Move over Gordon Ramsay. A highly controversial chef is attempting to take Las Vegas by storm, Ramsay-style. But this newcomer has set his sights on multiple locations off-Strip and his controversial past includes a wake of serious charges and allegations.
Conrad Gallagher is planning to open PoshBurger Bistro on March 15, in the same retail complex as Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria & Bar. Gallagher is a former culinary wunderkind, winning his first Michelin Star at age 25. In recent years his reputation has been dominated by a string of failed ventures in Ireland, New York and South Africa, directly affecting his restaurant workers, as much as optimistic investors.
Reports of his financial impropriety on three continents abound. An arrest and subsequent acquittal for the theft of $13,000 in paintings became a tabloid cause célèbre. In July of last year, The New York Post gave an infamous zero star review of Gallagher's The Purple Fig. The restaurant closed amidst charges of not paying staff or suppliers and operating without a permit.
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Conrad Gallagher says he was a consultant to Purple Fig and was not involved when it was closed.
The online Irish newspaper Sligo Today, has been particularly vociferous in its monitoring of Gallagher's career, even to the extent of deliberately printing the PoshBurger Bistro address, to aid Gallagher's potential creditors. The chef has attributed his sometimes mercurial behavior to O.C.D. and depression.
Now living in Las Vegas with his wife Candice and two children, the chef's announced local expansion plans include Gallagher the Grocer, "a small boutique gourmet food store, wine shop and cooking school warehouse in Summerlin." His Gallagher & Associates consulting company also references a Vegas version of his former South African Sundance Gourmet Coffee Company. Their web site still indicates it would be open by October 2012. And their company project gallery promotes the "Chai — Town Noodle Bar" in Las Vegas. The text is overlaid on a photograph of a completed restaurant. The photograph is of the chef's long-shuttered Geisha Wok and Noodle Bar in Cape Town. Gallagher declared bankruptcy in South Africa in August 2009. No timetable has been released for these Las Vegas ventures.
Gallagher had previously announced The Green Artichoke, "A Modern Paris Bistro" was intended for the Westside location of PoshBurger Bistro. The upscale burger concept twitter feed has been promoting a menu featuring "all natural, free range, grass fed, humanly raised, sustainable, pesticides free and support small local farmers." The "posh" decor features graffiti-decorated walls, polished black floor tile and "8 ft solid oak benches and tables."
Burger options already promised include venison and wild boar. The Tuna Tartare Burger is created with "Sesame Brioche Bun, Wasabi Aioli, Asian Coleslaw, shiitake mushroom, Curry Dusted Shoestring Potatoes" and is listed for $19, as is the Black Angus Burger including "Brioche Bun, Confit Tomato, Arugula, Humus, Raclette cheese, Red Onion Marmalade, Sumo Fries." For $29, guests can indulge with the Kobe Burger of "brioche bun, Truffle Aioli, Seared Foie Gras, pearl Onion, watercress, cherry Tomatoes, Polenta Parmesan Fried fries."
· All Coverage of Conrad Gallagher [~EN~]
· All Coverage of Coming Attractions [~ELV~]