Meet the Chefs & Mixologists
June 5-8, 2024

Meet the Chefs & Mixologists

Revelry brings together lauded chefs and mixologists, showcasing a variety of events and culinary experiences throughout Wynn Las Vegas, featuring top talent from the resort and across the globe.

Celebrity Chefs & Mixologists
Chef/Owner/Author - Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York City
Celebrity Chefs & Mixologists
Dominique Ansel

Award-winning Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel is responsible for creating some of the most fêted pastries in the world. Ansel’s creations include the Cronut®, the Cookie Shot, Frozen S’more, and more. He was named World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2017, and earned the nicknames of “Culinary Van Gogh” and “Willy Wonka of New York” by Food & Wine and New York Post, respectively. Ansel has received numerous awards from the James Beard Foundation, in addition to the prestigious l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole, France’s second highest honor. Prior to opening the eponymous Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York’s Soho neighborhood, Ansel served as executive pastry chef for Daniel, where his team earned a coveted third Michelin star and a four-star review from The New York Times. Ansel also operates Dang Wen Li in Hong Kong, Dominique Ansel Workshop in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood, and Dominique Ansel Las Vegas at Caesars Palace.

Head Chef, Zaytinya by José Andrés
Celebrity Chefs & Mixologists
Jose Ayala

Chef José Ayala leads Zaytinya by José Andrés at The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, drawing on extensive experience from roles at Spanish Diner at Mercado Little Spain and Jaleo by José Andrés, Mi Casa, and Manzanita. Chef Ayala’s dedication to excellence and Mediterranean cuisine helps steward Andrés’ vision, making Zaytinya a destination for innovative flavors and exceptional dining experiences.

Master Mixologist, Wynn Resorts - North America
Celebrity Chefs & Mixologists
Mariena Mercer Boarini

Mariena Mercer Boarini joined Wynn Resorts in 2021 as the resort mixologist for Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, overseeing the beverage programs for more than 30 venues across the resort. In 2023, Mercer Boarini was promoted to the role of Master Mixologist – North America for Wynn Resorts, where she now leads the beverage programs across Wynn and Encore Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor, while supporting all future developments in the region. Mercer Boarini began experimenting with molecular mixology in 2007. She is a veteran of the hospitality and culinary industries with extensive experience in the Las Vegas market, and is widely recognized as one of the top mixologists on the Strip. Mercer Boarini claimed the global title at the Ophir World Adventure Cocktail Competition in Morocco in 2015 and has been named “Top Bartender in Las Vegas” and one of the “Top 10 Female Bartenders in the World.”

Pastry Chef, Dunsmoor, Los Angeles
Erika Chan

The love of baking began close to home for Pastry Chef Erika Chan, who is originally from New England. Growing up she was always creating something sweet for friends, family, and special occasions. Chan learned the fundamentals of baking at Mayfield Bakery in Palo Alto, where she interned on summer breaks while pursuing a degree in nutritional sciences and dietetics at University of California, Berkeley. After graduating magna cum laude and becoming a registered dietitian, Chan returned to the world of pastries, working in a variety of restaurants around the country including The Publican in Chicago before landing as pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, where she was named one of California’s 2021 Outstanding Pastry Chefs by Michelin Guide. She now helms confections at Glassell Park’s Dunsmoor. Chan's style is in line with the seasonal ethos of California cuisine. She builds dishes that let the produce shine.

Culinary Ambassador, Wynn Macau
André Chiang

Honored with the “15 Most Influential Chefs of the Next Decade” by Elite Traveler and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, Chef André Chiang has been invited to be the Wynn Culinary Ambassador. He spent his formative years in France where he immersed himself in skills and techniques of French cuisine before going on to open several exceptional restaurants in Singapore, Taipei, and Paris which include the award-winning Restaurant André, Burnt Ends, and Raw. Restaurant André received two Michelin stars and was ranked number 14 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and number two on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017. The one-Michelin-star Burnt Ends is ranked number 12 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 list. His Taipei restaurant Raw, a Michelin-starred establishment, is ranked number 15 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2018. More recently, he established The Bridge restaurant in Chengdu, China.

