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Executive Chef Drew Terp

Executive Chef Drew Terp

Recently, TravelsinTaste.com spent an evening at the newly opened barMASA in CityCenter's Aria Resort & Casino, where we were privileged to meet Executive Chef Drew Terp, who joined us for a behind-the-scenes discussion of his menu, his preference for Japanese cuisine and the differences between diners in New York and Las Vegas, as well as the concept behind Shaboo, the restaurant within a restaurant at Bar Masa. Chef Terp, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, has a variety of gastronomic skills that he learned while gracing the kitchens of Bar Masa, Masa and Alain Ducasse in New York, Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley and Port O' Call Restaurant in Bermuda -- all of which prepared him for moving to Las Vegas, which he now calls home.

We began our conversation with Chef Terp by asking him how he wound up at barMASA in Vegas. "I worked with Masa [three Michelin-starred Chef Masayoshi Takayama] in New York for a while, then I took a kind of hiatus and traveled the world," he told us. "When he called me and told me they were coming to Vegas and doing this project I signed up for it."

Because Chef Terp has worked at both Masa and Bar Masa in New York, and now works at barMASA in Vegas, we asked him how diners are different in the two cities. "We're learning how to work with the Vegas crowd and the Vegas atmosphere," he said. "It has been quite a learning experience. In New York I think people like to be told, 'Eat this, you'll like it.' Then they eat it and say, 'Wow, I really like that.' The Vegas clientele wants to have more control over what it is; they say, 'I want this.' You say, 'Eat this, you'll like it,' and they say, 'I'd rather do this.' So it's working with that. It comes back to making food that people want."

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