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Home > DINING WITH CHEFS > Las Vegas Dining with Chefs > Andre's (Part 4 of 4 -- Andre and Greg)

Andre's

Andre Rochat

    
    Roasted Cervene Venison with Poivrade Sauce

TravelsinTaste recently had dinner with Chef Andre Rochat and his longtime protege, 2008 Rising Star Chef Greg Engelhardt, who joined us for part four of our four-part interview series with Chef Rochat. Over dinner, we discussed the two chefs' camaraderie and what happens behind the scenes in their kitchen.
"Greg's been with me a long time," Chef Rochat said, starting us off. "He started with me and then I sent him on a big cruise ship -- Crystal Cruise -- which is top of the line, and he worked there for a year. I told him it would be good training in speed and discipline. Then he came back and went to Europe, where he learned all about Italian cooking and came back to Las Vegas and worked at Alize for a while."

   
     
    
Melange of Field Greens

After that, Chef Engelhardt moved on. "I then went on to work at the Commander's Palace at the Aladdin, Alain Ducasse's Mix restaurant, with Michael Mina at MGM, with Michael White at Fiamma, and Stephen Kault at the Wynn," he told us. "Then I came full circle back to Andre's."

Chef Rochat beamed. "It was a very proud moment when he came back," he said.
According to Chef Engelhardt, his path was always leading back to his mentor. "What I say now is: You don't travel the world learning how to cook so you can bring back what you learn; you actually travel the world learning and getting experience to hopefully be ready for someone like Andre, who says, 'Here's what I want.' You build the ability to understand what your chef wants. I've always thought that you travel and bring back ideas, and you do them, but really it's just training for someone like Andre, who has so many ideas and thoughts and high standards. What he wants hopefully you are able to do. It’s a different thing, if that makes sense. I'm happy that every day since I've started here, the second I come in he's got ideas. He wants it like this, he wants it like that -- and that's so important. I think that's what most people fail to realize, especially when they are young. In order to make things the same way each time, you have to do it the same way each time. Cooking is not like the Food Network, where you're just playing around. It’s very disciplined. You must use the same consistent, quality product and keep things in a consistent fashion. Andre's kitchen is almost 30 years old, so when he says, 'It works when you put it right there,' he knows that, because it's worked for 30 years and it will work tomorrow like that, too. It's not like a car, where as it gets older and things start to change. Cuisine, if you do it the right way, can stay right in line."
   
     
      
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