Owners - SingleThread Farm-Restaurant-Inn, Healdsburg
Katina and Kyle Connaughton

Katina and Kyle Connaughton met at 15 years old and have been together ever since. Kyle is a chef, culinary educator, and cookbook author; Katina is a farmer; and together in December 2016, they opened SingleThread Farm-Restaurant-Inn, in Healdsburg, California. The restaurant has received many accolades including: four stars from San Francisco Chronicle; a James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Award; "Miele One to Watch" award from World's 50 Best Restaurants; and a three-star rating in the Michelin Red Guide within two years of opening. Katina heads up SingleThread Farm at Dry Creek, a 24 acre property with greenhouses, heirloom orchards and bee hives as well as the foraging program and floral design department. Prior to SingleThread, Katina began farming while living in a rural agricultural community in Hokkaido, Japan; and Kyle worked for Michel Bras in the same town, later becoming head chef of research and development at The Fat Duck in Bray, England.

Chef/Owner - Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn is the chef-owner of the three-Michelin-star Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, where artistry is at the forefront, cuisine is a craft, and the community is an inspiration. The term “atelier” can be defined as a workshop or studio, a concept that drives Crenn's modern vision for fine French cuisine. Crenn opened Atelier Crenn in January 2011, infusing her distinctive French heritage and unique life story into its imaginative gastronomy. Both a place to express her heritage, and an ode to "poetic culinaria,” Atelier Crenn achieved its first Michelin star within a year of opening. She made history the following year when the restaurant received its second Michelin star, making her the first female chef in the U.S. to receive the honor. Crenn beat her own record in November 2018 by securing a third Michelin star and was the recipient of the World's 50 Best Icon Award in 2021.

Chef Tam’s Seasons, Wynn Palace
Tam Kwok Fung

Executive Chef Tam Kwok Fung, revered around the world for his award-winning Cantonese cuisine and masterful works of culinary art, leads a team of talented chefs at Chef Tam’s Seasons. Throughout his career, he has received many prestigious accolades and served a host of dignitaries—from politicians to royal families. Since he joined Wing Lei Palace in Wynn Palace in 2018, the restaurant earned a Michelin star and a place on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list from 2019 to 2023. Chef Tam has also become the first chef in Macau to earn “Chef of the Year” from the 2023 Black Pearl Restaurant Guide. After starting his career in Hong Kong, Chef Tam would go on to join Mandarin Oriental Bangkok and The Peninsula Bangkok. In 2007, he returned to his Chinese roots and joined Crown Macau and subsequently City of Dreams.

Bartender/owner - Happy Accidents, Albuquerque
Kate Gerwin

Kate Gerwin is a celebrated bartender and hospitality consultant, known for being the first woman and first American to win the Bols Around the World Bartender Championship in 2014. Other accomplishments in her 20-year career include placement on the list of “Top 100 Most Influential Figures in the World” in 2019 and 2022 by Drinks International, serving as a master sommelier for Napa’s top wineries, consulting for TV series Bar Rescue, and teaching at the Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. Another meaningful recognition for Gerwin is being inducted into the Tales of the Cocktail “Dame Hall of Fame.” She also recently launched Happy Accidents, a distillery and cocktail bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The award-winning bar offers more than 70 cocktails, all of which are carefully curated and feature base spirits uniquely designed for the cocktail itself.

Chef/Owner/Author - Eleven Madison Park, New York City
Daniel Humm

Daniel Humm is an author, speaker, and the chef-owner of Make It Nice, the New York-based hospitality group behind highly acclaimed Eleven Madison Park and lifestyle brand Eleven Madison Home. A native of Switzerland, Humm earned his first Michelin star at 24 and is consistently listed as one of the world’s best chefs. Accolades include four stars from The New York Times, seven James Beard Foundation Awards (including “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurant in America”), the number one spot on the 2017 World's 50 Best Restaurants list, and being the first to receive three Michelin Stars in 2011. Post-pandemic, Eleven Madison Park reopened with a plant-based menu, becoming the first and only plant-based restaurant in Michelin Guide history to receive a three-star rating the following year. Humm uses his global platform to advocate for equitable, sustainable food systems, and seeks to build awareness around the transformative power of food.

