photos courtesy Elaine and Scott Harris

Chef Sonia El-Nawal Brings Decades of Fine-Global-Culinary Experience to Her Rooster Boy Café in Desert Shores Las Vegas

Chef Sonia El-Nawal has become a celebrated Las Vegas chef, respected for her culinary prowess both on and off the famed Las Vegas Strip. El-Nawal has made a remarkable journey; born of Armenian and Lebanese descent, she has worked in many of the world’s greatest restaurants with celebrity chefs for almost 35 years. In the early 1980s she worked at Masa’s with Chef Julian Serrano in San Francisco, then back to New York when she was hired as Pastry Chef at renowned Lafayette with Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. She refined her skills in Paris with Chef Pierre Hermee and opened her own diner in Brussels, Belgium to worldwide acclaim. After four years she returned to the United States arriving in Miami as the Executive Pastry Chef at the Delano Hotel, Blue Door restaurant.

Looking to broaden her skills once again,
El-Nawal headed to Mexico City, working on the opening of Condesa DF, a small boutique hotel in the heart of Condesa. It became one of the hottest restaurants in town as she handled pastries, brunch and room service. In just over a year she was promoted to executive chef and never looked back. 

Her vast global experience and her passion for cooking has brought her to the affluent lakeside neighborhood of Desert Shores in Las Vegas. El-Nawal’s “baby” is her Rooster Boy Granola, reflecting her world-class skills as a pastry chef and baker by offering healthy granola options. Her “Taste Something Happy” philosophy can be tasted in each bite of flavorful options from Original, Grain Free, Extra Rich and Low Guilt. 

You can find El-Nawal’s much sought-after granola at her Rooster Boy Café. Walking in, guests feel comfortable in its intimate café atmosphere. The décor is bright and convivial featuring a counter facing an open kitchen where you can watch El-Nawal at work. While sitting at the counter and watching her skills firsthand, she shared with us: “Being a woman coming up in the business takes balance. You can’t be a pushover, but you can’t be a bitch either. You have to know when to put the pedal down and when to ease up,” she said with a smile. 

Looking over the menu, it’s easy to see her global influence in every dish. Many of the sections feature fresh organic ingredients showing her intense passion for farm-to-table components. For breakfast enjoy a Galette—a French pastry similar to a tart or pie adorned with farm fresh eggs, cheese, pesto & arugula. Craving something filling with a spicy kick? Try El-Nawal’s Mi Corazon—a brilliant combination of homemade chilaquiles in spicy red or green salsa, shredded chicken, coteja cheese, avocado and onion with tomato & crema. Also, on the menu are specialty bowls. The Original Bowl includes Rooster Boy Granola with homemade nut milk or yogurt. If you desire a sweet and savory lunch item, a Galette packed with fresh prosciutto, figs & caramelized onions will certainly please your appetite. 

Before you order off the menu, check the Rooster Boy specialties of the day. On our visit, Organic Watermelon-Tomato Gazpacho was the ideal way to begin our culinary journey with its tangy yet slightly sweet taste that proved refreshing on this blistering August day. A fresh Armenian Cucumber Salad opened our palates, getting us ready for a brilliantly prepared Tuna Nicoise adorned with olives, eggs, French green beans and smoked cold tuna. This lunch experience was just the thing for a hot Las Vegas day. Of course, Chef Sonia El-Nawal is known worldwide for her refined pasty skills and her offerings of fresh croissants, scones and assorted baked goods are sure to please any sweet craving. Rooster Boy’s Dutch oven pancake made to order is a soufflé oven-baked pancake, topped with crème fraiche and seasonal fruit and an exceptional way to conclude our dining experience.

Chef Sonia El-Nawal brings her experience working in the world’s greatest kitchens to her Rooster Boy Café and desires to take you on a culinary journey with her. “Cooking happy is our philosophy,” added El-Nawal. “We want to feed the soul, nourish the body, revive energy and share through food always with a great joy.” We could not agree more as this quaint eatery is indeed a place worth crowing about. 

Rooster Boy Café
2620 Regatta Dr.
Suite 113
Las Vegas NV 89128
Tue-Sun: 7:30am–3:00pm
Monday: Closed