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Tastemade: é

by José Andrés

Making the Menu

Featuring é by José Andrés

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:00:02]: People go to Las Vegas searching for the Wizard of Oz. The predisposition is to have a great time. They try to forget about anything and everything. All those things allow Vegas to be a great culinary destination. Anything is possible in Las Vegas.

 

Brock Radke (Food Editor – Las Vegas Weekly) [0:00:30]: Las Vegas is absolutely a destination for some of the best chefs in the country and not just celebrity chefs, but a lot of young chefs. It’s become a great proving ground for talent.

 

Andrea Bennett (Editor-in-Chief – Las Vegas Magazine) [0:00:40]: The visitors have evolved, which has made the food scene evolved. Now people are kind of looking for a story. People are looking for the narrative.

 

Brock Radke (Food Editor – Las Vegas Weekly) [0:00:48]: There are always new restaurants every year. Big, new restaurants and a whole lot of resources devoted to continually evolving the culinary scene here.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:00:57]: We have a casino system that allows chefs like me to go and dream as high as we want.

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:01:03]: Good evening, everyone. Welcome to é. You have now entered the mind of José Andrés.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:01:08]: The restaurants are the stories that my team and I, we want to share. All traveling together, all learning, and turning those stories of what we learn into one plate at a time.

 

Aitor Zabala (West Coast Director of Creativity – é by José Andrés) [0:01:20]: The DNA is Spain, it doesn’t matter if it’s a technique, it’s a concept, it’s a tradition, or within a product, you know?

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:01:29]: The foods and ingredients of Spain, but through a kaleidoscopic lens.

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:01:35]: Definitely, definitely more of a contemporary style of cooking. You’ll hear the term “modern”, “avant-garde”. This style of cuisine is just fun.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:01:46]: 
Everybody today will understand the meaning of sangria.

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:01:53]: So this is a cava sangria sparkling wine from the Catalonia region. We made a white sangria out of that to get a little hands on for this one.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:02:01]: Become something like you can hold in the palm of your hand is challenging you to understand a new reality. How we do that, well you don’t want to know – you only want to enjoy it. That bite celebrates the Spain that everybody knows, the tradition, the beginning of your meal very much is telling you “This is going be an experience like no other.”

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:02:24]: So here we have chefs Rick, Javier, Hiro, Isidro, Alex… 

 

Brock Radke (Food Editor – Las Vegas Weekly) [0:02:29]: There’s almost as many as there is people in that restaurant.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:02:34]: It’s not the work of one person, or one chef, because it’s a whole bunch of people working super-hard and everybody contributing something, and more team members working towards moving the restaurant forward makes always a better restaurant.

 

Brock Radke (Food Editor – Las Vegas Weekly) [0:02:51]: They want it to be a little mysterious. They want it to be special. Kind of submit yourself to what these chefs want to accomplish.

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:03:01]: We call these ones “stones”.

 

Andrea Bennett (Editor-in-Chief – Las Vegas Magazine) [0:03:03]: In Las Vegas, we have at least one of everything. Chefs are feeling like they need to push the envelope, be a little more experimental.

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:03:10]: We like to kind of keep a certain level of secrecy. We don’t present them with any menus. We give them clues to what their night has in store. One course after the next, you know we like to, kind of, keep them on their toes.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:03:22]: It is different than any other restaurant because here you are are putting yourself in the hands of the chef.

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:03:29]: Some of our dishes may appear that it’s one thing but it’s in actuality something totally different.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:03:35]: So the bread is an apple meringue with foie gras and Harry’s Berries strawberries.

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:03:40]: You can see their mind like, kind of come to a halt and like regroup itself.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:03:46]: We do it for the pure enjoyment of my team and I learning. We’re still learning today and after 35 years in the profession, every day passes, I only know that I know nothing.

 

Brock Radke (Food Editor – Las Vegas Weekly) [0:03:57]: There certainly are not very many restaurants in Las Vegas that you have no idea what you’re going to get. You’re not going to find anything else like that on the strip.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:04:05]: I want you to come with no expectations. Something is not going to be great because I’m telling you this is great. So this is going to be great because your body, your senses is telling you it’s something extraordinary.

 

Aitor Zabala (West Coast Director of Creativity – é by José Andrés) [0:04:20]: And this is what we expected from é, so that you always remember, say is we go to Las Vegas, all the crowds, all the lines, the gambling, the clubs, everything but when you go to é, time just stops for two and half hours.

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:04:34]: You’re feeding yourself, not only your body, but your spirit and your needs of experiencing something new.

 

Eric Suniga (Head Chef – é by José Andrés) [0:04:41]: I don’t really know of any other restaurants in Vegas that have this same type of dining experience from beginning to end. You sit back and just kind of go on this ride, this journey. Let the team do what they do. It brings the entire room together.

 

Aitor Zabala (West Coast Director of Creativity – é by José Andrés) [0:04:59]: You know, we can create most amazing thing in concept or philosophy or whatever you want to say, but the more important thing is that people, when they put it in their mouth, they say, “Ah, this is good. This is really good.”

 

José Andrés (Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés) [0:05:15]: You never know how the food evolve in the restaurant, but when things are done with good heart, good intentions and somebody put good thinking into why we do the things we do, to me everything is balanced. Everything in life has rhythm, has a movement, has assigned intention. Restaurants are spaces that they are not brick and mortar, they have heart and they are alive. That’s what it is, this modest restaurant in Las Vegas that became one of the great restaurants of America.

 

About the Speakers

José Andrés
(Chef/Owner – ThinkFoodGroup and é by José Andrés)

 

Brock Radke
(Food Editor – Las Vegas Weekly)

 

Andrea Bennett
(Editor-in-Chief – Las Vegas Magazine)

 

Eric Suniga
(Head Chef – é by José Andrés)

 

Aitor Zabala
(West Coast Director of Creativity – é by José Andrés)

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