The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2011

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Page 108 of 120

VEGAS Culinary Headliners of SOME OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST CHEFS ARE PAIRING THEIR TALENT WITH THIS STIMULATING CITY story and photos by Richard Carleton Hacker never been better. Where else can customers experience the gastronomic creations of Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak at MGM Grand, Alain Ducasse at miX atop Mandalay Bay’s THEhotel, Guy Savoy’s namesake restaurant at Caesars Palace, Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons, or Michael Mina’s latest venture, American Fish at Aria? P I remember the stir caused on October 25, 2005, when Joël Robuchon, the first chef to win three Michelin stars in a row, opened not just one, but two restaurants at MGM Grand: the elegant Joël Robuchon at The Mansion—his only fine dining restaurant in the United States—and the much less formal L’Atelier next door. At L’Atelier, where tapas and tasting menus are the norm, customers converse with chefs as their meals are prepared in an open kitchen. Quite the opposite at Joël Robuchon, which has the ambiance of a 19th-century French country estate and servers practically outnumber guests. The most recent executive chef to be attracted to Executive Chef Michael Mina has demonstrated his belief in Las Vegas with five res- taurants: American Fish (Aria at City Center), Michael Mina (Bellagio), Nobhill Tavern (MGM Grand), Seablue (MGM Grand) and Stripsteak (Mandalay Bay). Las Vegas is Christian Rassinoux, awarded Chef of the Year by both the French Culinary Association and Les Toques Blanches International, and a Chevalier in the National Order of Merit. I first met Chef Rassinoux in 1985, when he helped open The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel as Executive Chef. Now, as newly-appointed Executive Chef of MGM Grand, he oversees 12 restaurants. “I now work in a much larger environment,” he says. “But cooking for 50 or 5,000 guests makes no differ- ence, as long as each part of the dining experience is detailed and organized, in addition to the cuisine being of excellent quality and taste. Another difference is that I walk around the property frequently each day, Christian Rassinoux, Executive Chef of MGM Grand oversees 12 restaurants. 108 / the tasting panel / july 201 1 erhaps without even realizing it, Las Vegas was hedging its bets long before the economy crumbled. It’s no secret that gambling has sevened-out, but as one who visits Vegas on a regular basis, I can state the fine dining in Sin City has Las Vegas

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