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Famed Las Vegas chef Carla Pellegrino joins Limoncello

Updated January 11, 2023 - 9:34 am

Chef news leads On the Side this week. Let’s get right to the toque.

Carla Pellegrino, the “Top Chef” contestant whose CV stretches from Las Vegas to California, Miami to Manhattan, has joined Limoncello Fresh Italian Kitchen as chef and partner. Wife-and-husband restaurateurs Jenny and Giuseppe Bavarese opened Limoncello on West Sahara Avenue in 2019.

Pellegrino, born in Brazil and raised in Italy, has opened and led restaurants like Baldoria in New York’s Theater District; Touché Rooftop Lounge in Miami; the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (now The Ahwahnee) in Yosemite National Park; and Rao’s, Meatball Spot and Dough House in Las Vegas.

Two other restaurants are considered Pellegrino’s signature spots: Bacio, now closed at the Tropicana, and Bratalian, the beloved Henderson spot that closed in 2018. Among her accolades, Pellegrino has been a “Women in Food” honoree and has cooked several times at the James Beard House.

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Christopher Lee has been named the vice president of culinary operations and restaurant development for Wynn Las Vegas. Lee received the 2005 James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef and a Beard nomination for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2006. That same year, Lee was also named as a Best New Chef by Food &Wine.

He has helmed two Michelin-starred restaurants in New York: Gilt (one star in 2007, two stars in 2008) and Aureole (one star in 2009). Most recently, Lee oversaw 125 hotels and 275 culinary venues as Accor Hotels’ culinary and food and beverage director for North and Central America.

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Sahara Las Vegas has announced Vladimir Chavez as the executive chef at Chickie &Pete’s, the sports bar group once named No. 1 sports bar in North America by ESPN. Before his new gig, Chavez was executive chef for Fleur French Bistro in Mandalay Bay, where he also had stints at Libertine Social and Aureole by Charlie Palmer.

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Triple George Grill at the Downtown Grand is welcoming Steve Bacchetta as its executive chef. Bacchetta climbed the kitchen ranks from busboy to executive chef, honing his skills at city staples such as the MGM Grand, Station Casinos, Luxor and the Cannery. Most recently, he was chef-owner of the Chopperz Roadside Grill food truck.

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Las Vegas Vegan Dining Month is underway this month, with participating restaurants donating a portion of the proceeds from featured dishes to Animal Help Alliance rescue and adoption programs. Following up on our original article, here are more participants and options:

Bellagio: Harvest is offering heirloom melon gazpacho, roasted tandoor vegetables and a bucatini dish, while Michael Mina is offering grilled avocado and warm Jerusalem artichoke soup.

NoMad Las Vegas: NoMad Library is serving broccolini bruschetta with raisin-almond-cashew ricotta.

Park MGM: Best Friend by Roi Choi is sending out eggplant schnitzel with Dijon, soy and mirin, and Super Duper shave ice with coconut, fresh fruit, boba and sesame. Primrose has avocado toast with roasted tomato, radish and sunflower seeds. At La Pizza e La Pasta, there’s a three-course prix fixe menu anchored by spaghetti al pomodoro.

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Chickpeas Mediterranean Cafe, with locations in Spring Valley and Summerlin, is taking a star turn on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” on the Food Network. The episode — “Smoker, Stove and Skewer” — airs Friday. It was filmed at the Spring Valley restaurant. Visit Chickpeas at chickpeaslv.com.

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Pinkbox Doughnuts has been named the official doughnut partner of the Golden Knights, celebrating the partnership with four new specialty doughnuts and a Pee Weez cake. Pinkbox is also the official doughnut partner of the Raiders.

Email tips, questions or feedback to ontheside@reviewjournal.com

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