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StarChefs

Sean Griffin
NEROS
Caesars Palace
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 731-7560

Biography»

Interview:
Antoinette Bruno: Why did you start cooking? What or who inspired you to become a chef?
Sean Griffin: I grew up in a restaurant family in Orange County, CA. I started peeling potatoes and baking when I was 13. My dad was the driving force inspiring me to become a chef.

AB: Did you attend culinary school? Why or why not?
SG: I did not go to school. I worked for my father until I was 22 years old.

AB: Who are your mentors?
SG: Conny Anderson at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. He guided me but let me learn and develop my style. Conny treated everyone with respect. He didn’t yell in the kitchen like everyone else I worked for. He taught me how to deal with people which has inspired my own management style.

AB: Are there any secret ingredients that you especially like? Why?
SG: I like to brown butter before using it in sauces. You get a nutty flavor; it’s a great building block.

AB: What is your most indispensable kitchen tool? Why?
SG: A chef’s spoon. I use it for saucing. It’s more artistic than a squirt bottle. You drag it across the plate.

AB: What is your favorite question to ask during an interview for a potential new line cook?
SG: Why are you here? If their answer is, “I’m tired with the job I’m doing now,” then they are out! I need to see if they are passionate about being here.

AB: What tips would you offer young chefs just getting started?
SG: Keep an open mind. A lot of CIA grads thing they know everything and they have so much to learn. Don’t move too fast, watch everything and learn.

AB: What are your favorite cookbooks?
SG: At the moment, Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating–from Chef Fergus Henderson of St. John’s, London. It expands your horizons. Also Thomas Keller’s French Laundry cookbook – I like the refinement.

AB: What are your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas?
SG: Bouchon – It’s very simple, expertly prepared. Also Bradley Ogden, Spago and Olives.

AB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
SG: I want to do something smaller than Las Vegas. A small-seat restaurant, my own restaurant, but really I prefer a partner/backer. I have owned my own restaurant – I started out 20 years old owning my own restaurant and I’m not sure I want that again. But I am thinking about it.




Sean Griffin
NEROS | Las Vegas

Running an emperor’s kitchen is quite a challenge, but Sean Griffin of Neros at Caesars Palace is up for the task. Griffin was introduced to the chef’s way of life at an early age. Growing up in Orange County, California, he worked in his father’s restaurants and learned to settle for nothing short of excellence. At Neros, Griffin has created a fine dining experience under the guise of a steakhouse. His whimsical approach to his menu is creative without being intimidating, and entries such as foie gras “sliders” with upscale condiments including port-poached rhubarb, preserved ginger and crushed walnuts, distinguish Neros from the ordinary Vegas steakhouse.

 

Kobe Flatiron Steak, Slow Cooked Broccoli, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Crispy Shallot
Chef Sean Griffin of Neros at Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

    Kobe Flatiron Steak:
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) Kobe flatiron steaks
    Broccoli:
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 2 large shallots
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
    Point Reyes Blue Cheese:
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Point Reyes blue cheese
    Crispy Shallots:
  • 4 large shallots
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
    Garnish:
  • ½ cup red wine demi-glace
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Micro arugula

Method:
For Kobe Beef:

For marinade, place all ingredients except beef in blender and puree. Pour over beef and marinate for 4 hours.

Place a film of oil in a very hot pan and add marinated Kobe beef. Sear until caramelized (approximately 2 minutes), turn and continue to cook until rare to medium-rare.

For Broccoli:
Preheat oven to 275° F. Separate broccoli into small florets and blanch for 10 seconds in boiling salted water. Shock in ice water and dry. Cut shallots into thin rings. Toss broccoli with oil, shallots, chili, and salt, and arrange in a baking dish. Place in oven and cook for 1 hour - broccoli should be softened but still have a light crunch. Let cool.

For Crispy Shallot:
Slice shallots into thin rings. Combine flour, paprika, cayenne, cumin and salt. Toss shallots in flour mix and fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

For Point Reyes Blue Cheese:
Reduce cream over medium heat by 2/3. Reduce heat to low, add cheese, and stir until melted.

To Assemble and Serve:
In separate pots, warm broccoli and Point Reyes Blue Cheese over low heat. Place broccoli in a single line down plate and spoon blue cheese around. Cut Kobe beef into thin slices and lay on top of broccoli, sprinkle with sea salt. Finish plate with crispy shallot rings, red wine demi-glace and micro arugula.

 

Key West Pink Shrimp, Fennel Pernod Pillow, Tomato Olive Relish
Chef Sean Griffin of Neros at Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients:

    Fennel Pernod Pillow:
  • 2 large bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Pernod
    Shrimp:
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • ½ bulb fennel, diced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Pernod
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 12 small Key West pink shrimp
    Tomato Relish:
  • 2 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 small shallot, diced small
  • 8 kalamata olives, pitted, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method:
Fennel Pernod Pillow:

In a large, shallow pan, combine fennel, onion, oil and thyme. Season lightly with salt and cayenne. Cook over very low heat until mixture is very soft (approximately 1 hour). Remove thyme, puree mixture in a blender. Remove from blender and strain. Add Pernod and chill.

Shrimp:
Place everything but shrimp in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, strain. Return liquid to the pot and boil, seasoning liberally with salt. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are opaque throughout. Remove shrimp and cool.

Tomato Relish:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve at room temperature.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place a small amount of the fennel Pernod puree into a large spoon and top with one shrimp. Place some tomato relish over shrimp and finish with a fennel frond.





   Published: August 2005

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