The French Laundry, Yountville
Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller is one of the first champions of local, sustainable ingredients; a modernizer of French cuisine; and the master of balance between classic and modern, French and American, refined and witty. Chef Keller has established a collection of restaurants that sets a new paradigm within the hospitality profession, including The French Laundry in Napa Valley, and Per Se in New York City, among others. He is the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide, as well as the first American male chef to be designated a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor. He has received countless accolades, including the Culinary Institute of America’s “Chef of the Year” Award and the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur” Awards. He led a team from the U.S. to its first-ever gold medal in the Bocuse d’Or, the Olympics of the culinary world.

Kilgore Culinary, Miami
Brad Kilgore

Chef Bradley Kilgore trained and worked in Denver, Italy, and Chicago, before planting his feet in Miami. While in Chicago, Kilgore worked at three Michelin-star restaurants, Chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea and Chef Laurent Gras’ L2o. Upon arriving in the Magic City, he traversed from Mandarin Oriental’s Azul to J&G Grill at St. Regis Bal Harbour. The summer of 2015, Kilgore opened Alter in Miami’s Wynwood, named semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant, and Kilgore for Rising Star Chef in 2016 and 2017. Kilgore was also named Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine magazine. In 2020 Kilgore Culinary teamed up with Trilogy Developers on the members-only racetrack resort, Concours Club, which features the modern-American restaurant Verge. He most recently took on the role of culinary director with Arlo Wynwood and its restaurant Marygold’s.

Chef and Vice President of Culinary Operations, Wynn Las Vegas
Christopher Lee

Chef Christopher Lee joined Wynn Las Vegas in 2022 as the resort’s vice president of culinary operations and restaurant development—he currently oversees all aspects of the culinary programs across Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. Over his 20 years in the industry, Lee has received acclaim in his managerial positions, as well as in the kitchen. He is the recipient of the 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for “Rising Star Chef of the Year,” and received a JBF Nomination for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” in 2006. That same year, Lee was also named as a “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine. Additionally, Lee has helmed two Michelin-starred restaurants: Gilt (New York, one Michelin star 2007; two Michelin stars 2008) and Aureole (New York, one Michelin star 2009).

Dry-Aged Fish King of Los Angeles
Liwei Liao

Born in Taiwan, Liwei Liao grew up in Queens, New York, and refers to himself as a self-taught fishmonger. From a very young age, his father taught him how to gut and clean fish, which left a lasting impression. Liao honed his cooking skills while working as a private chef and running the Boba Truck for six years, until focusing on bringing together his love of fresh seafood and coffee. Liao’s passion for catching fish, handling it, processing it, cleaning it, and eating it culminated in The Joint—a sustainable fish shop, coffee shop, and mini cafe. He knew that Japanese chefs have been aging fish for centuries, and this led Liao to turn dry aging into an artform. Within his custom-built dry-aging cabinet, fish hang and rest like fine wines until Liao determines that the moisture content, texture, and flavor have reached their optimum.

République, Los Angeles
Margarita Manzke

Born and raised in the Philippines, Margarita Manzke worked at some of L.A.’s most celebrated restaurants including Patina, Spago, and Mélisse. In the early 2000s, she moved to Carmel with her husband Walter, opening critically acclaimed dining concepts Bouchée, Cantinetta Luca, and l’Auberge Carmel. Manzke returned to Los Angeles as pastry chef of Bastide Restaurant, before opening several award-winning concepts, including République, Sari Sari Store, Bicyclette, and Manzke (which earned one Michelin star in 2023). As a result of her inspired work at République, Manzke has been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef for eight consecutive years, with a win in 2023. République has continued to make its mark on the culinary landscape of Los Angeles as a frequent entry on the Los Angeles Times “101 Best” list. Manzke’s reach also includes 16 locations of Wildflour Bakery and Café in the Philippines.

Chef/Owner - Le B, New York City
Angie Mar

A native of Seattle, Washington, Chef Angie Mar trained in some of New York City's most renowned kitchens such as Andrew Tarlow’s lauded Brooklyn restaurants Reynard, Diner, and Marlow & Sons, where she honed her butchery, live-fire, and dry-aging techniques. In October 2013, Mar took the helm of storied West Village restaurant The Beatrice Inn, which under her ownership was lauded by New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells as "one of the most celebratory restaurants in the city," and awarded two stars. Mar was named “Chef of the Year 2016” by Thrillist and chosen as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs for 2017. Les Trois Chevaux, opened in Greenwich Village in 2021, and two years later, she transitioned the space into Le B, a return to her focus on meat, seafood, and game, with a continental flair.

Corporate Pastry Chef - Joël Robuchon and Le Jardiniére
Salvatore Martone

Salvatore Martone is one of America’s most renowned pastry artists. As corporate pastry chef for Joël Robuchon Miami and New York City, and Le Jardinière, Houston, Miami, and New York City, he creates artful desserts that wow the camera and the palate. In 2005, he was part of the opening team of Wynn Las Vegas, alongside Chef Frederic Rober, and was executive pastry chef of Joël Robuchon and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand Las Vegas from 2013 to 2017. He began his education at the School of Culinary Arts in Naples, Italy, and attended a master class program at l’Etoile in Venice, Italy. Martone wanted to round out his pastry knowledge, so he went to The French Pastry School: Art de La Patisserie in Chicago, Illinois. In 2015, he received a nomination for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Pastry Chef.

Lead Bartender, The Let's Go! Disco & Cocktail Club, Los Angeles
Ash Miyasaki

California native Ash Miyasaki is known for building exceptional beverage programs focusing on craft, seasonality, and with touches of culinary flair. She has a well-rounded hospitality knowledge stemming from over 20 years of varied food and beverage experience. As a Los Angeles-based bartender, bar manager, and consultant, Miyasaki has worked to lead menu concepts, buid highly original cocktails, and develop skilled bar teams focused on creating noteworthy guest experiences. Her roles across programs in East LA, Chinatown, the LA Arts District, and Hollywood have placed her alongside Chef Angelo Auriana and his team at The Factory Kitchen and with Chef Lincoln Carson at Mes Amis in The Thompson Hollywood. In 2022 and 2023, Miyasaki served as a Bartender Spirits Awards judge in San Francisco. She is currently a bar lead at the Let’s Go Disco! & Cocktail Club located in Los Angeles.

Moo's Craft Barbecue, Los Angeles
Michelle and Andrew Muñoz

Moo's Craft Barbecue, located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of L.A., started as an underground backyard BBQ popup in 2017. Inspired by Texas barbecue, high school sweethearts Michelle and Andrew Muñoz use old school techniques to produce delicious smoked meats with a Cali-Mex twist. Recognized by Food & Wine's Best Barbecue in Every State 2020, Moo's is known to draw long lines with guests waiting up to three hours and inevitable daily sell-outs. Focusing on central Texas-style barbecue favorites, such as brisket, the rub is a simple salt and pepper mixture, and the meat is slow-roasted in a smoker out back. Spicy sausages with cheddar and jalapeños tip the hat to Austin barbecue traditions. The Muñozes are East L.A. natives who’ve incorporated an authentic Angeleno experience into Moo’s (Mexican street corn or tres leches bread pudding). They have been recognized as 2023 Semifinalists for Best Chef California and Moo’s is a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant.

