Elizabeth Blau’s food service career spans nearly three decades, most of them spent transforming Las Vegas into a world-class culinary destination. A graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Management, Blau’s career started strong and fast, with an early post under Sirio Maccioni, importing New York’s beloved Le Cirque concept to Las Vegas. The success of that venture caught the eye of Stephen Wynn, then CEO of Mirage Resorts, who recruited Blau to transform the food and beverage program of his latest project, the Bellagio.
As Vice President of Restaurant Development for Mirage Resorts, Blau persuaded a group of award-winning chefs to join the burgeoning Las Vegas dining scene, including Todd English, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Michael Mina. And when MGM Grand acquired Mirage Resorts in 2000, Blau became Senior Vice President of Restaurant Development, where she continued to develop, integrate, and promote new restaurant concepts for the corporation’s properties.
In 2003, Blau parlayed her expertise to found Blau & Associates, a team of hospitality experts that quickly became one of the foremost restaurant development companies in the field, with clients like the Ritz Carlton Hotels, Trump Casinos, Celebrity Cruises, and Wynn Resorts. Blau and her husband meanwhile maintained their partnerships in three successful Las Vegas ventures, including the Society Café at Encore, one of Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants of 2009.
When she isn’t garnering praise or awards for her impact in the industry, Blau shares her expertise freely, whether as a judge on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” on the board of Hotel F&B Magazine, or as a commencement speaker at the Culinary Institute of America. She also supports many charitable organizations, including Child Focus, Communities in Schools, and Three Square Food Bank.