You always remember the first time — or every time, for that matter — that you dine at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Restaurant Guy Savoy in Caesars Palace. And the same can be said of meeting the man, Guy Savoy, who brought his quintessential nouvelle French cuisine to Las Vegas a decade ago, sparking a gastronomic revolution.
Now, in honor of the 10-year mark, a five-course anniversary menu is being offered throughout the month of May at the famed eatery. It touches on the chef’s revered dishes, including his “golden” Osetra caviar, artichoke and black truffle soup, and a veal chop with black truffle purée.
We caught up with the star chef as he was winding down from early May’s Vegas Uncork’d weekend, where he debuted the very special dinner.
When you opened 10 years ago, what was your impression of Vegas?
When Caesars Palace called me and wanted to do a gastronomy restaurant in Las Vegas, it did not seem like the [right] place. But today Las Vegas is one of the most important places in the world for [this cuisine]. It has seen amazing progression over 10 years. And Caesars has been committed to it.
How much time do you spend in Las Vegas?
I come to town two to three times per year. After 10 years, most of the staff has been here since day one. The atmosphere here — and at my restaurant in Paris — is very welcoming. My guest is the most important person in the world, and my priority is the atmosphere.
How do you create the seamless vibe in the dining room?
By doing everything: the views, decorations, the food, the wine, the objects on the table, the plate. In a restaurant, everything is important. Good art on the wall, nice tablecloths. The bread — France is a country of bread, cheese and wine.
How has Vegas changed you as a chef and restaurateur?
I hope I have changed Las Vegas. The fact that we have changed the spirit of one city in 10 years is incredible. We changed the types of foods that are now available here. Now from California, we have the same vegetables as in France, the same veal. Whole Foods Market was not [in Las Vegas] 10 years ago. Total Wine was not here — you can buy wine at 8 a.m. on a Sunday. It’s unique in the world. We can’t find that Sunday morning in France — all this wine, whiskey and cognac. The revolution was not only for the restaurant. I think everything is possible now, everywhere in the world.
Who is the Vegas customer now?
I have people who say they only come to Vegas now for the food and the restaurants.
You have a new chef, Julien Asseo. How is he doing?
I decided on Julien because he’s the trainer of the team, and he has the talent for that. He’s perfect. The restaurant is one team — different jobs, one team — kind of like rugby. Everyone has a different role or position. Even with different qualities, we can be a good team, a balanced team. If everybody is the same, it is not possible. We need different personalities and jobs to keep it going.