One of Las Vegas’s favorite celebrity chefs steps away from his two restaurants. Hubert Keller, who earned national acclaim for his San Francisco restaurant Fleur de Lys, informed his staff on Wednesday that he would not return to Burger Bar at Mandalay Place and Fleur at Mandalay Bay. Both restaurants remain temporarily closed.
“It has been a fun and rewarding journey working with the Mandalay Bay team and my restaurant staff throughout the years — I have many happy memories that I will treasure. Wishing everyone success as we all move on to our next chapter,” Keller says in a press statement.
Sixteen years ago, he opened his gourmet Burger Bar and wowed diners with a $60 Rossini burger made of American Kobe beef, sautéed foie gras, and shaved truffles. In 2014, he shared the story behind the restaurant opening and how chef Daniel Boulud inspired him in a time when Vegas was just making the changeover from buffets, cheap prime rib, and gourmet rooms to chef-driven restaurants with a name you recognized over the door.
His French restaurant Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay followed and went on to earn a Michelin star. In 1997, he won a Best Chef California award from the James Beard Foundation. He later made the restaurant more casual in 2010 and changed the name to Fleur by Hubert Keller. He closed his San Francisco restaurant in 2014, which served for 28 years and was considered one of the first chef-driven restaurants, and for many years, to be among the top fine-dining spots in the country.
A spokesperson for MGM Resorts says Burger Bar hopes to reopen with a new hospitality partner. MGM Resorts takes over ownership of Fleur by Hubert Keller, which serves regional and seasonally driven French cuisine.
“Hubert has consistently delivered exceptional hospitality at his restaurants and we are so grateful for his passion and dedication in bringing first-class dining experiences to our guests,” Mandalay Bay vice president of food and beverage Emmanuel Cornet says in a press statement. “We have appreciated his partnership at Mandalay Bay and wish him and his team all the best on their future endeavors.”
Keller’s numerous television appearances include his own cooking show, Secrets of a Chef, on PBS. He was also known to jump behind the ones and twos to deejay at set, especially during Vegas Uncork’d events.
• All Coverage of Burger Bar [ELV]