The Sahara makes some big changes to its restaurants this year, and now it has a new executive chef to oversee development and opening Chickie’s & Pete’s, Noodle Den, and the recently announced Italian restaurant from Shawn McClain Ballo.
The resort promoted Lyle Kaku to executive chef to oversee all culinary operations for the resort. Kaku worked as executive sous chef for the Sahara since 2018. He’ll handle new menus for the resort’s restaurants, in-room dining, and the banquets departments.
Later this year, the resort opens Philadelphia’s Chickie’s & Pete’s sports bar and crab house with a menu of crabfries and elevated bar cuisine such as a crabfeast and Lisa’s blonde lobster pie pizza. Noodle Den from chef Guoming “Sam” Xin brings hand-pulled noodles and dumplings, as well as traditional Northern Chinese dishes. Ballo plans to feature light Southern Italian fare, fire-roasted meats and fish, and Roman pizzas when it opens this fall.
Kaku received his culinary arts training from the University of Hawaii and started his career in Las Vegas more than 20 years ago. His resume includes stints at Spago in Wailea, Hawaii, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at the MGM Grand. He worked at Vintner Grill as chef de cuisine and Cleo as executive chef before heading to the Fairmont in San Francisco.
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