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Executive chef bringing a personal touch to Therapy’s menu

Therapy executive chef Talen Lancaster grew up on a farm in Visalia, California, and came to Las Vegas in 2007 to go to culinary school. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts he started as a dishwasher at Casino Montelago at Lake Las Vegas and worked his way up. He moved on to Johnny Smalls at the Hard Rock Hotel and then, in December 2010, to Comme Ca at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, starting as a line cook and ending up as sous chef. He took a position as chef tournant at DB Brasserie at The Venetian and worked his way up to executive sous chef, before moving to Therapy as executive sous chef in November 2015. He became executive chef last summer.

Review-Journal: Always in your fridge?

Chef Talen Lancaster: We always have ice cream, ice cream bars. We always have chocolate milk and Greek yogurt.

Currently obsessed with?

This summer I’ve been getting into the stock market, just trying to make some money and start my own business. I’ve been making my own knife covers, starting to branch out.

Newest Las Vegas discovery?

I don’t drink, so I don’t go to a lot of bars. On Sundays, we go to church and stop by the Cannery. They have all those movie theaters with reclining chairs. I take my daughter and my girlfriend to the movie.

Favorite indulgence?

When I get a chance I like to try a new place around town and treat myself to a good meal.

I never eat …

As a chef, I’ve tried everything. There’s really nothing I don’t eat. I like to experience everything once.

Favorite brunch at home?

My girl makes a really good chocolate chip pancake. I’m a sucker for those.

Best tip for home cooks?

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try something new. See what you have in the cupboard. I was trying to make bread pudding and they didn’t have cinnamon or nutmeg, so I tried five-spice powder and really liked it. Now I use it at Therapy.

What are you working on?

I’m trying to expand the menu a little bit. There are a lot of things that are still original, but I want to bring more of my touch to the restaurant. It’s about a quarter mine now. This winter I want to put on a pasta with a nice ragu — a big pasta, more like a pappardelle.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Find more of her stories at www. reviewjournal.com, and follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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