Taste

[Chef Talk]

Chef Heath Cicerelli has found his place in Emeril’s kitchen

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Chef Heath Cicerelli puts delicious pieces together.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Heath Cicerelli didn’t plan to fall in love with food. He originally wanted to be a brewmeister. “I was planning on going to Munich to study after I graduated, and then I came to Vegas to hang out with a few friends,” he says. “I never left.” He started working as a food runner at Delmonico Steakhouse, became addicted to kitchen life, and he’s currently chef de cuisine at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at MGM Grand. He still plays around with beer, though, staging regular beer dinners at Emeril’s. “I really like to pair food with beer, and it seems more people have opened their minds to that stuff.”

Favorite seasonal ingredient: truffles “There are so many different ways to play with them, and a few shaves of some truffle and a little oil is the best way to dress up almost any plate. We did a special lobster and truffle menu in the summer, when they don’t get the same praise and notoriety they do in the winter.”

Favorite food city: New Orleans “The hospitality there, the way food is involved with everything down there, is very special. Everything is seasonal, the fish is just ready to go, and it’s always a good time.”

Booze of choice: seasonal selections “My cocktails definitely travel with the season. Right now, probably a little vodka soda with some fruit, but in the wintertime, it’ll be Jack and Coke. I’m definitely still into beer, and I’m kind of a snob for Belgian stuff. But for an after-dinner drink, you might catch me with a good grappa.”

Tags: Dining
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