Mexicali Taco & Co, Los Angeles
Esdras Ochoa

Mexicali is a border city in northern Baja, Mexico, the hometown of Mexicali Taco & Co. founder Esdras Ochoa. Born in Mexico City and later growing up on the U.S. side in Calexico, the lively culture of Mexicali, especially its street food, made Ochoa spend most of his weekends across the border with family. In 2009, these culinary memories combined with the comfort foods of home created Mexicali Taco & Co. In 2012, along with business partner Paul Yoo, Ochoa opened up a brick-and-mortar for Mexicali Taco & Co., hoping to have an operation that could provide a better taqueria experience for its loyal patrons. In September 2020, the pair debuted their second location in the San Gabriel Valley with all the classics but with some new flavors as well.

Executive Pastry Chef - SW Steakhouse and Lakeside, Wynn Las Vegas
Michael Outlaw

As executive pastry chef for SW Steakhouse and Lakeside, Michael Outlaw creates desserts as magical as the Lake of Dreams, the location of both restaurants. Born in California and raised in Las Vegas, he has traveled the world, working for such culinary luminaries as Joël Robuchon and Nobu Matsuhisa. After studies at the Culinary Institute of America, Outlaw embarked on a career path that took him to some of America's most storied restaurant kitchens. In 2014, he joined L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. In late 2015, Outlaw accepted a position as a corporate pastry chef for SushiSamba, developing the pastry program for their locations in Miami, New York, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, and London. The well-versed sultan of sweets joined the staff of Wynn Las Vegas in 2019 and has since been responsible for all aspects of the pastry program at SW Steakhouse and Lakeside.

Executive Chefs - Dalida, San Francisco
Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz

Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz are a wife-and-husband duo who first accomplished their vision of bringing Eastern Mediterranean food to San Francisco with the debut of the casual pop-up Istanbul Modern SF. With the opening of Dalida, the chefs vaulted to greater prominence, with Dalida earning accolades such as Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants in America, 2023” and San Francisco Chronicle’s “15 Best Bay Area Restaurants of 2023.” Laura and Sayat met at New York’s Culinary Institute of America (CIA). After graduation, Laura worked at New York City’s Eleven Madison Park and Del Posto, and in San Francisco, joined Saison. While at CIA, Sayat worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and joined Le Bernardin upon graduation. The couple embarked on a multi-city honeymoon, setting up a series of two dozen stages with renowned restaurants including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, and Pujol in Mexico City.

Owner/Chef - Atomix and Atoboy, New York City
Junghyun Park

Junghyun Park is the owner and executive chef of Atoboy and Atomix in New York City’s NoMad neighborhood. Chef Park, who often goes by “JP,” has roots in Seoul, South Korea, where he was born and raised. After studying food sciences at Kyung Hee University, JP began working in world-renowned kitchens alongside notable chefs. He was introduced to the idea of “New Korean” cuisine under the mentorship of chef Jungsik Yim (Jungsik Dang, Seoul) and moved to New York City to become the Chef de Cuisine at Jungsik in Tribeca. In July 2016, JP opened Atoboy with his wife and partner Ellia Park. The restaurant received a glowing two-star review from The New York Times and was also named one of the “Top 10 Restaurants” of 2017. In May 2018, JP and Ellia opened their second project Atomix. He earned the number eight spot on the 2023 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Executive Chef/Owner - Zero Bond, Sartiano’s, New York City
Alfred Portale

Alfred Portale is an American chef, author, and restaurateur known as a pioneer in the New American cuisine movement. Born in Buffalo, New York, Portale’s mother and grandmother adapted Italian cooking to American ingredients. He graduated at the top of his class at the Culinary Institute. Then, he apprenticed in France with chefs like Guerard, Troisgros, and Maximin, where he refined and mastered classical French techniques. In 1984, he became the executive chef and a partner at the Gotham Bar & Grill and took the restaurant to new heights with his beautiful plating and insistence on high-quality ingredients. His culinary accomplishments earned him multiple nominations and three James Beard Foundation Award wins for Outstanding Chef (2006), Outstanding Restaurant (2002), and Best Chef: New York City (1993). Portale restaurant, his first long-anticipated solo venture, is a new chapter in his culinary career. He also helms the kitchen at New York City hotspots Zero Bond and Sartiano’s.

