Ming See Woo is the matriarch of a true Las Vegas restaurant family. She and her husband Henry opened the tiny Mayflower Chinese restaurant in 1976 on Paradise Road, which was later relocated to West Sahara. The family then operated Woo at the Palazzo for a short time. Ming See retired when that restaurant closed, but she returned to the kitchen last November to open Fú at the Hard Rock Hotel. Her son Peter was chef at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Nobu for seven years, so this casino’s kitchen seems a comfortable fit—especially with daughter Theresa working in the front of the house, too.
Neighborhood vs. casino: “Cooking at the Mayflower was different. Here at Fú the menu is more Chinese because that’s what the [Asian] customers want, but we also have some different dishes with Thai and Korean flavors because there are younger people at the Hard Rock, and we want to give them something spicy and interesting.”
Always in the kitchen: “I never like to come out of the kitchen. That’s why I have Theresa,” she jokes. “We work as a team.” Unlike some chefs, Ming See does a lot of cooking at home. “I have three grandkids, and they have their own menu. They like Hong Kong chow mein, fried rice and garlic noodles … simple things.”
Other eats: “On days off I like to take the grandkids out. They like to go to the children’s museum Downtown and then to Lucille’s in Green Valley, so it’s a long trip!” Ming See’s favorite restaurant: Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand.