The legendary culinarian Wolfgang Puck has received quite a bit of credit for jump-starting a Las Vegas restaurant renaissance by opening Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in 1992. While other celebrity chefs soon followed in his footsteps and casino food and beverage executives put the work in to create the wondrous dining paradise you currently see (and taste) before you, it’s important to understand Puck’s pioneering move to the Strip.

The first modern megaresort, The Mirage, had only been open for five years, and Bellagio, the resort where Spago relocated last year and the property that truly created the blueprint for elite restaurant rosters, was still six years away. And the daring Austrian did more than seize an opportunity, he absolutely committed to Las Vegas and the local community and industry, setting down firm roots that still distinguish his Las Vegas company from any other operator today.

Puck’s empire has flourished here: There are the twin Italian jewels Lupo at Mandalay Bay and Cucina at the Shops at Crystals; casual and refined locations of Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at MGM Grand and off the Strip at Downtown Summerlin; and the regal steakhouse CUT at Palazzo, a sophisticated experience that has evolved into one of the most acclaimed fine dining destinations in all of Las Vegas.

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