This is a city built on stars. While many think of the stars behind the shows on the marquees, it’s the stars in the kitchens (and the Michelin Guides) that feed the collective bellies in Las Vegas. With each new resort opening, new celebrity chefs seem to pepper the restaurants.
1 Wolfgang Puck
Las Vegas owes the celebrity chef movement to Wolfgang Puck, who opened Spago at the Forum Shops at Caesars in 1992. Then everyone wanted a celebrity chef on their property. Puck now has seven restaurants in the city spread across properties. We love CUT, his divine steakhouse at the Palazzo, but you can always count on good people watching at Spago.
2 Michael Mina
Egyptian-born Michael Mina cut his culinary skills in San Francisco before landing in Las Vegas with 2002 with Aqua (now Michael Mina) at the Bellagio. He’s partners with Vegas native tennis superstar Andre Agassi, and now has four restaurants in the city. We love his namesake restaurant at the Bellagio.
3 Emeril Lagasse
Emeril Lagasse first rose to fame as the chef at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, then landed his eponymous restaurant there to showcase his cajun and Creole cooking styles. Shows like “Emeril Live” on the Food Network only helped him, his catchphrases and sparkling personality gain traction. He opened Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand in 1995.
4 Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich
Mario Batali may be best known for his orange Crocs that he dons daily in the kitchen. In Vegas, the former Food Network star runs three restaurants with partner Joe Bastianich at the Venetian and the Palazzo. The duo first set up shop with B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco at the Venetian. We like the aged beef at Carnevino Italian Steakhouse.
5 Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay opened his first restaurant in Las Vegas, Gordon Ramsay Steak, last year, and if getting a reservation is any indication, this place is hot. Go for the beef Wellington, one of Ramsay’s signature dishes, or just pick a Pat LaFrieda dry-aged steak from the swanking cart that rolls around the dining room. Ramsay also has Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace and Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood Resort.