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A Letter From Chef Joho

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower. I was just seven years old, and on a trip to Paris from my home in Alsace with my grandparents. I still remember standing on the platform, mesmerized by the sight of the city of Paris below me. Everything that had been imposing to me about the city was suddenly reduced to miniature. Even the cars zipping through the streets looked like little toys. It was an incredible moment for a child from a small town, one that solidified for me the feeling that the Eifel Tower was a majestic, wonderful place.

Growing up in Alsace, I was always intrigued by the United States. It was a place we talked about visiting, a country that seemed to offer endless possibilities. After my years training with the great chef Paul Haeberlin at his L’Auberge de I’lll, and time spent working in Michelin-starred restaurants in France, Italy and Switzerland, I was thrilled to accept a job in America at the Famous Maxim’s in Chicago.

While I loved the French style at Maxim’s, I wanted to create something different, something that was my own vision. I soon met Richard Melman, the innovative restaurateur behind Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and the creator of many of the best restaurants in Chicago. Over many meals together, we talked about our favorite restaurants and what my dream place would be like. We soon decided to work together, and opened Everest, a fine-dining restaurant on the fortieth floor of the Chicago Stock Market.

We were fortunate to have a great deal of success with Everest, winning many awards including the ones from James Beard Foundation, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Relais & Chateaux, and Les Grandes Tables du Monde, among others. We went on to collaborate on other projects, including Brasserie Jo, bringing the convivial atmosphere of Parisian brasseries to Chicago and Boston.

When the idea of opening the Eiffel Tower Restaurant first came up, Las Vegas was not the glamorous city and international dining destination that it is today. On the contrary, it was known for second-rate food in restaurants with little to no atmosphere. The challenge of helping the Paris Hotel & Resort re-create one of the best-known structures in the world while bringing fine dining to Las Vegas was exciting to Richard and me.

The Eiffel Tower is an icon both in France and the United States, a symbol of the friendship our countries have enjoyed for years. Its grand scale and sparkling lights also signify the magic of a night in Paris, enjoying fine cuisine and great wines with special guests. We created the Eiffel Tower Restaurant to embody those feelings, but in a distinctly American fashion, in a site overlooking the famous Las Vegas Strip. Our goal was to create a sumptuous environment with fine French cuisine and exquisite service, combining the excitement of Las Vegas and the high style of Paris.

We offer updated classic French cuisine: dishes that have defined cooking in France for centuries, but in a lighter, more modern style. Guests can enjoy fine Champagne with a Grand Seafood Platter or Caviar and Blini, Classic Beef Wellingtons, or Horseradish-Crusted Wild Salmon. For so many of our guests, Las Vegas is another world, an escape from everyday life, a place dedicated to enjoyment and the luxury of leaving daily responsibilities behind, and our menu reflects that intention.

“The Eiffel Tower Cookbook – Capturing the Magic of Paris” presents an inside peek into his kitchen and love of cooking, Chef Joho shares more than 50 of his signature dishes with recipes and spectacular photos throughout. This classic Parisian red hardbound book captures the food and ambiance of this most romantic restaurant, and will whisk any home cook off to Las Vegas from their very own kitchen. Copies can be purchased by clicking here.