Mizumi, Wynn Las Vegas
Jeff Ramsey

Jeff Ramsey is the executive chef of Mizumi at Wynn Las Vegas, bringing more than two decades of experience to the Japanese fine dining restaurant. Ramsey began his culinary career in the U.S. before venturing to Japan to train with Masayoshi Kazato, earning a diploma as a “Master of the Art of Sushi.” Broadening his culinary education, Ramsey then studied under Chef José Andrés where he further developed his experimental and bold style. Ramsey continued honing his craft at award-winning restaurants in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and the U.S., including as executive chef of Tapas Molecular Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, where he earned and maintained a Michelin star from 2009 until his departure in 2011. In 2019, Ramsey introduced his modern Japanese kaiseki and sushi omakase concept, Kintsugi by Jeff Ramsey, in Bangkok, which was named a Michelin-selected restaurant in 2022 and 2023.

Nuema, Quito - World’s Best Pastry Chef, 2023
Pía Salazar

Just over six months after being voted Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef 2022, Pía Salazar now claims the ultimate accolade of The World’s Best Pastry Chef. Not long after opening her restaurant Nuema (with husband Alejandro Chamorro) in 2014, she was questioned by her peers when she proposed adding mushrooms to a dessert. But with risk comes reward and Salazar is proving all her doubters wrong. Salazar has a deep appreciation for her country’s produce, exploring wide-ranging ingredients in her desserts. Following Chamorro’s dishes of veal heart, Andean duck, and paiche fish, she blends sweet with savory in desserts such as leek with lemon verbena and tonka bean, white seaweed with black garlic and yeast, and orange blossom with cassava. Nuema debuted as the first Ecuadorian restaurant in the 51-100 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2023. Nuema is named after their three children, Nuria, Emilio, and Martín.

Zaytinya by José Andrés, The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
Stephanie Amber Martinez Sandfrey

Stephanie Sandfrey started as a Walmart cake decorator before attending culinary school. She moved on to her first position as a line cook at the coveted Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. Then she relocated to Las Vegas at 20 to work for China Poblano by José Andrés; and Public House and Bouchon by Thomas Keller at The Venetian. Sandfrey accelerated the ranks at Jaleo and was named sous chef in 2014. In 2024, she will open Zaytinya by José Andrés at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Her family’s love of food and cooking influenced her from a very young age. She made tamales with her grandmother for the holidays and shared traditions passed down from generation to generation. Sandfrey credits her upbringing as crucial in learning that every dish must have a voice, tell a story, and taste great.

Sinatra, Wynn Las Vegas
Theo Schoenegger

Theo Schoenegger joined Wynn Las Vegas as executive chef of Sinatra in 2007. He was part of the restaurant’s opening team. At Sinatra, Schoenegger pays homage to Ol' Blue Eyes through his takes on the artist's favorite dishes, with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients and signature Italian flavors. Schoenegger honed his skills in notable restaurants including Patina at Walt Disney Center in Los Angeles; Aquoria in Palm Beach; Aubergine Tantris in Munich, Germany; Rock Center Café, Palio, and San Domenico in New York; and Maria & Enzo's Ristorante and Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida. Growing up in the town of San Candido, Italy, just near the border of Austria, Schoenegger's love for cooking was inspired by his mother. He attended culinary school in Merano, Italy at the age of 18, before deciding to move to the U.S. in 1986 to explore a culinary career.

Chef - Safta 1964, Wynn Las Vegas
Alon Shaya

Born in Israel, raised in Philadelphia, and a proud New Orleanian, Alon Shaya has always had a deep love and appreciation for food and the singular way restaurants anchor their communities. In 2017, Shaya, and his wife Emily, founded Pomegranate Hospitality, whose restaurants include Saba (New Orleans), Safta (Denver), Miss River and Chandelier Bar at Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, and Silan at Atlantis Paradise Island. Spring 2024 marks the debut of Safta 1964 at Wynn Las Vegas, a limited-run residency and the prequel to Safta. Shaya, a two-time James Beard Foundation Award winner, is the co-founder of the Shaya Barnett Foundation, which provides culinary education and resources to high school students and spearheaded the Rescued Recipes initiative with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, raising over $700,000 to date. He is also the author of Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel.

