Eric Klein
Wynn Las Vegas
3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 770-3325


Antoinette Bruno: Why did you start cooking? Who or what inspired you to be a chef?
Eric Klein: I grew up on a farm, convent. I ended up cooking, taking turns with the others in my family to make dinner. So when it was timed to find a job, I thought about being a cook and did a trial in the kitchen.

AB: Did you attend culinary school?
EK: I attended culinary school for 3 years. In America, culinary school is not a good thing. People in America go to school to pass the time.

AB: Can you talk about your mentors?
EK: Wolfgang Puck and Lee Hefter were a huge influence on my life. Also Raspier Montenlier. He taught me about authentic simplicity, French cuisine. I wanted to be the best apprentice. He taught me to never take short cuts.

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Eric Klein

Driven doesn’t even begin to describe Chef Eric Klein. Since arriving in the US a decade ago, this native of Alsace, France, has been in perpetual overdrive, racking up industry honors through old-fashioned hard work and talent. Before joining the team at Wynn Las Vegas, Klein led the kitchen of Maple Drive in Beverly Hills, and spent seven years as sous chef of Spago Beverly Hills, working alongside Wolfgang Puck and Lee Hefter. His goal for SW is to make every guest feel like a member of the restaurant family and to move beyond classic steakhouse fare by adding an intriguing Alsatian element to the menu. Klein’s philosophy in the kitchen is simplicity, which the chef believes is “a form of beauty.”


Foie Gras Terrine “Speck”
Chef Eric Klein of SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
Adapted by

Foie Gras Terrine “Speck”Yield: 24 Servings


  • 1 lobe foie gras
  • Water to cover foie gras
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons sea salt
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup mustard
  • Ground coriander to taste
  • Ground black peppercorns to taste
Remove foie gras from bag and scrape away the membrane. Allow to temper and remove all the veins. Make a brine by combing the water and sea salt. Separate lobe and cover with brine. Allow to cure for 24 hours.

Remove from curing, pat dry and reform foie gras. Cover foie gras with honey, mustard, ground coriander, and ground black pepper. Cold smoke for 1 hour. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Interview Cont'd
AB: What is your philosophy on food and dining?
EK: My food is simple. Simplicity is a form of beauty.

AB: Are there any secret ingredients that you especially like?
EK: Bacon – I like to make bacon bread. Also lovage for soup.

AB: What is your most indispensable kitchen tool?
EK: My spoon. I always have my kitchen spoon with me. I've had this spoon since 1996

AB: What is your favorite question to ask during an interview for a potential new line cook?
EK: I always ask 1: What makes you think that you are the best “grill cook” or whatever the opening is for? 2: What is your dream? 3: What makes you happy, what drives you?

AB: What are your favorite cookbooks?
EK: Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard; Escoffier, LaRousse. I like to read reviews in the LA Times. I also read comments online like at

AB: What cities do you like for culinary travel?
EK: Asia, because they have been cooking for so many thousands of years.

AB: What trends do you see emerging in culinary arts?
EK: Everything that is old is new again.

AB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
EK: I’d love to have what I have right now – a restaurant where people love to be.

   Published: August 2005