Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren’t unearthing. To help guide readers to these potential discoveries, Eater Vegas enlisted some of the city’s food players to share their recommendations for a feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
MGM Grand’s executive pastry chef Florent Cheveau represents the United States at Cacao Berry’s World Chocolate Masters 2018 Finals this October in France, where he will compete to win the prestigious title of World Chocolate Master. The 23-year industry veteran spent time as head chef at a celebrated chocolaterie in France and once catered at the Élysée Palace. Cheveau currently serves as MGM Grand’s executive pastry chef, where he manages a team of 50 chefs who create more than 15,000 pastries for the 5,044-room-resort-casino’s food and beverage outlets, as well as catering and banquets. Most recently — following five months and hundreds of hours training, Cheveau competed and won the chance to represent the United States at the 2018 Cacao Barry World Chocolate Masters Competition, where he won with an artistic representation of the effects of industrialization on natural environments. At the 2018 finals this October in Paris, Cheveau will face off against 19 finalists from around the world as they craft their interpretation of “Futropolis,” visualizing the future through chocolate. Only one will be named World Chocolate Master. If Cheveau is victorious, it will be the first time the United States has taken the title. Here, he shares some of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
My first visit to Las Vegas was the day I moved here to start as an assistant pastry chef at Bellagio. It was always a dream of mine to move to the United States. Without ever visiting, I knew Vegas was the ideally place to continue my career as a pastry chef. Nine years later, Las Vegas has proven to be more than I had ever hoped for. I love this city!
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
While working as a pastry chef in Paris, I developed an eight-year career plan that listed all of the goals I wished to accomplish within my profession, which included working with the best pastry chefs in the world. After Jean Phillippe Maury was named World Pastry Champion, moving to Las Vegas was on the top of that list. In 2007, I was offered a position at Jean Philippe Patisserie at Bellagio.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I really enjoy having breakfast with my wife and kids at Baguette Cafe.
What about lunch? Any dishes you recommend?
My favorite place for lunch is Eatt Healthy Food. The duck is incredible!
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
Raku is one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas. The foie gras with glazed soy sauce is a must-have dish.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion? Any dishes you recommend?
For special occasions, I look for a combination of both great food and beautiful surroundings. Lago by Julian Serrano has an incredible view of the Fountains at Bellagio, which adds beauty and romance to the delicious menu. Since they offer small plates, I always order a variety of dishes. Some of my favorites are the 7 &7 and the risotto ai funghi e parmigiano.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent? Any dishes you recommend?
Bouchon is one of my favorite brunch spots. I always order their baguettes with all the accompaniments.
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]