Executive Chef, Delilah, Wynn Las Vegas
Joshua Smith

While attending UNLV’s College of Hotel Administration, Joshua Smith knocked on the back door of Las Vegas’ Rosemary’s Restaurant and asked for the opportunity to be a stagiaire. After a few months, Smith climbed the ladder to chef tournant, gaining fundamental kitchen knowledge and taking lessons in responsibility, integrity, and humility. Smith then ascended into the world of French cuisine as chef Poissonnier at Alize in Palms Casino Resort under Andre Rochat, and later Michael Mina's Seablue restaurant at the MGM Grand, where he became the youngest executive chef ever employed by Mina. After moving to Los Angeles’ Church & State Bistro, he returned to Las Vegas to join the opening team of Estiatorio Milos at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Later, Smith returned to Mina Group as chef of Bardot Brasserie, where he developed the concept, menu, and team. In 2021, Smith became the executive chef of Delilah.

Mabel's BBQ, Bar Symon, Angeline
Michael Symon

Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his restaurants: Mabel’s BBQ, Bar Symon, and Angeline. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers on Food Network shows Symon’s Dinners & BBQ USA. Symon has also written numerous cookbooks, including Michael Symon’s Live to Cook—Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen and Carnivore, dedicated to meat lovers. Playing with Fire is a cookbook focused on barbecue and live-fire grilling. Fix It with Food came out of his own experiences in addressing auto-immune diseases and inflammation. His latest book, out last fall, is Simply Symon’s Suppers. This fantastic collection of recipes from Symon gives readers over 150 options for any dinner occasion.

Executive Chef - Press, Napa Valley
Philip Tessier

Philip Tessier is an award-winning chef, author, coach, culinary partner, and innovator. He is the first American chef to place on the podium at the Biennial Bocuse d’Or Competition in Lyon, France, and most recently, he coached the 2017 team to victory. Tessier began his training in the kitchen at a young age while growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Over the course of three decades, Tessier worked at some of the world’s most-renowned restaurants, including Roger Verge’s Le Moulin de Mougins, Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, as well as Thomas Keller’s Per Se, Bouchon, and The French Laundry. It was at The French Laundry that Tessier began to train for the Olympics of the food world: Bocuse d’Or. Today, he is executive chef of Press in Napa Valley.

Casa Playa, Wynn Las Vegas
Sarah Thompson

Chef Sarah Thompson brings the dynamic tastes and culture of Mexico to life as executive chef of Casa Playa at Wynn Las Vegas, where she presents hyper-regional coastal Mexican dishes ranging from fresh seafood to impressive large-format feasts. Thompson honed her skills at the Culinary Institute of America, before establishing herself at several of New York City’s most noteworthy restaurants including Michelin-starred Marea; Wylie Dufresne’s Alder; and Andrew Carmellini’s NoHo Hospitality Group. Her passion for Mexican cuisine was born after being recruited by Chef Daniela Soto-Innes to join the Cosme in New York. Training and working alongside some of the best Mexican chefs in the world, she was further exposed to the nuances and complexities of Mexican cuisine, and her success earned her the role of executive sous chef. Thompson ventured to Las Vegas in 2020 and was named executive chef of Casa Playa upon its debut in 2021.

