Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 | 7:31 p.m.
Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach arrives in La Jolla, Calif., for family time after returning to the United States from his annual Italian travels, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their words of wisdom.
We continue today with “Hell’s Kitchen” winner Scott Commings, who fiery TV host Gordon Ramsay brought to Caesars Palace. And check out our other guest column from “Legends in Concert” at Flamingo stars Chris Van Dahl as rocker Steven Tyler and Elise Furr as Caesars Palace headliner songbird Celine Dion.
Hailing from Woodstock, Ill., I never imagined in a million years that I would be living in Las Vegas as part of a prize package from winning a national TV cooking competition. But here I am as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace, and I feel so incredibly fortunate for the twist my life and career have taken.
My time on “Hell’s Kitchen” was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career. For those who watched Season 12, you know that it was not a smooth time. Chef Ramsay coined me the “biggest comeback chef in the history of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’.”
But by taking bold risks and outcompeting the other 19 chefs, I pushed through gaining strength with each challenge. In the end, my unwavering determination led me to victory.
After my win, I made my first trip to Las Vegas. Not only was it my first trip to Las Vegas, but it also was my first trip to Caesars Palace. After one visit, I found myself looking for a house to move my family and start this new, incredible chapter.
While this was our first time in the Southwest, my wife and two beautiful kids have loved the move to Las Vegas. We’ve found the residents to be extremely welcoming and ourselves exploring the city every chance we get. I am proud to have already worked with several local charities, including Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas and Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation.
When I’m not exploring the city, you can find me at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill. Working at Pub & Grill has been quite a change from my previous position. The amount of covers we produce on a daily basis alone is an incredible feat. Since starting last September, I’ve had input on new menu items, and we continue to change menu items seasonally, offering guest only the freshest ingredients.
One of our most popular dishes on the menu is pan-seared Scottish salmon. Below is the recipe for those interested in taking a stab at re-creating the dish. For those who would rather have someone else do the work, stop by Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, open daily at 11 a.m., and I’ll be happy to cook one up for you!
Pan-seared Scottish salmon with roasted cauliflower and fennel
6-8 oz. Scottish salmon
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 shallot, julienned
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup mixed rainbow cauliflower, chopped
In a sauce pot, add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Slowly cook shallots and garlic till translucent. Do not caramelize. Add white wine and allow to simmer. Add fennel and cream. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until very tender.
Strain and reserve cream from fennel. In food processor, blend fennel into fine puree. Add cream when needed. Salt to taste.
Lightly coat cauliflower with oil and season with salt and pepper. On oven tray, roast at 400 degrees till cauliflower begins to caramelize.
Season and pan roast salmon, cooking skin side down in hot skillet. Finish in oven. Baste with whole butter.
On a plate, spoon fennel puree on base of plate. Top with cauliflower. Place salmon on top. Finish with nice salad of watercress and shaved fennel. Enjoy!
Check out our other guest column today with the amazing lookalike and soundalike “Legends in Concert” at Flamingo stars Chris Van Dahl as Steven Tyler and Elise Furr as Celine Dion. On Thursday, our guest columnists are Las Vegas rocker Franky Perez and “X Burlesque” at the Flamingo beauty Tiffany Molyneux.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.