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[Chef Talk]

Wynn’s affable new chef adds some charm and authenticity

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Chef Enzo Febbraro, whose mother used to slap him with pizza.
Photo: Olga Minkevitch

“I’m a little introverted, a little shy,” jokes chef Enzo Febbraro. He’s the furthest thing from it. The boisterous chef returned to Las Vegas in April to create Wynn’s new traditional Italian restaurant, Allegro. Fifteen years ago, Febbraro was in the kitchen at MGM Grand’s La Scala, then one of few true fine dining restaurants on the Strip. “When I got the opportunity to come back, there’s only one place I would have come, and that’s Wynn,” he says. “I like to think I bring a more traditional Italian approach, and with my accent alone I make things more Italian around here.” Rimshot!

Favorite (other) Wynn spot: Spa at Encore “When I started here the Wynn spa was under construction, but [Encore’s] is beautiful. They really take care of you. I go to work out and take a dip in the Jacuzzi.”

Most memorable meal: mom’s home cooking “One day I invited eight of the most prominent chefs back home in Naples, Italy, to check out my mom’s cooking. She said, ‘Are you crazy? How can you do this to me?’ I told her, ‘Just be yourself; cook how you always cook.’ These chefs around the table, nobody was talking, it was just down to business. She did nine courses for these chefs, who enjoyed it as if they were kids again, like they never seen food before. That was one of the epic moments for me.”

Favorite food: pizza fritta “It uses the same dough, but you cook it into a calzone and stuff it with ricotta di bufala, smoked mozzarella and pork scraps that have been pressed together. Then it goes in the deep fryer. You should taste it. I love it so much that my mom used to make it from leftovers at 7 in the morning for my breakfast, and she would wake me up this way: She’d slap me across the face with the pizza!”

Tags: Dining
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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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