Flouring Cake Shop, Los Angeles
Heather Wong

Los Angeles-native Heather Wong embarked on a culinary journey in 2007, launching her popular blog and custom dessert delivery service The Scootabaker. Infusing her Chinese and Mexican heritage into delectable flavors, Wong swiftly garnered attention. Her expertise, cultivated at distinguished kitchens such as Bottega Louie, ultimately led her to the role of executive pastry chef at Sweetsalt, Cascabel, and Josephine Bakery. Notably, Wong showcased her skills on season four of the celebrated Spring Baking Championship on The Food Network. In the summer of 2020, she realized her vision with Flouring Cake Shop, embracing the vibrant tastes of Los Angeles while championing locally sourced ingredients. Since those early days, she has joyfully catered to the L.A. community, now leading a dynamic, women-led team at the helm of Flouring Cake Shop.

Yaki Hypeman, Worldwide

Yakitoriguy is a self-proclaimed “yaki hype man,” according to the Los Angeles Times, “spreading the gospel of Japanese grilled chicken one skewer at a time.” The social media star is known for his pop-ups, online tutorials, and behind-the-scenes videos of izakayas and other yakitori specialists around the world. Born in Sapporo, Japan, Yakitoriguy characterizes it as “both his first language and first culture.” At five, he moved to West L.A., experiencing Japanese-American culture for the first time, and then he attended college in Santa Barbara. Now, the former Bay Area startup worker seeks to educate the U.S. on true yakitori, a traditionally casual form of dining found in izakayas or street stalls, typically inexpensive skewers arranged by morsel. Yakitoriguy has nearly 45,000 followers on YouTube, while his Instagram features more than 80,000 fans, and his TikTok audience numbers more than 108,000 yaki lovers.

Executive Pastry Chef, Wynn Las Vegas
Jennifer Yee

Jennifer Yee is an award-winning and James Beard Foundation-recognized pastry chef based in Las Vegas. In early 2023, Yee was appointed as the executive pastry chef of Wynn Las Vegas, where she currently oversees the pastry programs for more than 20 venues including fine dining outlets and casual eateries. Yee graduated with distinction with a pâtisserie diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in London and remained abroad in the U.K. to begin her training at Gordon Ramsay’s Menu. After returning to the U.S., Lee worked at Palace Hotel and Aureole where she was awarded that year’s Rising Star Pastry Chef award, and then onto the two-Michelin-star SHO Shaun Hergatt. In early 2013, Yee paired with Chef Andrew Carmellini to open his third restaurant in New York City, Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery, garnering three nods from the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Executive Chef - Wing Lei, Wynn Las Vegas
Xian Ming Yu

As a young man, Xian Ming Yu moved from his native China to Hawaii with the desire to bring the vibrant dishes of his childhood to the United States. He soon began working at local restaurants, demonstrating his skill and creativity in cooking with fresh ingredients. In 1996, Yu moved to Las Vegas where over the years, he worked his way up in the ranks at several popular Chinese restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip including Noodle Shop at The Mirage, Ho Wan at Desert Inn, and Jasmine at Bellagio. In 2003, he became the executive sous chef of Noodles at Bellagio, a restaurant inspired by the traditional noodle kitchens of Asia. Two years later, Yu was asked to join the opening team of Wynn Las Vegas as the assistant chef at Wing Lei and was later promoted to executive chef in 2010. Yu led the restaurant to its first Forbes Five-Star rating in 2017.

Executive Chef - Golden Flower, Wynn Macau
Henry Zhang

Executive Chef Henry Zhang infuses his own cooking philosophy and unique culinary concepts into masterful creations at Golden Flower. Zhang grew up in the heart of Beijing where he became an apprentice at an early age working alongside many Cantonese and Sichuan master chefs. At 19, Zhang had already earned a reputation for his cooking and was invited to lead a team of chefs at a newly opened restaurant in Beijing, where he poured his creativity and inspiration into experimenting with dishes. In 2017, Zhang was scouted by a prominent Beijing artist to open a private kitchen within a courtyard residence of an ancient hutong. Under his leadership, the kitchen became one of the hottest dining destinations in Beijing garnering prestigious awards. Zhang lends ancient Chinese aesthetics to his gastronomic endeavors with awe-inspiring craftsmanship and precision. While fond of using high-quality products, he also loves to take humble ingredients and elevate them into refined creations.