Ayesha Curry & Michael Mina Serve Up Globally-Inspired Cuisine At International Smoke Las Vegas

Entrepreneur and food TV personality Ayesha Curry and Michelin award-winning chef Michael Mina are a culinary match made in heaven. “It all started with Ayesha’s passion for cooking,” Chef Mina said. “The truth of it is, we are just two people who love food and love people. Ayesha and I would talk about the different styles of grilling we’ve inherited from our families and our own unique experiences. After a lot of conversation and dreaming, we decided to bring Ayesha into our MINA Test Kitchen space in San Francisco to bring this idea of International Smoke to life.”

Chef Mina, founder of the restaurant management company MINA Group, said the pop-up at the MINA Test Kitchen space in 2016 was a huge hit. “It was one of our most successful concepts at the Test Kitchen evolving into its own set of brick and mortar locations.”

Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina at International Smoke Las Vegas
Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina at International Smoke Las Vegas

Photo Credit: MGM Resorts International

International Smoke, which celebrates culture and tradition with creative smoke-infused and wood-fired dishes, expanded to Miami, San Diego and most recently, Las Vegas at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. “I love that Vegas is a food mecca that attracts travelers from all over the world,” said Curry, host and executive producer of ABC’s cooking competition show, Family Food Fight. “I’m so excited about the adventurous diners that we’ll get to feed and will get to show the International Smoke experience.”

Chef Mina, of course, is no stranger to the culinary scene in Las Vegas. He has several restaurants in MGM Resorts International properties: Bardot Brasserie (Aria), StripSteak (Mandalay Bay) and Michael Mina (Bellagio). “Las Vegas is hugely important to my career and truly helped put MINA Group on the map. I’m so grateful for my partnership with MGM – it’s been instrumental in getting me where I am today.”

International Smoke Las Vegas Exterior MGM Grand Las Vegas Photo Credit: MGM Resorts International

International Smoke Las Vegas opened in December 2019 and is already a hit. The restaurant features three different areas to dine: the main dining room, the spacious bar area or the patio overlooking The District at MGM Grand. Chef Mina says the atmosphere and overall look and feel of the restaurant reflect the diverse, bold flavors on the menu. “It’s a really fun space for us and it definitely has its Instagram moments, too.”

International Smoke Las Vegas Patio MGM Grand Las VegasPhoto Credit: MGM Resorts International

As far as the menu, the one-of-a-kind dining concept uses infused techniques, flavors and ingredients from Japanese, Jamaican and Korean cultures. “The restaurant concept stems from both Ayesha’s and my own personal travels around the world. Fire is the start of all cooking and every country shares this culinary spark.”

The International Smoke Las Vegas menu features excellent starters like the shellfish platter which includes Pacific oysters, gulf shrimp, Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab; the jerk duck spring rolls with spicy mango chutney and green sauce; Ayesha’s fresh-baked cornbread topped with Thai red curry butter.

International Smoke Las Vegas Shellfish Platter
Shellfish Platter

Photo Credit: Kelly Puielo

Main entrees include the braised Jamaican oxtail with red beans and coconut-jasmine rice; smoked St. Louis cut pork ribs with American barbecue, Vietnamese chili-lemongrass and Korean sesame-gochujang sauces; the smoked Korean-style bone-in short rib with steamed rice, kimchi and toasted sesame; wood-fired grill steaks ranging from a 14-ounce New York strip to a 16-ounce Delmonico rib-eye; and the whole pulled pork shack with al pastor sauce, corn tortillas, pickled vegetables and pineapple salsa.

International Smoke Las Vegas Combo Ribs
Combo Ribs

Photo Credit: Kelly Puleio

International Smoke Las Vegas offers a selection of beers, wines and cocktails that pair perfectly with your meal. Choose from signature cocktails like the Shape Shifter, a mix of Espolon Blanco tequila, passion fruit, pineapple and honey; the Gina Jamaica, with Tito’s vodka, Barsol Pisco, cucumber and basil; or the Lilikoi Mai Tai with Selvarey rum, lilikoi, pineapple and lime. For large groups, go for the sharable punch bowls like the Punch Drunk, with Tito’s vodka, peach, lime and raspberries.

International Smoke Las Vegas Gina Jamaica
Gina Jamaica

Photo Credit: Kelly Puleio

“It’s amazing to get to work with someone as brilliant as Chef Mina,” Curry said. “He is such an inspiration to me. He always encourages me to try new things and be open to ideas that may seem out of the box because adventure is the spice of life, and I think our menu is a direct reflection of that!”

International Smoke Las Vegas is open daily from 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m., the bar opens at 4:30 p.m. for happy hour. For more information, visit www.internationalsmoke.com.

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