Q&A: Olivier Dubreuil
As executive chef at the Venetian and Palazzo resorts, Olivier Dubreuil does more than supervise the twin luxury hotels’ culinary department. The massive convention space and all in-suite dining is also under his purview, and liaisons with restaurant partners and celebrity chefs when needed. Dubreuil also is a member of the Maitre Cuisiniers de France, or Master Chefs of France, one of the most prestigious and exclusive culinary clubs in the world. The group is collaborating with the resorts for this year’s edition of Haute Cuisine on Sept. 27, a poolside affair at the Palazzo’s Aquatic Club with a Flavors of the World theme and at least 10 of the Master Chefs participating. Dubreuil breaks it down for curious Vegas foodies.
How does one become one of the Master Chefs of France?
You need to be voted in by your peers. Obviously you need to be a chef and a French citizen to start, but you also need to have at least 20 years of experience in the field. Right now there are about 500 of us worldwide and about 90 working in the United States. The idea behind this group is for us to promote French cuisine and French tradition and training. One way or another, we all participate in different events worldwide, and we meet about twice a year to discuss what needs to be done in certain countries or areas to make sure French cuisine stays on top of its game.
The group has had a special relationship with The Venetian and Palazzo since at least 2014. How does that partnership benefit your resorts and Las Vegas?
I think they complement each other well because the Venetian is all about quality. When we get together to come up with ideas and plan specialty events, it’s a chance to promote the hotel, who we are and what we do, and at the same time showcase the Master Chefs. It’s a good marriage.
What can we expect from this year’s Flavors of the World Haute Cuisine event?
Every year, we tweak it a little bit and we like to keep changing it. Three years ago we did an all vegetarian and vegan event. This year we started with an idea (inspired by) all these French chefs from different countries and knowing they travel quite a bit to work in different countries. When I reached out to them, they were all very excited. It’s going to be a good mix of new types of cuisine prepared with French flair and some truly great flavors. We’ve got (food) from all over Asia to Europe, Singapore, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Greece.
It seems like an appropriate theme at Venetian and Palazzo, which has opened many new and different restaurants in recent years featuring more exotic types of cuisine that are new to the Strip.
It’s very important for all of us that we continue to bring new things to Las Vegas. That’s why Las Vegas is the best place in the world for people in our industry. We’re always revamping ourselves. It keeps us on our toes but also helps us evolve.
It must be fun for you as a Master Chef to bring your colleagues back to Las Vegas each year to collaborate and maybe show off a little bit with what Vegas is capable of.
Of course, every time. Especially for guys who are traveling from Europe, it’s hard for me to explain who we are and what we do until they come to Vegas and see for themselves. The magnitude and scale of what we do is hard for most chefs to comprehend. There are not many places in the world where you have 7,000-room hotel complexes and 2.2 million square feet of convention space. But when they’re here and they see it, they leave impressed and motivated. They want to learn and come back.