There’s a high caliber of talent associated with Sin City and the dining scene is no exception. When it comes to some of the more famous chefs, Las Vegas is home to multiple experiences from the most well-known names, making it one of the top destinations in the country when it comes to fine dining.
When did this rise of the "celebrity chefs" begin? We could possibly trace it back to the debut of Emeril Live in the late 90s when the Bam!-friendly chef invited television audiences into his kitchen, spawning his signature catchphrase, “Kick it up a notch!” Since then, the culinary world has become intermingled with its own categorization of celebrity, making it a “must” to score a table at one of their famous restaurants.
It makes sense for top chefs to stake a claim along the Las Vegas Strip, so it’s hard to narrow down the favorites among the expanding collection. Whether your Las Vegas trip needs the most expensive or the most romantic meal you’ve ever had, one of MGM’s celebrated chef restaurants is sure to fit the bill. But no matter your reason for making a trip to the city, we recommend a reservation for your dining experience.
Alain Ducasse, considered to be one of the most renowned French chefs of his generation, has comprised more than 20 restaurants around the world. Mr. Ducasse, who hails from the Southwest of France, is known for his innovation, attention to detail and dedication to both quality and technique. He has a sincere passion and hope to pass on this knowledge which is the key piece to his many projects, taking a particularly thorough approach to recruitment. This belief in his teams allows him to feel confident that each one of his restaurants will offer the same level of excellence, quality and service. Over the past 30 years as a chef, restaurateur, hotelier and teacher, Mr. Ducasse has developed a unique expertise in the art of good living and good eating, which clearly can be seen throughout the various global initiatives of the Alain Ducasse Entreprise. By 2008, Alain Ducasse Entreprise his most recent ventures include Rivea and Skyfall atop Delano Las Vegas. As a passionate leader, Mr. Ducasse is constantly searching to share his vast cultural awareness and curiosity with the rest of the world.
With three different restaurants to choose from, the two-time James Beard Award winner Julián Serrano caters to every craving. A native of Madrid, Serrano pursued his affinity for French cuisine in some of Europe's most celebrated kitchens. MGM Resorts delights you with an impeccable prix fixe menu at Picasso. This delicate eatery is covered with Pablo Picasso’s renowned paintings and charming ceramic pieces. If the lighter Italian fare of LAGO entices you, let Serrano transport your mind, as you gaze out over the Bellagio fountains. Select from soups, salads, crostinis, focaccia and pizzettes, along with refreshing meat, seafood and vegetarian plates. At his latest venue in ARIA Resort & Casino, Serrano satisfies a long-held ambition to share the secrets of his own Spanish cuisine. Featured on the restaurant’s multiple à la carte menus is an ensemble of Serrano’s signature creations including traditional and innovative renditions of tapas, paellas, seafood and more.
Michael Mina’s story is comprised of decades of influence, passion and achievement. Michael continues to dazzle the culinary world with bold dining concepts, and made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country. With accolades including James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” inductee, Gayot Restaurateur of the Year 2011, Food Arts Silver Spoon Award winner May 2011, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year 2005, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005, as well as the International Food and Beverage Forum’s Restaurateur of the Year 2005, thischef skipped the traditional occupations and built a culinary empire. At his name-sake restaurant Michael Mina at Bellagio Resort and Casino, we are given a sleek atmosphere which is the perfect complement to his contemporary cuisine featuring innovative seafood preparations, vegetarian and seasonal dishes. For your next Mina dining experience try Bardot Brasserie inside Aria Resort and Casino which features iconic French comfort food and an array of both New World and Old World Wines. As if all that wasn’t enough, delve into the classic menu, inviting bar scene, and sophisticated atmosphere at STRIPSTEAK, inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where Mina breaks new ground with his first steakhouse using only the highest quality ingredients.
Tom Colicchio spent his childhood immersed in food, cooking with his mother and grandmother. It was his father, however, who suggested that he make a career of it. Tom later cooked at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian. Since 2006, Tom has been applying his experience and expertise to cable television as the head judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking series “Top Chef.” Tom continues to be celebrated in food and lifestyle publications such as Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Esquire, GQ and New York Magazine. At MGM Grand, visit Craftsteak, you will find ingredients from small family farms, artisanal producers and day-boat fisherman, prepared to capture the true flavor and essence of each dish. And while steak is front-and-center, guests can also indulge in Craftsteak’s award-winning wine, bourbon and scotch list. At Mirage, Heritage Steak, adds a modern twist to traditional culinary staples. A newly renovated open kitchen adds tantalizing appeal to both sight and smell. The aroma of open charcoal grills and wood-burning ovens brings the excitement of the kitchen to an intimate table side experience.
