Chef celebrates rare triple crown

Eleven years after retiring, star chef Joel Robuchon is celebrating the rare triple crown of the culinary world: a third three-star rating from Michelin.

His third, which was reported Saturday for his self-titled restaurant at the MGM Grand, was accomplished in just two years.

In an interview hours after his latest three-star rating was announced, Robuchon praised his staff and expressed his appreciation to Gamal Aziz, the president and chief operating officer of MGM Grand.

He thanked Aziz, who successfully recruited Robuchon to Las Vegas, “for giving me everything to achieve this. It is very special to be the first (Michelin three-star restaurant) in Las Vegas.”

Robuchon, who will be in Los Angeles today for the formal announcement, is Michelin’s only three-star chef in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It was Michelin’s inaugural rating for the two cities.

Rumors were flying last week that Las Vegas might get two, Robuchon said.

“Then we heard only one, so it was us or someone else.”

Robuchon retired in 1996 with two three-star ratings. His first was Jamin in Paris in 1984, and he received the second in 1994, after moving Jamin to a new location.


Film and theater actress Julie Andrews, who starred in “Camelot” opposite Robert Goulet, sent condolences to Goulet’s family last week, as did Celine Dion, who is out of the country. After the funeral, a private gathering was held at Wynn Las Vegas, with a group of Goulet friends taking turns sharing remembrances. They included singing legends Jack Jones and Phyllis McGuire, comedian David Brenner, musical conductor Vince Falcone, deejay Duke Morgan, and Goulet publicist Norm Johnson. Steve Wynn stopped by and visited with Goulet’s widow, Vera.

Putting a new spin on painting the town red, Paris Las Vegas will illuminate the 50-story replica of the Eiffel Tower in red in the early morning hours Thursday. It will launch a week of Beaujolais Nouveau festivities to mark the release of the 2007 wine. …

Goombahs James Gandolfini and Steve Schirripa are in town Tuesday to unveil “The Sopranos”-themed slot machines about 11 a.m. at the Global Gaming Expo. Schirripa is hosting the Vegas Va-Voom Variety Spectacular Wednesday, the kickoff event for the Las Vegas Comedy Festival at Caesars Palace. The lineup includes Lon Bronson‘s All-Star Band, Red Rock Resort headliners Zowie Bowie, magician Kevin James, Schirripa’s “Va-Voom” showgirls, and comedian Dom Irrera. …

Trader Vic’s, featuring an endless menu of tropical drinks, has opened inside the front door of the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood Resort. Owner Doc Wiener has one of the last Strip-front patios, for now, at least, because of a recent moratorium. Among the staffers welcoming a horde of 600 at Friday’s VIP opening was Mike Emizawa, Steve Wynn’s longtime maitre ‘d at Lily Langtry’s at the Golden Nugget.


At Tao Las Vegas’ two-year anniversary party Saturday inside The Venetian: Actress Angie Harmon and husband/former NFL player Jason Sehorn, Avril Lavigne and husband Deryck Whibley of the band Sum 41, chef Bobby Flay, actress Brooke Burns, Camille Guaty, comedian Chris Kattan, comedian Chris Parnell, rocker Cisco Adler, actor Dax Shepherd, DJ Berrie, Emmy Rossum and boyfriend Jason Siegel, rapper Eve, actress Gabrielle Union, singer Haylie Duff, comedian Howie Mandel, actor Jeremy Piven, Justin Bartha, Josh Myers, singer Katharine McPhee, actress Kristen Bell, actress Krysten Ritter, Lydia Hearst, NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, former NBA player Rick Fox, billionaire Ron Burkle, actress Rosario Dawson with her mother, Isabelle), actor Seth Meyers, actor Shalim Ortiz and actress Zoe Saldana. … At Saturday’s Maroon 5 concert at The Pearl inside the Palms: Lavigne, Fox, actresses Sara Ramirez, Natasha Henstridge, actor/comedian David Spade, actor Ian Ziering, actresses Rumer Willis, Guaty, actors Dax Shepard, Jon Cryer and Seth Meyers. … Illusionist Criss Angel, artist Christian Lassen and Fox, checking out LAX nightclub Saturday inside the Luxor. … Members of Oscar award-winning rap group Three Six Mafia, bowling Saturday at Lucky Strikes Lanes (Rio).


Dennis Kucinich admitted during the debate the other night that he had seen a UFO close up. Dennis Kucinich doesn’t seem like the type of guy who would see a UFO. He seems like the kind of guy you’d see coming out of a UFO.” — Jay Leno

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or Find additional sightings and more online at

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