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Alain Ducasse
Alain Ducasse
Pierre Monetta

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Alain Ducasse Discusses His Rivea Menu and the Work Behind It

What goes into a menu? Alain Ducasse and his team at Rivea worked to perfect the ingredients in each dish of this Riviera-inspired menu. Ducasse takes us behind the scenes.

Alain Ducasse is on the verge of opening his new restaurant Rivea at the Delano in October, and Eater Vegas talked to the chef about his new menu, which features dishes influenced by the food markets of Provence and Italy. Think simple, fresh Mediterranean flavors but using West Coast-sourced seasonal ingredients. That means house-made pizzette, pastas and grilled meats with an eye toward those coasts of Italy and France. Here, Ducasse takes readers through the menu, with his annotated notes handed back to executive chef Bruno Riou, as the restaurant prepares to open with staff training starting on Friday.

Rivea annotated menu
Tell me your inspiration behind this menu.
Rivea will bring the soul of the French and Italian Rivieras to Las Vegas' locals and visitors. Its seductive menu will make guests feel as though they’ve been transported to those endless summers in the South of France with simple, fresh Italian and French cooking influenced by the food markets of Provence and Italy in combination with seasonal local California produce whenever possible.

Are these dishes unique to Las Vegas?
We want to transport diners with a Riviera-worthy menu from domestic charcuterie and chickpea flour panisse to luscious zucotto and limoncello baba, a riff on my classic rum baba. Some examples of items that are unique to Las Vegas: premium grill offerings with Mediterranean accents such as a beef jus with black olives; a prawn and calamari crostino with prawns from Santa Barbara when in season.

My executive chef Bruno Riou is collaborating with farmers that grow vegetables exclusively for the restaurant, harvested according to our specifications for the stuffed baby vegetables, for example. Bruno has someone in California that we trust and send to the farmer’s market to handpick what we need (zucchini, beans tomatoes, artichokes with stems…) Some herbs are also grown right here in Nevada.

You have a lot of small plates on the Rivea menu. Are you seeing a change in the way people are dining in Las Vegas?
We know choices can be difficult and we want curious diners to be able to have it all and encourage a convivial dining format amongst family, friends, clients. In terms of the menu structure, we felt that a casual, elegant approach with an emphasis on appetizers to share would be well received. Hospitality and generosity are essential here and the possibilities for this in Las Vegas are endless. It’s the apéritif way of life that we’re encouraging at Rivea in Las Vegas.

Are you changing dishes right up until the opening? Maybe just an ingredient, maybe more of this, less of that?
The bulk of the menu is done, but with rigorous staff training we continue to strive for perfection in terms of sourcing the best seasonal ingredients, texture and seasoning, plating and presentation for an efficient and qualitative dining experience.

How much independence does Bruno have on the menu? Is this an Alain Ducasse menu or a collaboration?
I came to Bruno with broad strokes and from there he and I collaborated on adapting to the local palate and honing in on quality produce available regionally. I also sent Bruno earlier in the summer to my Rivea restaurants in Saint-Tropez and London to spend some time cooking with the teams there as well as a stop in Nice and Provence for their timeless markets and to inspire his senses.

How would you describe Rivea as far as the menu goes?
Rich in Mediterranean flavors with ties to France and Italy. There is really something for every mood and occasion from pastas, pizzette, the grill section, to your daily veg, etc.

Delano Las Vegas

3940 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89119 (702) 632-7888 Visit Website
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