James Beard award winning chef Shawn McClain, curates a fresh, ever-changing menu of contemporary American cuisine with global influences. He has a certain knack for balancing innovative concepts with refinement and sensibility. This San Diego, California native is a graduate of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois. McClain’s quickly rose through the ranks in the culinary world. Here in Las Vegas’ Aria Resort and Casino, Sage has changed the focus with a New American menu built around the irresistible freshness of California’s local harvests. At Mandalay Bay’s latest hotspot, Libertine Social, McClain challenges diners to free their minds from preconceived notions about bar restaurants and get ready to eat, drink and liberate. The next-generation gastropub that will stimulate the senses with New American bar food. Finally, following the success of Sage, McClain opened his first casual concept, FIVE50 Pizza Bar, also at ARIA Resort & Casino. Here, McClain put his own spin on East Coast-style pizzas, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients and hand-selected 11 American microbrews to fill the restaurant’s taps.
James Beard Award Winner, Charlie Palmer is a master Chef and hospitality entrepreneur who has received critical acclaim for his signature Progressive American cooking, a style built on rambunctious flavors and unexpected combinations with a deep and lasting infusion of classical French cuisine. Over the years, Palmer combined his creative cooking spirit and flair for business to open twelve notable restaurants across the country, a growing collection of food-forward wine shops and award-winning boutique hotels. Voted "best steakhouse in Las Vegas" by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Charlie Palmer Steak at Four Seasons provides a clubhouse atmosphere of quiet luxury favored by sophisticated diners. Chef de Cuisine Steve Blandino's menu satisfies with an excellent selection of traditional cuts including a Charcoal Grilled Filet Mignon in and a 28-day aged Bone in Rib Eye. The wine list, specializing in exciting new producers from up and down the West Coast, also offers "Wines for the Adventuresome”. Additionally, Palmer and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, are thrilled to announce the reimagined, redesigned Aureole, preparing quality, local ingredients in a bold, American style and upholding a longstanding position as one of the greatest wine restaurants in the world.
Royden Ellamar, a Hilo Hawaii native, learned to respect nature at a young age. With the Big Island’s pristine terrain, he grew up farming, fishing and hunting on the Big Island’s with his family. With this experience he gained a keen understanding of the process food goes through while traveling from the farm to the table. After some time he began working at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. He felt that this experience was priceless seeing that he wore several hats during his tenure including sous chef of Pahuia, the resort’s signature restaurant. He continued his work with local farmers by assisting with a menu redesign that featured local ingredients. Here in Las Vegas, Bellagio welcomed Harvest, Chef Roy’s market-inspired menu that is a breath of fresh air in Las Vegas, meeting the health-conscious demands of today’s travelers and diners while simultaneously delivering flavorful fresh, creative dishes. In his spare time, Chef takes his staff to local farms to teach them the importance of building relationships with local producers and has implemented an upstream recycling program for the restaurant.
Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken
The “Too Hot Tamales” duo truly is on fire owning and operating their Mexican flavor inspired “Border Grill” restaurants. Of the three vibrant, modern, Sue and Susan launched their first Las Vegas restaurant overlooking the Lazy River just off Mandalay Beach, where, the Food Network's "Too Hot Tamales," want nothing more than to spice up your day. This hip, urban cantina is the perfect setting for sipping margaritas and savoring a menu of the bold flavors of Mexico while enjoying views of the beach and pool.
Masaharu Morimoto, famed Japanese chef and star of Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” made his official Las Vegas debut with Morimoto Las Vegas, now open at MGM Grand. He has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients. Since 1998, Morimoto has competed on the Japanese television show, Iron Chef and also appears on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. His first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, won two IACP awards--in the “Chef’s and Restaurants” category and the “First Book: The Julia Child Award"--and it was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. Morimoto will release a new book in Nov. 2016 called “Mastering The Art of Japanese Home Cooking.” The Las Vegas Strip is officially home to Morimoto Las Vegas at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, where his distinctive Japanese fare from the world’s finest sushi create unforgettable dishes that showcase the Iron Chef’s unique ability to meld Eastern and Western flavors. The restaurant offers three distinct dining experiences: sushi bar, main dining room and Teppan tables, defining the luxurious elevation of Japanese cuisine and introducing the first and only iron griddle menu Morimoto offers in his renowned restaurant portfolio.
Though Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the world’s most famous chefs, his skills extend far beyond the kitchen. A savvy businessman and restaurateur, Vongerichten is responsible for the operation and success of a constellation of three- and four-star restaurants worldwide. Jean-Georges is a visionary of restaurant aesthetics and culinary creations. It was during this time working and traveling throughout Asia that Vongerichten developed his love for the exotic and aromatic flavors of the East. His signature cuisine abandons the traditional use of meat stocks and creams and instead features the intense flavors and textures from vegetable juices, fruit essences, light broths and herbal vinaigrettes. Vongerichten’s culinary vision has redefined industry standards and revolutionized the way we eat.
