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I arrived home to a message from a local foodie insider...Thomas Keller will be opening a restaurant here in Las Vegas in the Venetian in April. I don't have any details yet...but will be at a Beard dinner here Monday night (and am sitting with some other restaunateurs from the Venetian)...I am sure that will be a topic of conversation!

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Only on the square, Steve -- I'm well aware that Keller is the flavor of the moment, but the economy is famously tight and restaurants of any kind are famously expensive to run, let alone high-end places like the one for which Keller is most known. If I had major money to invest, that wouldn't be the place I'd put it.

Then again, Vegas is known for gambling...

:wink:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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  • 1 month later...

Rat made an excellent point, especially as regards someone like Keller. My impression is that his success is due to his physical presence in the kitchen, to make sure that his staff executes precisely as he wants. How long does it take someone like him to train his staff to the point where he's comfortable leaving them on their own? How does he make sure that the person(s) he hires as his surrogate can become his clone? I mean, there's more to his cooking than just a combination of ingredients, philosophy, and technique. Those can be bought and learned; but how does he ensure that that je ne sais quoi that makes him what he is can be duplicated?

For once, I might agree with Steve P. that I wouldn't want to eat at the NYC or LV "branch" unless I knew for sure that Keller would be there that night. :wink:

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However, Suzanne, Keller's oft-stated goal at the French Laundry is for it to become a style and an institution that will continue after he is gone. I've noticed that he continuously emphasizes the restaurant and the kitchen rather than himself. And that he has been disappearing into the kitchen, spending most of his life and time there. Perhaps he is now trying to disappear from being in any particular kitchen.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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  • 2 weeks later...
However, Suzanne, Keller's oft-stated goal at the French Laundry is for it to become a style and an institution that will continue after he is gone. I've noticed that he continuously emphasizes the restaurant and the kitchen rather than himself. And that he has been disappearing into the kitchen, spending most of his life and time there. Perhaps he is now trying to disappear from being in any particular kitchen.

I was just out at The French Laundry Dec. 3rd and talked to his waiters about the New York outlet....They laughed about it, he doesn't even have the keys to the place yet. His brother already has a restaurant in LV. Joseph Keller is the chef of Josef's Steakhouse. Keller's NOT going to LV in this lifetime.

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His brother already has a restaurant in LV.  Joseph Keller is the chef of Josef's Steakhouse.  Keller's NOT going to LV in this lifetime.

Is this the Josef's in the Aladdin which is reported to be closing?

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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Chef/Writer Spencer...the people at the Venetian here in LV would disagree with you...Keller is coming...it will not be a French Laundry though...

Josef Keller was here at the Aladdin...Josef's Brasserie has closed..it was at best a mediocre place to dine...at worst...it was awful...do you see a pattern developing here...Thomas will have a restaurant here. ANd my guess is Josef will oversee it...much like the situation when he opened Bouchon in Yountville.

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Chef/Writer Spencer...the people at the Venetian here in LV would disagree with you...Keller is coming...it will not be a French Laundry though...

Josef Keller was here at the Aladdin...Josef's Brasserie has closed..it was at best a mediocre place to dine...at worst...it was awful...do you see a pattern developing here...Thomas will have a restaurant here. ANd my guess is Josef will oversee it...much like the situation when he opened Bouchon in Yountville.

Well I guess you may be on to something then. But I tell you what if Thomas Keller associates himself with Las VEgas I'm quitting the biz and taking up cotton farming. He doesn't strike me (from meeting him) to be a dog and pony show kind of chef. That title is reserved for guys like Todd English and Sirio Maccioni. Keller has been taunting the New York chefs for three years about opening the New York spot but it's not happening at least until 2004--that's on good word from FL staff. With his legs giving out and proported interest in bowing out of the day to day activities of running a kitchen I can't see him selling his ass like that. It'll be a sad day for me. Let's hope if it's true that he reconsiders. He needs to let his brother flounder around and find himself not pull him out of bad situation af ter bad situation.

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The AOL/CNN Center in NY is now looking at a "late 2003" opening, so early 2004 is probably not a bad bet for Restaurant Row

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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Keller has been taunting the New York chefs for three years about opening the New York spot .....

He needs to let his brother flounder around and find himself not pull him out of bad situation af ter bad situation.

What's wrong with Keller wanting to better the LV cuisine scene? Like he wants to do in NY? I'd admire him for trying. :smile:

And that fact he helps is brother is really a family issue. Blood is blood, right? I wouldn't fault him for that either. :wink:

I for one can't wait to get out to LV and partake of all the food, sites, girls, and gambling.

