Chef Roy Ellamar makes his farm fresh dream reality by harvesting Hawaii’s Big Island

Editor’s Note: After a glorious nearly month-long family vacation in the Italian and Sicilian countryside, Robin Leach is back and resuming his new daily columns today with news of a group of Anthem Village residents who banded together to invest their savings in a showbiz venture.

We’ll continue guest columnists in August while Robin works from the cooler climes of La Jolla near San Diego in advance of our newly designed website launching midmonth.

Today, our weeklong salute to the culinary kings and queens of our restaurant and culinary industry continues – those kitchen warriors who work long hours serving up the taste treats our 41 million annual visitors have come to expect here. Today, we welcome chef Roy Ellamar from Harvest at Bellagio and chef Jose Navarro of Trevi Italian Restaurant in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Here’s Roy:

By Roy Ellamar

Aloha, everyone,

I’m Roy Ellamar, executive chef at Harvest in Bellagio. Growing up in Hilo, Hawaii, I was a kid who loved being outdoors. If I wasn’t fishing with friends or exploring the forest behind my house, I was spending time at my grandparents’ house playing with their pigs and chickens.

What everyone on The Big Island, including me, didn’t realize was that same Hilo kid who loved to catch prawns in the river with his dad would one day end up with his name on a restaurant in Las Vegas.

I didn’t always want to be a chef. When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a pro BMX rider back when it was called freestyling. When I wasn’t exploring the Island on foot, I was exploring it on two wheels. My favorite bike was a 1986 Redline RL-20II that I built from the frame up.

I would purchase parts with the money I saved from my paper routes. During high school, my interests shifted, though it still wasn’t cooking. Instead, I took an interest in electrical engineering and planned to pursue it as a career.

To tell you the truth, I started cooking out of necessity, then it blossomed into a passion. I needed to find a job at a young age to support my family, and electrical engineering wasn’t the type of job you could jump into quickly. One day, I was at my grandma’s house and saw a family photo that included my uncle, a chef in San Francisco, in his chef whites.

His food always left such an impression on me that seeing the picture sparked an idea, and I decided to pursue a culinary career. I got my first job as a cook, worked my way up and discovered that cooking was a natural fit.

When I felt that I had learned all I could in Hawaii, I left the island and moved around the country before landing in Las Vegas. I spent time as chef de cuisine at Seasons Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and later The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows in California.

In 2007, I began my Las Vegas culinary venture at a restaurant that I owe a lot of my career: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand. Before I started at L’Atelier, I found myself becoming burned out from cooking, but when I saw the technique and detail that went into Robuchon cuisine, I fell in love with food all over again.

The crazy part? The guava doesn’t fall far from the tree. My son Tayden is now a master cook at Joel Robuchon Restaurant at MGM Grand, L’Atelier’s sister restaurant. The fact that he is as passionate as I am about cooking just makes us that much closer.

Everything we do now has some tie to food. Even on our days off, we’re cooking together, watching documentaries like CHEF’S TABLE on Netflix or traveling to new culinary destinations.

I’ve always told Tayden that anything is possible if he puts his mind to it. In 2009, I had to put my money where my mouth was. I was given the opportunity to serve as chef de cuisine at Bellagio’s Sensi, and two years and a lot of determination later, I was named executive chef.

Fast forward to 2015, when I was honored with the opportunity to transform Sensi into Harvest, a concept guided by my personal philosophy learned from growing up in Hawaii. Harvest by Roy Ellamar is a true representation of who I am and where I am from. At Harvest, I’m able to use local products while cultivating relationships with farmers to stay true to my community values.

Similar to my native Hilo cuisine, the food at Harvest isn’t flashy or over the top. It’s ingredient driven and farm-to-table focused. My goal is to create food that’s simple yet thoughtful because, at the end of the day, it’s good food, great family and aloha spirit that matter most.

Be sure to check out our other guest columnist today, executive chef Jose Navarro of Trevi Italian Restaurant in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Robin also has news of a group of Anthem Village neighbors who pooled their savings to invest in a new showbiz venture.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like