In December 2009, Vongerichten opened Jean Georges Steakhouse inside ARIA Resort & Casino. If you are craving Kobe A5, arguably the best beef in the world, we have it. But, the offerings extend far beyond a simple steak. Three different types of beef from around the world, dozens of cuts and a selection of seafood and unique sides that would put any fish house to shame.
TV personality, Wolfgang Puck, has taken the world by storm, mastering the flavors of exquisite California cuisine. This Austrian native took part in the family trade where he later brought his skills to the U.S. and became an international phenomenon. Puck began cooking at his mother’s side as a child. She was a chef in the Austrian town where he was born, and with her encouragement, Wolfgang began his formal training at fourteen years of age. Central to all of Wolfgang Puck’s endeavors is his Wolfgang’s Eat, Love, Live ™ (WELL) philosophy. This stands for culinary passion for eating and dining WELL, which means a commitment to provide food made with only the freshest and most natural and organic ingredients available, to celebrate local farmers and seasonal ingredients, and to use only humanely raised animal products.
At MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Puck reinvents American bar and grill food with approachable, California-inspired cuisine in a casual and lively setting. This eatery serves up his signature comfort food favorites like wood-fired pizzas, choice cuts from the grill and a small bites menu that’s as delicious as it is expansive. At Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Lupo by Wolfgang Puck was the chef’s first Italian restaurant. Specializing in tableside service and with exhibition pizza, antipasto and dessert stations on full. Finally, his legendary flagship restaurant Spago, recognized for igniting Las Vegas’s dining scene into a culinary epicenter, has opened its doors at Bellagio Resort & Casino in the spring 2018.
In 1994, this Massachusetts native launched his first successful live cooking show, taking to a variety of cities across the U.S., and initiated a booming discipline of Creole cuisine. Emeril Lagasse’s Louisiana hospitality transcended homes across the country. At Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Lagasse is able to showcase Louisiana’s classic comfort food with a modern twist, this acclaimed restaurant continually serves up the “new” in New Orleans. Surrounded by an imaginative sea-inspired design, dive into flavorful market fresh fish and shellfish creations or savory steak and chicken dishes straight from the Big Easy.
Mario Carbone heartily developed a passion for Italian cuisine by ways of family intuition. While his home kitchen built the foundation of knowledge for this young chef, the relationships he made with his epicurean partners set the stage for his overwhelming success. At Aria Resort and Casino, Carbone is a celebrated concept from Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick which pays homage to the Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century – an era of glamour, showmanship and tableside service. Designed by San Francisco-based designer Ken Fulk, Carbone creates a one-of-a-kind theatrical vibe with an Italian edge. The space includes a series of rooms, including the Sotto Cielo (The Blue Room) and La Fontana (The Red Room), presenting contrasting ambiance. Each design element within the restaurant has been hand chosen to represent vintage Las Vegas, including a Murano Glass Crystals Chandelier centerpiece in La Fontana and special artwork from the likes of renowned artists.
Born in Korea and raised in Aspen, Colorado, Chef Akira Back brings a sense of adventure and boundless creativity to his culinary creations. Before taking his turn in the kitchen, Chef Back spent his early years as a professional snowboarder in Colorado, appearing in extreme movies and garnering praise from the sport’s top trade publications. During this time, Back began working at local restaurants to supplement his income as an extreme sports athlete, only to find out that his true passion was time spent in the kitchen. Since opening Yellowtail Restaurant & Lounge in 2008, Chef Back has been named “Best Chef in Las Vegas” by Las Vegas Weekly. He has also participated in some of the culinary world’s most prestigious events, including Aspen Food & Wine Festival, Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival and Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d. Additionally, as Executive Chef of Hakkasan Group’s Kumi Japanese Restaurant + Bar at Mandalay Bay, Chef Back creates enticing menus that is comprised of classic Japanese cuisine and feature inventive dishes that use the freshest ingredients.
Surrounded by culinary greats, from a young age, Hubert Keller developed a keen sense for business as well as a strong acumen for French cuisine. From his global journeys comes a unique dining experience. Keller’s whimsical flavors and aesthetically pleasing plate presentations are a result of his years of classical training with France’s top chefs. Keller gained fame and notoriety appearing as a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and as a contestant in the first season of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” He was asked to serve as a resident judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef Just Desserts.” following his success on the show. At Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino here in Las Vegas, his restaurant Fleur offers small plates from around the world featuring intense flavors and exotic presentations in a fun, social environment. Fleur offers casual seating at the bar, lounge and patio as well as a more intimate experience in our stunning dining room. Also at Mandalay Bay, Keller’s Burger Bar will provide the ultimate burger experience. Here he provides only the finest varieties of beef, buffalo, turkey, vegetarian and vegan products, a range of gourmet toppings and delicious buns, Burger Bar has a little bit of everything for the creative eater.