He was a great chef as chefs go, and as chefs go, he went…

This just in:

Effective two weeks ago, David Werly — the chef responsible for Le Cirque gaining a Michelin star — has left the Maccioni empire for a position in Miami (Florida, not Oklahoma).

Effective today, Gregory Gorreau — Executive Chef at Payard Patisserie and Bistro, and one of our favorite dudes in food — has left Las Vegas to return to France to be closer to his family.

In somewhat older news: Eric Damidot is no longer Corporate Executive Chef of Caesars Palace (no reason was given for his departure), leaving ELV to wonder about the future of many of our favorite eateries. (and meaning we’ll be mighty busy updating EATING LAS VEGAS next year).

Little by little, the talent that rode in on the tidal wave of Vegas’ ascension to the forefront of the world’s restaurant cities, is drifting out with the recessionary tide. There’s still plenty of top talent around, but we can feel the energy starting to subside. Only time will tell if we can maintain our position, or become the Tombstone, Arizona of American eating cities.

16 thoughts on “He was a great chef as chefs go, and as chefs go, he went…

  1. We’ll never end up like a Tombstone, Arizona. We still have incredible eateries with the same chefs that brought them here. Don’t worry! We even have new restaurants to look forward to (Cosmopolitan) and many talents that hold their namesake restaurants in “our humble burg”. And essentially, if all else fails…which it won’t….we always have Franck Savoy, who is here all the time, 24/7. And with this, we’re not losing Le Cirque or Payard and I’m sure the quality will not slip. The staff is still just as dedicated as with the previous chef. Also, the executive chef at Guy Savoy recently changed and the quality of the establishment, food, and service have NOT in the slightest decreased. It’s just as lip smackin’ drop your fork amazing as ever. I feel like this will be the case with both of these restaurants as well.

  2. I’m sorry, but I certainly don’t see what health regulations have to do with the cooking swolfla. And did we forget that the wonderful Alex Stratta just won the Wine Spectator Grand Award? He’s not going anywhere. Neither is Julian Serrano. Neither is AndrĂ© Rochat. Neither is Bradley Ogden….Shawn McClain, Claude Le Tohic, Franck Savoy, David Walzog, Steve Benjamin….and on and on and on. We are STILL at the forefront of the restaurant cities in both the U.S. and the world. The recession might bring a few minor bruises, but Las Vegas will never fade as a culinary capital. We have made a serious name for ourselves. Gorreau wanted to be closer to family. This is not a cause of the recession. For pete’s sake, Pierre Gagnaire chose to open HERE. Not New York, not San Francisco, not Chicago…HERE! And in the midst of the recession. We’re here to stay. We remain one of the Top 5 culinary capitals in the United States.

  3. Our economy is actually picking back up. High-end resorts are up. With high-end resorts come high-end restaurants and more people to fill them. Las Vegas will be fine. And our chefs seem to love it here. :) Who can blame them? The Strip is a foodie paradise.

  4. sorry Michael F. – Bradley Ogden is out early next year, just an FYI. but the rest of your names are good

  5. @Spice_RAC: Where is your source for this? I don’t recall hearing anything about Ogden leaving. His Michelin-starred restaurant was booming when I was at Caesars last week and the lounge was packed. They also just recently opened Munchbar, which was also very busy, so…I don’t see on Earth why he would go anywhere.

  6. “With the right kind of eyes, you can almost see the high-water mark – the place where the wave broke and rolled back” — Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

  7. Michael – “They” didn’t open Munch, that was all Bryan but he is gone too and doing another hush project. My sources – Caesars F&B. Caesars just wants a hot new name for Vegas that they can call their own.
    Don’t know if Gordon is still in the running, he wanted too much (as in 2 restaurants in Harrah’s other properties)

  8. FYI: the p.r. people at Harrah’s/Caesars deny any and all of this to me, of course, but I’m of the opinion as to this one that, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
    Ramsay would be a good “get”… a nice shot in the arm for Caesars (or anywhere in Vegas) as it were…
    In other news: my sources tell me a deal with Boulud is close…

  9. …. for them young whipper-snappers exiting the kitchens of rm. The Chin-Sobel combo were sensational to the taste buds!

  10. I agree that the economy is picking up. Just look at the prices of the Seasonal Menus at MGM Grand. Once, a marketing strategy to bring in diners with rates for three course dinners such as a $55 menu at Craftsteak, and locals specials for most of the MGM restaurants that were buy an entree get another free, nowadays it’s $85 for that seasonal menu per person, and your local ID will now get you a complimentary dessert and after dinner drink with that purchase of an entree.

    As for Bradley Ogden, one of my absolute favorite restaurants *sniff*, it can’t go unnoticed that the vast majority of the upper management from the front of the house and back of the house have moved on very recently…

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