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Home > DINING WITH CHEFS > Las Vegas Dining with Chefs > Andre's (Part 2 of 4 -- The Food)


Andre Rochat

    Roasted Cervene Venison with Poivrade Sauce

TravelsinTaste.com had a delightful meal with Chef Andre Rochat at Andre's: The Original in Las Vegas. As we dined on venison and duck amongst other delectable plates, Chef Rochat let us in on a few of his secrets -- which we're now telling you. We're sure he won't mind! This is part two in our four-part interview series with Chef Rochat; in parts one, three and four you can read about the history of Andre's and about the family of employees that Chef Rochat has created there.

After learning about the storied history of Andre's in downtown Las Vegas, Chef Rochat told us about his inspired menu. "Like our other restaurants, we change the menu two times per year," he told us. "We have a spring/summer menu and a fall/winter menu. The spring/summer menu consists of lighter sauces and lighter fare -- for example, fresh mushrooms and veal are on the menu most of the time, in addition to a poisson or something like that. In terms of fall, we have heavier sauces. We serve root vegetables and polenta, and we always have some kind of wild game or venison on the menu. Also, the soups are heavier. We have squash soup and a crayfish bisque. It's different from the summertime menu, when we have cold pea soup and things like that."

Melange of Field Greens

While sauces and soups are often center stage at Andre's, the cooking methods that Chef Rochat employs are the real star of the show. His favorite method lately is a method call sous vide, which involves cooking food in airtight plastic bags that are submerged in warm water. "We're constantly experimenting a lot with the sous vide right now," he said. "It's not a new way of cooking. It's a better way of cooking, especially here, where our business is so up and down. It's very difficult to manage the back of the kitchen, as far as ordering and getting everything that we need on hand. By using the sous vide technique, we take an item and we cryovac it. Then we put it on the bath of hot water that has a little pump and motor and heat it in the heating system. The pump and motor have the water running constantly and the heating system keeps the water the same temperature the whole time -- top to bottom -- so the item is cooked for a lot longer. If you want something rare, you set up the water at 110 degrees and you can leave your meat in there for five hours; it won't go above 110 degrees, which means that your meat will be rare. There's no problem of bacteria because it's cooked so long and you can keep that for a week or two weeks. So, for example, we experiment with swordfish we get the loin and we make a roll. We roll it really tight. Once we put it on the cryovac, the cryovac will keep that roll perfectly round. Then we put it in a bath and cook it for a couple of hours. It's cooked and not cooked. The swordfish stays like that, then as soon as it's out of the bath we put it in ice cold water. Now we can use it three or four days later. If we don't use it, by the way, we can slice that and finish it on a pan and the swordfish is absolutely the most delicious swordfish you've ever had. Yet there's no waste, no contamination, no soggy swordfish on ice. It's perfect."

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