It’s not every day you see a celebrity chef rappelling from an iconic hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, but buffed-up British Royal Navy vet Robert Irvine isn’t your typical culinary personality—just take a look at those jacked biceps.
The host of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible (among other programs) descended the Tropicana’s 22-story Paradise Tower Monday night before announcing his first signature restaurant, slated to open in 2017 on the Strip resort’s casino floor featuring modern American-inspired fare. We chatted up the chef after his daring stunt about the Trop restaurant, Las Vegas as a culinary destination and more:
You host Restaurant: Impossible on the Food Network. What will make your upcoming restaurant at the Tropicana “Restaurant: Possible?” If you took every restaurant you have here and take a piece from each that works, we’re going to do that. And it will be the style that I do, which is comfort food but with a modern twist. And that doesn’t tell you much, but I don’t want to give too much away. What I will tell you is the menu will be eclectic enough to take every type of nationality and bring them to this hotel.
Do you have a favorite dining experience on the Strip? Rick Moonen [of RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room] is a dear friend of mine and we go to Rick’s all the time. I’ve had some great meals. … We had Mr. Chow the other day, my wife and I, so we get around a bit. Oh, what’s the name of that breakfast place I love? Have you ever been [to BabyStacks Café]? Oh my god. You want a breakfast? That’s the only place you go in Las Vegas.
What do you think about Las Vegas emerging as a true culinary destination? It’s not emerging, it’s already there. I call it the culinary mecca of the world. It really is. You’ve got everybody and anybody in this place that are doing great things. … I don’t think you can grow anymore, because you’ve got the best of the best here.
You’ve mentioned you’ll be doing some TV at the restaurant. Are you in talks about a show focused on the restaurant, or will it be spotlighted in current programs? We are talking about some things on that line, but also talk shows and some other things. It’s going to evolve over the next couple of months.