Friends With Benefits: Jessica Kang
When it comes to hobbies and interests, Jessica Kang says she can concentrate on those things later. Right now, it’s all about work. “I’m such a young general manager and I’ve got an amazing opportunity,” says Kang, general manager for Sadelle’s at Bellagio. “I’m just such a perfectionist and I was to make sure everything runs perfectly.”
Kang helped launch Sadelle’s, working long, hard months before the doors opened in December, but hard work is something she doesn’t mind. “My coworkers would say I’m a disciplined, hard worker,” Kang says. “At the same time, I appreciate everyone’s hard work, too. The team worked so hard to get this restaurant open and seeing it all come together, seeing the results, makes me so happy.”
While Kang is a young professional, she has already accomplished a lot. Born in Korea and raised in the Philippines, she developed a passion for the food and beverage industry, attending culinary school in the Philippines. Seven years ago, she transferred to UNLV and completed her studies in the hospitality program. She landed her first management job at Pantry at The Mirage and moved to Heritage Steak there, later joining Carbone (the owners of Sadelle’s) at Aria. “When I was at Carbone they asked if I wanted to head up a new restaurant they were opening and make it my baby,” Kang says. “And I said, ‘Sure, why not? I’m up for the challenge.’”
She’s now at the helm, helping to steer Sadelle’s toward success. “I have a really, really big passion for the food and beverage industry,” Kang says. “The one thing that makes me really happy is when I look at the guest and I can see they’re having a good time—they’re enjoying their time at Sadelle’s. I love that thrill. I love helping make that happen.”
On the specialty cocktail menu since day one, the Grapefruit Cocktail is perfect for the season. It’s a refreshing, slightly citrus-flavored mix of Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka, Monin Ruby Red Grapefruit syrup and fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lime juices.
Other favorites of Kang’s, and not to be passed by, she says, are the bagels and pastries made from scratch. The team from Sadelle’s in New York taught the team at Bellagio how to make the bagels and pastries the brand is famous for. “All the pastries and bagels are made fresh. We tested thousands of bagels to get it perfect before we opened,” Kang says.