ALIZÉ at Top of the Palms Casino Resort
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89103
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Tammy graduated from the Culinary Institute of American at Greystone in 2000. She worked in Napa Valley at Domaine Chandon Winery for a year before moving to Las Vegas to work in the pastry shop at the Bellagio Hotel. While at Bellagio, she worked on the Banquet, Restaurant and Wedding Cake Teams.
Tammy was hired by the Maccioni family as the opening Pastry Chef for tre Restaurant in 2002. When the restaurant closed in February of 2004, she came to work for André Rochat as Executive Pastry of Mistral, which opened in August 2004. Tammy currently oversees the pastry menu at Andre’s Restaurant at the Monte Carlo and Alizé at the top of the Palms Hotel.
Tammy participated in the Las Vegas Centennial dinner in May 2005, contributing her mignardise as well as the Chocolate Showpiece for the event. In December 2005 she will cook at the James Beard House in New York.
Interview with Chef Tammy Alana of Alizé - Las Vegas, NVAmy Tarr
: How did you get into pastry arts?
I worked for the post office as a mail handler for 5 years. I worked on big sorting machinery and ran forklifts. I joined when I was 20 and stayed until I was 25. Whenever it was someone’s birthday, I would bake a cake for them.
AT: Where did you train?
TA: I graduated from CIA Greystone in St. Helena .
AT: What restaurants have you worked in as a pastry chef?
TA: My first pastry chef position was at Bellagio, starting on the banquet team - I did mass-plated desserts. Then I switched to the restaurant team and did all the desserts for the hotel. Then on to wedding cakes at the Bellagio. Next I took the pastry chef position at Tre (owned by the Maccionis).
AT: What is your philosophy on pastry?
TA: I try to keep it simple, but I look forward to every menu change, to be creative. I’m good with change.
AT: Where do you look for inspiration?
TA: I’m always reading pastry books. And I love to dine around and see what’s going on. It keeps you motivated.
AT: Who are your pastry mentors?
TA: Frederic Robert at Wynn – he’s the corporate pastry chef for the hotel. His book’s amazing. I like to get inspiration from Richard Leach as well. How he structures his book by the seasons - he’ll take seasonal fruit and do different things with it.
AT: What pastry or kitchen tools can’t you live without?
TA: My off-set spatula. I like the 6-inch offset. I’m always using it. That’s all I need. And a good sharp knife!
AT: What are your favorite ingredients to work with?
TA: I’m big on using salt and/or lemon zest. It depends on what I’m making. They bring out the flavors of what I’m doing. And I love using seasonal fruit. My favorite is peaches.
AT: What are your favorite desserts?
TA: To make: I like to do miniatures, where you can have a few bites of this, that and the other, where you’re not disappointed by choosing one dessert. To eat: candy! Fruity, chewy candies of all varieties. That’s my fix. Plus ice cream cones and cookies.
AT: What are your top three tips for dessert success?
TA: 1) Work with quality product. 2) Match your flavors well. 3) Simple, clean plating.
AT: What’s your #1 selling dessert?
TA: Chocolate soufflé.
AT: What trends do you see emerging in pastry arts?
TA: Post-dessert complimentary petit fours. We do classic French petit fours.
AT: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
TA: This company is a really good company. Everyone is very happy and organized. I’ve really seen it grow since I’ve been here one year. And there are a couple of things in the works. I see myself in Las Vegas, unless we open in other parts of the US. I’ll be a pastry chef! I love what I do, and I hope I love it as much, if not more, in 5 years!