Chef Claude Gaty Introduces New Menu at Top of the World
Top of the World Executive Chef Claude Gaty is living up to his restaurant’s moniker by offering cuisine with influences from around the globe. Chef has traveled throughout the world so has the experiences to bring varied flavors to the table. We were treated to a sampling of his new summer menu, most of which are seasonal adjustments or different preparations to fit the season using global ingredients.
One new innovation is offering lobster two-ways: on the menu all the time is New England style with potatoes, corn and green beans; and alternating each week is a 2nd style, such as BBQ with kale, shallot, Applewood bacon and black garlic butter. Another is offering a fish of the week, which during our visit was Baja White Sea Bass with tomato, red pepper, jalapeno and micro cilantro. Offered all the time is the Roasted Loch Etive Salmon with Ginger Lemon Grass Fleur De Sel—a Scottish salmon/trout hybrid served with cauliflower puree, sweet peppers, cilantro lime coulis and a Peruvian sauce with mango and cilantro.
Chef related that growing up outside of Paris there were many Algerian immigrants, so he was exposed to Middle Eastern flavors from an early age. This influence can be found in the Colorado Rack of Lamb marinated in Moroccan spices served with faro, quinoa, sweet peppers, minted Greek yogurt and a demi-glace with Harissa a Tunisian hot sauce.
Or take a trip to “Down Under” and Argentina with the Australian Wagyu Skirt Steak with caramelized shallots and a savory chimichurri sauce complementing the flavorful beef.
A truly unique brand new item is the Foie Gras S’mores. Composed of marshmallow, cocoa nibs, white chocolate walnut bread, graham cracker crumb and fig balsamic, your palate will be wonderfully confused with the sweet nuances counterbalanced by the rich foie gras.
One that celebrates summer is the Heirloom Tomato with Manchego and Watermelon, a healthful mix of faro, quinoa, toasted pistachios and sherry vinaigrette.
When asked how he comes up with such creative dishes Chef said, “I see a constructed dish and then look for different ways of cooking it or different cuisine types to use, like Thai.” Case in point is the Large Gulf Prawns, Maine Scallops & Lobster “A La Plancha,” served with roasted cauliflower salad with red bell pepper, golden raisins, capers, Moorish tomato sauce, chive oil and Thai-fried garlic.
Be sure to stop in to check out the new menu. It’s worth a trip just for the view from the 100-story perch atop the Stratosphere Tower, and the elevator ride is free if you dine at the restaurant otherwise it’s $20.
New Menu and Chef at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway
La Cave at the Wynn has a new executive chef, Sterling Buckley, and a new seasonal menu. The 29-year-old Los Angeles native and 2006 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu began cooking at home at the tender age of 8 while his mother, a singer, performed internationally and his father worked two jobs. He opened La Cave in 2010 as a line cook and quickly worked his way up, and has also held positions in Las Vegas at Michael Mina Strip Steak at Mandalay Bay, Koi Restaurant at Planet Hollywood and Silk Road at Vdara; and at the New Sheridan Chop House in Telluride, Colorado.
Morton Group Corporate Executive Chef Billy DeMarco, who promoted Chef to his new position, said, “Chef Sterling’s creative spirit, positive energy and dream-big mentality continually inspire his team. His passion for food preparation as an art form is infectious. He makes everyone feel proud of what they do.” After talking with Chef Sterling I have to concur and it’s quite evident that he is passionate about his profession and he and his team are working successfully to provide a high quality experience for their guests, with an average of 400-500 covers a night. Chef said, “I like to call myself the ‘flow captain’ because I am not a solo artist. I want my crew to enjoy their jobs every day. When the rush hits, I’m like the director calling out orders, checking quality and making sure the presentation of every plate is immaculate.”
As for the new menu items, all of which are Chef Sterling’s creations, selections Chef treated us to were Ahi Sashimi with pickled watermelon and cilantro caviar; Smoked Pork Rillette, cooked in bacon fat, with honey mustard and housemade horseradish cheese; Prawns with baby corn, Chinese long beans and chili/bacon vinaigrette; American Wagyu Skirt Steak with sautéed baby zucchini and truffle gremolata; Salmon served with baby fennel, ‘hen-of-the-woods’ mushrooms and saffron vinaigrette; and S’mores Flatbread, a dessert made in La Cave’s kitchen.
Chef Sterling has a delightful, engaging personality and is easy to spot with his signature well-coifed Mohawk. Be sure to tell him I sent you.