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Keller has been taunting the New York chefs for three years about opening the New York spot .....

He needs to let his brother flounder around and find himself not pull him out of bad situation af ter bad situation.

What's wrong with Keller wanting to better the LV cuisine scene? Like he wants to do in NY? I'd admire him for trying. :smile:

And that fact he helps is brother is really a family issue. Blood is blood, right? I wouldn't fault him for that either. :wink:

I for one can't wait to get out to LV and partake of all the food, sites, girls, and gambling.

I dont think any of these big names are really trying to better the scene. If Keller's going there I think he's seeing green. It'd be nice to think that these guys are trying to make the world a better place to eat but when it's vegas it means only one thing---cash money... Keller's my idol, if that word can best describe it, but the thought of eating his food as I watch lost souls losing their ass is troubling. Let's watch this one progress my friends. I'm betting the slag he gets will make him think twice.

As for nepitism...I agree with you.

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Well, at least TK will be in good company...Jean George and Julian Serrano are already here (and Wolgang Puck, Michael Mina, Alex Stratta, Emeril, Kerry Simon, Mark Miller, Piero Selvaggio, Nobu, Charlie Palmer, Joachim Splichal)spring 2003 adds Bradley Ogden...coming in 2004...a collaboration between the Macciones (sp) and Alain Ducasse at the Bellagio...2005- Daniel Boulud at Le Reve.

Don't think too badly of someone who has earned the right to be offered the kind of green these guys will get. They worked their butts off to get to the level that offers this kind of opportunity. It can also afford them the opportunity to improve their other restaurants and explore other projects they might otherwise reject without the cash infusion...Las Vegas is (to say the least) a unique situation. People who might otherwise have no opportunity to try one of these chefs' restaurants can do so here (whether they can't afford to travel and stay in NYC or SF, get a reservation-i.e.FL or whatever). Granted, they are for the most part, mere shadows of the flagships, and most of the time THE chef is not in the house...but to many people just being able to say they ate in Chef X's restaurant is exciting enough.

They have bettered the food scene here. Before Wolfgang Puck came to town, the only places to eat were the hotel pseudo gourmet rooms which served either steak or 1960's style "French"..Las Vegas is not at the level of NYC or SF because the know they don't have to be. But with each new superchef's arrival, things notch up a bit more and the bar is raised...there is only so much tourist money available...and some of the restauranteurs and chefs are learning that the local clientele is very valuable (the Maccioni brothers just opened "Tre" on the NW side of town and are going great guns. Until the bubble bursts (and it is not showing any signs of doing so in the immediate future) Las Vegas is the land of culinary opportunity.

And, Nepotism Rules :biggrin: !

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Rat made an excellent point, especially as regards someone like Keller.  My impression is that his success is due to his physical presence in the kitchen, to make sure that his staff executes precisely as he wants.  How long does it take someone like him to train his staff to the point where he's comfortable leaving them on their own?  How does he make sure that the person(s) he hires as his surrogate can become his clone?  I mean, there's more to his cooking than just a combination of ingredients, philosophy, and technique.  Those can be bought and learned; but how does he ensure that that je ne sais quoi that makes him what he is can be duplicated?

For once, I might agree with Steve P. that I wouldn't want to eat at the NYC or LV "branch" unless I knew for sure that Keller would be there that night.  :wink:

Hey, mom. How about if I became his sous over there? Then would you come to eat at the restaurant?

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Cabrales..Columnist Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review Journal wrote the followin on Oct. 21, 2002:

"Another wave of world-class fine dining is on its way to Las Vegas.

Alain Ducasse, acclaimed by many of his peers as the world's leading chef, was in Las Vegas this weekend, reviewing plans to partner with Le Cirque's Sirio Maccioni on a French Bistro in the expansion tower at Bellagio....

As mentioned here on Sunday, star chef Daniel Boulud of New York told local chefs he is opening a 280 seat version of his New York CIty hit restaurant, Daniel, at Le Reve, Steve Wynn's new project at the former Desert Inn.

Tao, a sister establishment of the same name nightspot-eatery in New York City, is opening at the Venetian next year."

The Bellagio expansion is due to be finished in either late 2003 or early 2004.

Edit to add: When asking about the reliability of this info...I did not include Tao in the query.

I asked a couple of people who would know if this info was reliable..and they confirmed it at the time.

Edited by southern girl (log)
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