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Chef Alex Stratta returns to Las Vegas Posted February 5, 2014 12:39am Updated February 5, 2014 9:10pm Chef Alex Stratta returns to Las Vegas Alex Stratta, consulting chef at Marche Bacchus restaurant in Desert Shores, has plans for a restaurant of his own again someday. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review Journal) Buy Photo Alex Stratta, consulting chef at Marche Bacchus restaurant, places the finishing touches on a roasted chicken dish with prosciutto, winter vegetables and wild mushrooms. He said the restaurant's revamped menu will bring out the flavor of a French bistro. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review Journal) Buy Photo Alex Stratta, consulting chef at Marche Bacchus in Las Vegas, prepares roasted chicken with prosciutto, winter vegetables and wild mushrooms for demonstration Thursday. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review Journal) Buy Photo Alex Stratta, consulting chef at March Bacchus restaurant in Las Vegas, prepares a roasted chicken dish with prosciutto, winter vegetables and wild mushrooms for demonstration Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review Journal) Buy Photo Alex Stratta, consulting chef at March Bacchus restaurant in Las Vegas, displays a roasted chicken dish with prosciutto, winter vegetables and wild mushrooms Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review Journal) Buy Photo Alex Stratta, consulting chef at March Bacchus restaurant in Las Vegas,Vegas, cheap Leafs jerseys from china poses for a portrait Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review Journal) Buy Photo He spent more than a dozen years running some of the best restaurants onon cheap Leafs jerseys china the Strip, beginning with his five star Renoir at The Mirage and ending with his Michelin two star Alex at Wynn Las Vegas. Now he's running the kitchen at Marche Bacchus in Desert Shores, in the suburbs and far removed from the tourism corridor, at least figuratively. But as Alex Stratta relaxed in the restaurant's lakeside dining area on a recent afternoon, he seemed nothing if not content. Stratta had been recruited for The Mirage by owner Steve Wynn, who was familiar with his award winning cuisine at The Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. After Wynn sold The Mirage to build Wynn Las Vegas, Stratta followed him across the street, opening first the fine dining Alex and later the rustic Italian Stratta. Alex closed in early 2011 (Stratta not long after), and Stratta was quoted at the time as saying he was "bummed." Today, he's more philosophical. "I had a great run with Steve Wynn," he said. "Alex closed at a time when fine dining was morphing into more casual dining. We went out on top." For the relatively low profile Stratta, who long has expressed a desire to shun the celebrity chef spotlight, it was the beginning of a shift in focus. "I wanted toto wholesale cheap Leafs jerseys china have more of a family life," he said, with his children, twins Marco and Bianca, now 6. It was time, he thought, to leave behind the hard driving life of a fine dining chef. The twins had moved with their mother to San Jose, Calif., and Stratta wanted to be closer to them. He left Las Vegas late that year, taking jobs first in San Francisco and then in Los Angeles. He would be gone for aboutabout cheap Leafs jerseys free shipping a year and a half. "It just seems a lot longer," Stratta said with a laugh. And it turned out to be a period of introspection. "I found out a lot about myself," he said, including the discovery that he couldn't leave the hard driving chef behind. "Unfortunately, I'm kind of built that way," he said. Stratta returned to Las Vegas. "This is where I belong," he said. "I've been here for 13 years, the first three kicking and screaming." In Las Vegas he rejoined his friends, who included Jeff and Rhonda Wyatt, owners of Marche Bacchus. With one of his former sous chefs in the kitchen, he started consulting for the couple. That chef moved on, and though he has been replaced, Stratta recently took on a much more prominent role at the restaurant, helping the Wyatts with a thorough revamping of the menu. "My focus right now is all Marche, all the time," he said. "I really think we're going to live up to our potential. We'll be solid by summer." The new menu, he said, will reflect "the roots of what they ought to be a French bistro. The fundamentals done correctly. Approachable and true to form. Lower prices." That, he said, will include simplifying things somewhat. "These younger chefs want to make their mark," he said. "This isn't the forum for that. You can do that with things like wine dinners." And eventually, it won't be the forum for Stratta, either. While he said he plans to stay at Marche Bacchus "indefinitely," he does aimaim wholesale cheap Leafs jerseys to once again run his own show. "I want to rebuild my reputation," he said. "I do think that fine dining is something I don't want to do anymore. I want to cook more from the heart and less from the head. I want a chance to be the local restaurant that everybody goes to. I'll be 50 this year. I want to try something else before it's too late."

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