Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Opens at Caesars Palace
Photos courtesy Hell’s Kitchen
Gordon Ramsay continues to spread his restaurant empire and local footprint, as his Hell’s Kitchen, the first restaurant named for and inspired by the hit TV show he is most known for, debuted last month at Caesars Palace. This marks his fifth Vegas restaurant and is perhaps his most over-the-top yet. It seems no expense was spared for the 8,000-square-foot themed concept and the HK initials and signature pitchfork located pretty much everywhere in the décor and even engraved in the glassware and seafood tower dishes, is brilliant. Located on the Strip-side outside of the resort atop the former space of Serendipity 3, large flames greet you as you walk up and as you enter you can’t miss a gallery of Hell’s Kitchen winners from the past 16 seasons. Once you get into the restaurant the branding of the famed TV show continues, with an open plan kitchen under bright lights illuminating two teams of chefs wearing the exact uniforms from the show: red and blue jackets with coordinating bandanas. But unlike on the TV show, the chefs are not competing, but faithfully tending to their own stations. Ramsay claims the restaurant is an exact replica of the TV show set with “great food, drama and a real restaurant functioning under pressure.” A bonus is the stunning view of the Vegas Strip compliments of floor-to-ceiling windows.
During a media preview on January 25 Chef Ramsay visited with each table chatting about his new digs. He commented on the extremely visible kitchen and the rationale for literally putting his chefs in the spotlight: “When you are cooking live in front of an audience you raise your game.”
Heading up the opening team are two chefs who are not new to town: executive chef Jennifer Murphy, who has cooked at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris, Michael Mina and Prime at Bellagio and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand; and Hell’s Kitchen season 10 winner Christina Wilson, who helmed the kitchens at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris and Gordon Ramsay Burger in Planet Hollywood before being named top executive of Ramsay’s US restaurant empire. Once the winner of season 17 of Hell’s Kitchen is crowned, the winning chef will assume the head chef role of the new restaurant.
It should come as no surprise that gracing the menu are two dishes Ramsay is best known for: Beef Wellington and Sticky Toffee Pudding; and the dish he most commonly chastises chefs on the show for not making properly and dumping their hard work into the trash: Risotto. The version here is enhanced with butter-poached lobster, butternut squash and fried sage leaves. We got to try these three pleasures, but also a delightful Golden Beet Salad with Greek yogurt, kumquats, pistachio granola and white balsamic vinaigrette. This dish was so outstanding it prompted a discussion at the table about how we all hated beets as children, as our mothers would just plop the unadorned root vegetable onto our plates straight out of a can.
One of the featured cocktails we enjoyed was the Notes from Gordon with infused green tea, gin and lemon juice, but the highlight was the rolled up note it was garnished with, actual words Ramsay has said on the famed TV show. (Mine said, “This chicken is so raw, it can still lay an egg.”)
Judging from the excellence we experienced at the media preview and a testament to the popularity of the multi-Michelin star chef and television personality that nearly 25,000 guests had logged reservations for the new eatery by opening night, it would appear that Hell’s Kitchen is off to a rocking good start.
For more info and to view the complete menu, visit www.caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/hells-kitchen.