Your restaurant has been open at Caesars Palace for about seven and a half years. How has your opinion of Las Vegas changed in that time? Yes, it will be eight years in May. My first time here was in 2003, and Vegas, for me, was not known for food. But on my first visit I had dinner at Bradley Ogden, and I went to Picasso, and I was very surprised by the quality and the philosophy, the organic produce at Bradley Ogden and the very good food and the art, of course, and the French wine at Picasso … it changed my opinion on Vegas. I could see Vegas could become a very important place.
And in 10 years, the transformation of this city is amazing. Now Vegas is not only known for the shows and the gambling but for gastronomy. I have a lot of guests in Paris that before, they never came to Vegas. Now they do and they know at least one night they’ll try a new amazing restaurant. There are a lot of chefs and a lot of cuisine from everywhere. Tonight at midnight we have a reservation at the Japanese restaurant Raku. Everybody has told us it’s very good. And yesterday night we went to Beijing Noodle No. 9. I love the place. The decoration! And the food!
The newest element at your restaurant here is the Krug Chef’s Table. What’s that like? Krug Champagne and Restaurant Guy Savoy have the same spirit. The object is always perfection. We have the same sensibility, so it’s a unique product. After the first glass of Champagne, there are different wines with 10 courses. There are only six guests, and the table is in the kitchen. It’s very human. … A restaurant is a live place. It’s important to see the backstage. And I’m very proud to show what we do this way. This is my life. I need direct contact with my purveyors, with my team, with my guests. It’s my life.
Last year you added the Innovation-Inspiration menu. How difficult is it to make creative changes to your cuisine while maintaining the highest standards? I’ve done this job for 45 years. Regularity is my specialty. It’s very easy to do one meal for 50 people once a day. The challenge of our job in Paris, for example, is two times a day, lunch and dinner, to have success on every plate at every table.
What do you see in the future of fine dining? Until about three years ago, our guests in Paris were French first, and then from the U.S. and Japanese. Now we have guests from China, India, Russia, Norway, Brazil, everywhere. The evolution is the extension of interest in gastronomy. We’ve seen the transformation of cuisine in Peru. Now, it’s all over the world. We found amazing restaurants in La Paz, and maybe in five or 10 years Bolivia will be a place for gastronomy. You have Noma now, in Denmark, and 10 years ago Denmark was … pssh! All the fine dining restaurants of the world are very, very different. It’s not Starbucks. Here, this place is not like Joël Robuchon or Pierre Gagnaire. They all have their own personality.