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Sven Mede
Chef Sven Mede was born to cook-literally. After all, food is the Mede family business. It's no surprise, then, that young Sven was born with a taste for culinary success. TravelsinTaste.com had the opportunity recently to interview Chef Mede, who has served as the Executive Chef at Nobhill at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas since December 2004, about that success, as well as the heritage and the training that groomed him for it.

Born in Meissen, Germany, Chef Mede was also born into a culinary tradition. He looked up to his grandfather-a professional chef, who instilled in him a love for the kitchen at a very young age-and his father, a passionate cook who to this day spends hours in the kitchen every weekend.

Home isn't the only place that Chef Mede learned to cook, though. He has studied in some of the world's best kitchens, too, and not surprisingly was at the top of his class at one of Las Vegas' most famous culinary respites. This is evidenced by the fact that in 2005, StarChefs.com, the Internet magazine for culinary insiders, named Chef Mede a Las Vegas Rising Star Chef award recipient. Recommendations for selection are made by the Advisory Board, which is comprised of more than 20 of the country's most influential chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Norman Van Aken, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Todd English, Marcus Samuelsson and Bobby Flay.

Chef Mede's career has followed a distinguished path. Before arriving in the United States, he apprenticed under French chef Raymond Blanc at his Michelin two-star restaurant "Le Manoir aux Quat' Seasons" outside of Oxford, England. Subsequently, he was part of the opening team at Bradley Ogden in Las Vegas, where he was instrumental in winning the restaurant's "Best New Restaurant" award from the James Beard Foundation. Prior to that, Chef Mede exhibited his talents at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, where he prided himself on presenting a unique version of modern American cuisine.

When asked about his mentors, Chef Mede simply couldn't come up with one. Instead, he claims multiple chefs as his mentors, all of which have a distinguished past: Raymond Blanc (of Le Manoir aux Quat' Seasons in Oxford, England), Charlie Trotter (of Charlie Trotter's in Chicago), Bradley Ogden (of Bradley Ogden in Las Vegas), and Michael Mina (of Nobhill in Las Vegas). Mede says he has learned a great deal from every one of his mentors, and he credits each of them with teaching him a variety of techniques that have helped him climb from rung to rung up the culinary ladder.

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