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Home > DINING WITH CHEFS > Las Vegas Dining with Chefs > Valentino (Part 1 of 3)


Executive Chef/Partner Luciano Pellegrini

When we heard that Valentino was celebrating its 10th Anniversary, we simply had to hop on a plane to Vegas and join the celebration! Executive Chef/Partner and James Beard Award Winner Luciano Pellegrini was there to welcome us and joined us for an amazing lunch during which he discussed the celebration and the decade-long journey that's culminated in his restaurant's 10-year anniversary! We wish them many more decades!

Because we were so interested in that journey, our first question to Chef Pellegrini was: How did it begin? "Well, Las Vegas was an opportunity," he told us. "Los Angeles is the backyard of Las Vegas, so to speak, and Piero [Selvaggio], who is the founder of Valentino restaurant, was approached by a couple of people from Vegas asking him whether he wanted to open a Valentino in Las Vegas. When that happened he actually then took me aside and asked me, 'If that happened, would you go, would you move there?' I said, 'in a heartbeat.' I’d been in Los Angeles for about 14 years -- six and a half years in the west side and seven years in the San Fernando Valley -- and I was ready for a move. So Las Vegas began as a proposal. And then we came over here and we got excited. At the time, of course, you had Wolfgang Puck, who was the pioneer. Actually, even before Wolfgang, I believe Jean Louis Palladin started and Andre [Rochat], of course, being the local star."

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