Kerry Simon is one of Las Vegas’ favorite celeb chefs, from his days spinning cotton candy onto the menu at his endlessly fun Hard Rock restaurant to the currently beloved hangover brunch at the swanky Simon at Palms Place. And don’t forget the burger-and-shake of the month program at his KGB Burger at Harrah’s. “Each restaurant is its own independent scene,” Simon says. “It’s a team effort. They work with me and I tell them what I like.” Here are some other things he likes:
Favorite condiment: togarashi This powdered combination of smoky chili peppers works with anything as far as Simon is concerned. “We use it wherever we can. It has a lot of abilities.” Get a taste at the Palms’ spot with the wok-charred edamame or the grilled shishito peppers.
Favorite late-night spot: Ichiza (4355 Spring Mountain Road, 367-3151) “It’s very funky and fun, but what I love most about that place is the menu is just on sticky notes on the wall. One time, I ordered a stir-fry dish and they said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘It’s right there,’ and pointed it out on the wall, and they threw the sticky note away and said, ‘Sorry, we’re out of that.'”
Favorite cookbook: Salvador Dali’s Les Diners de Gala Salvador Dali did a cookbook?! “He did, and it’s crazy,” Simon says. “But he was kind of crazy. In New York, he ate out everywhere, took 10 people to dinner every night. So it must be his favorite recipes.”
Favorite food city: Las Vegas “How can I not say Vegas? The city has every chef. I like LA a lot and find it to be filled with chefs that don’t get a lot of attention, but Vegas is tough to compete with.”