Special Event
Jacques Van Staden
Jacques Van Staden

Jacques Van Staden
Alizé at Palms Casino Resort | Las Vegas

Saturday, December 3, 7:00 pm
Members $90, guests $115

Nothing sweetens success like a great story about achieving it. Jacques Van Staden can tell one such tale about his journey to becoming chef de cuisine at Alizé in Las Vegas. In 1990 Van Staden graduated from high school in Pretoria, South Africa. Unbeknownst to his family, he had fueled a passion for cooking by secretly working at a local French restaurant instead of attending rugby practice. After graduation, he sold his car to buy a plane ticket to the United States, where he believed a career in cooking commanded more respect than in his native land. Now, 15 years later, it is clear his risky choice has paid off, so much so that Michael Sanson of Restaurant Hospitality dubbed him “The Gambler,” calling Van Staden “a legend in the making.”

Van Staden nourished his interest in cooking from a very young age. At seven, he was working alongside his Italian grandmother in the kitchen, and by eleven, he already knew he would become a professional chef. When Van Staden arrived in Washington, D.C., he kicked off his career by enrolling at L’Académie de Cuisine in Maryland while simultaneously working in the kitchen at the South African Embassy. After completing his formal training, Van Staden took a job at the prestigious Occidental Grill. From there, he went on to collaborate with one culinary legend after another, including Gray Kunz, Michel Richard, and the late Jean-Louis Palladin. Wooed to Las Vegas by an executive chef position at the Aladdin Hotel in 2000, Van Staden was tapped by another culinary legend, André Rochat, to serve as his chef de cuisine at Alizé in 2003.

From his perch on the 56th floor of the Palms, Van Staden overlooks all of Sin City as he prepares traditional French fare, such as foie gras and seared sweetbreads, alongside the venerable Rochat. Theirs has the makings of an ideal partnership, an effective marriage of youth and experience. As Heidi Knapp Rinella of the Las Vegas Review Journal wrote, “André Rochat and Jacques Van Staden put their heads together every night to create some of the most interesting, innovative and well-prepared food in town.” It seems that dinner with Van Staden is no gamble at all.

Foie Gras Candy Terrine Dipped in Quince Gelée with Crispy Masago Caviar

Citrus-Cured Salmon Wrapped in Tarragon Crêpes with Walnut Pesto

Crispy Rabbit Croquettes with Sage and Dijon Mustard

Spiced Sweet Potato Espresso with Lobster–Pumpkin Seed Blini

Chanteclair Champagne NV

Imam Bayaldi Tapenade with Maine Lobster, Smoked Herring Caviar, and Crème Fraîche Coulis

Cream of Celery Root and Anjou Pear Soup with Madras Curry Foam and Purslane Oil

Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Kabinett 2004

Sautéed Macadamia and Truffle–Crusted Alaskan Halibut with Lentils du Puy, Creamed Leeks, and Sea Urchin Emulsion

Rebholz Pinot Blanc 2003

Seared Cervena Venison Loin and Phyllo-Wrapped Braised Shank with Red Cabbage Marmalade, Cèpe Mushroom Fondant, and Minus 8 Vinegar Reduction

Pertuisane Les Boilettes 2003

Chilled Blood Orange Soup with Passion-Fruit Sorbet and Micro-Sorrel

Caramel Apples, Roasted Chestnut Mousse, and Warm Raisin Pain de Genes with Crackle Rum Ice Cream and Spiced Eggnog

Colio Estate Vineyards Vidal Icewine NV

Petits Fours

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