“Prepare Quick.” Those words, tattooed across a synthetic Reverse logo, are the sign of a little group of culinary professionals who have actually greatly affected Las Vegas dining. Among their members is Johnny Church, who passionately refers to them as a “street gang.” And he laughs at the impression some individuals obtain from it.
“It’s not about cooking quickly,” Aureole’s executive chef says. “It’s like the whole sailor thing, like ‘hang on.’ We all showed up in kitchens together, all of us worked on the line together and we had a friendship, a brotherhood-sisterhood sort of thing.”
Church says the phrase dates back to the kitchen areas of both the Stirling Club– previously at Turnberry Place– and Andre’s, where the group initially labored together. And, as a number of these stories go, the first Cook Fast tattoo involved a night of drinking, during which Church’s ex-wife inked a group of inebriated chefs consisting of Las Vegas Country Club’s Mike Van Staden and Momofuku’s Shaun King (and later on, Gastromix’s Chris Bulen, Scott Green of Robert Irvine’s Pub and Charlie Palmer Steak’s Lalo Saavedra). This crew is all over the location, and you didn’t even understand it.
When Church took the reins of what he passionately describes as Aureole 2.0 late last year, he implemented menu modifications at the iconic Mandalay Bay dining establishment in an effort to source as many regional and sustainable active ingredients as possible, a challenging job for such a big location.
“My job here is to find out how we can feed your soul by carrying out cool and enjoyable methods but still carrying out at a high level while serving 350 covers a night,” he states. However the energetic chef doesn’t rest on his laurels, showing that “when a dish is right, it’s time to change it.” Cook quickly certainly.