 am. The 24-hour Medinah Café complements its offerings with convenient to-go items like sandwiches, coffee, and pastries.

She says, “My favorite thing to make on the menu at Bally’s is the fried chicken.”

Simmons sheds light on the rigorous training regime at Bally’s, emphasizing menu comprehension and recipe mastery. The culinary team prides itself on maintaining consistency while fostering creativity in its dishes, providing patrons with a memorable and evolving dining experience.

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Community Engagement

Simmons commutes daily from Auburn Gresham, bringing her culinary talents to downtown Chicago. Bally’s stand out for her is the workplace and the casino’s commitment to community engagement. Actively participating in volunteering initiatives, Bally’s collaborates with homeless shelters, ensuring they give back to the surrounding communities.

“I think it’s important for companies to give back to their communities because it gives them a chance to be personable. In my experience, we worked with the homeless shelters feeding people over the holidays. I have done multiple things in the past to give back, including helping with an animal shelter,” said Simmons.

Beyond Business: A Friendly and Fun Workplace

In Simmons’ eyes, the vibrant and friendly atmosphere sets Bally apart from her previous workplaces. The casino isn’t just a place of business; it’s a community that values each member, fostering a positive and enjoyable work environment.

As Bally’s continues to establish itself as a cornerstone in Chicago’s gaming landscape, the stories of individuals like Jasmine Simmons highlight not only the professional growth opportunities within the casino but also its dedication to community, creating a workplace that goes beyond the ordinary.

What makes Bally’s different? Simmons says, “It’s a friendly and fun place to work.”

Changing the Game: Bally’s Jasmine Simmons, A Culinary Journey


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