Nine celebrity chef empires in Las Vegas
Las Vegas has become the world’s premier dining destination, not because it’s as prominent as New York City or as sophisticated as Paris, but because it is representative of the dining world at large. And if you need some proof, just look around at all the celebrity chefs who have set roots in this town and built empires along the Strip.
When Puck’s L.A. import Spago came to town in 1992, its success opened the floodgates for celebrity chefs in Vegas, making Puck the undisputed king of Vegas dining. Truly, his culinary empire in the city is so vast that his brand should be renamed Starpucks.
Ramsay has done gangbuster business on the Strip. Since opening his first Vegas restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris, four more restaurants seemingly cropped up overnight. As fiery as he is, rarely anything he does goes up in flames. Rather, he’s a guiding light.
His entry into the Vegas dining scene didn’t start with a bang, but with a “bam!” When the chef brought his New Orleans flavors to MGM Grand with Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, it was an instant success. But he’s not all creole. Enjoy steakhouse fare, too, at Delmonico at The Venetian.
Giada De Laurentiis
For years, you were at home watching Giada on Food Network, attempting her lemon ricotta cookie recipe in your kitchen and failing. Now you don’t have to try. Get the real thing, as well as her signature California-inspired Italian cuisine, at Giada at The Cromwell and Pronto at Caesars Palace.
Whenever Vegas dining feels too pretentious, head to Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, where no appetite is too big, and no flavor is too bold. Need evidence? You can order a burger with a heaping spoonful of macaroni and cheese slathered on the patty. Case closed.
Mina has a quiet influence in the culinary world. His food speaks for itself. Which has led to a quiet domination of the fine dining scene in Vegas. From Bardot Brasserie at Aria to International Smoke at MGM Grand, many visitors and locals often find their new favorite meals at his restaurants.
The Top Chef judge also runs two of the top steakhouses on the Strip: Craftsteak at MGM Grand and Heritage Steak at The Mirage. Both are exceptional, but the latter features dishes you could expect Colicchio to cook if you were a guest at his home.
Jean-Georges may not be a household name, but you should pay Prime at Bellagio and Jean Georges Steahkouse at Aria a visit while on your trip to Vegas, because his flavors are unforgettable.
The chef behind Momofuku at The Cosmopolitan seemed content with his lone restaurant in Vegas. Then, last year, Chang opened Majordomo Meat & Fish and Moon Palace at The Palazzo and suddenly had a little empire here. In a town that’s always renewing, Chang’s fresh culinary concepts seem destined to help guide the city into a new era.
Click here for your free subscription to the weekly digital edition of Las Vegas Magazine, your guide to everything to do, hear, see and experience in Southern Nevada. As part of your subscription, each week via email you will receive the latest edition of Las Vegas Magazine, full of informative content such as restaurants to visit, cocktails to sip and attractions to enjoy.