Mark LoRusso deserves to be a show horse. Not that he’s a showy or flashy guy. Far from it. He’s one of those humble, workaholic chefs who prefers to let his cuisine do the talking. As the Chef de Cuisine of Michael Mina’s Aqua (now Michael Mina), he was that kitchen’s secret weapon, and a guy whose reputation among fellow chefs was exalted long before the public had ever heard of him.
His work at Tableau in the Wynn from 2005-2007 earned him Chef of the Year honors in ’07 from KNPR, and when he’s on his game (which is just about every day and night) the guy is the Tiger Woods of kitchen consistency. Unfortunately, what he’s being asked to do at Botero is the equivalent of chaining a thoroughbred to a milk wagon — and then asking it to make deliveries at 50 miles an hour. Thus has the show horse become a work horse, and because of it, the results are mixed.