Do you have a favorite dish at a favorite Las Vegas restaurant? There may be a cookbook for that.
Almost every chef worth his or her salt has written a cookbook or three – and that, of course, includes many Las Vegas chefs.
Chefs who bring their restaurants to Las Vegas are typically highly esteemed restauranteurs with acclaimed restaurants in foodie destinations around the world. Cookbooks by these chefs often incorporate personal stories, expert cooking tips and recipes straight off their restaurant menus.
Whether you’re turning your cookbook collection into an homage to Las Vegas chefs or you just want to add a book or two, there are plenty of cookbooks to choose from. Here’s a handful of titles to get you started.
Honey Salt Food and Drink: A Culinary Scrapbook
Restauranteur Elizabeth Blau and her husband Chef Kim Canteenwalla seem to have found the recipe for success.
Together the James Beard nominees own and operate several restaurants in the United States and Canada, including Las Vegas-based Honey Salt, 1031 S. Rampart Blvd., and a portion of Buddy V's Ristorante in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Las Vegas.
Their 300-page cookbook, Honey Salt Food and Drink ($29.95), has heart and soul with expert tips and tricks, family recipes, and contributions from their son, Cole. It includes photographs by Bill Milne and favorite recipes from their restaurant, Honey Salt.
Blau and Canteenwalla also share stories about their travels along the U.S. coasts, Canada and Italy, and how these adventures inspired the Honey Salt menu.
Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto
If you’ve ever imagined skipping store-bought, pre-packaged pasta and rolling out the dough yourself, Marc Vetri’s Mastering Pasta ($29.99) gives you the courage to try.
Written along with David Joachim with photography by Ed Anderson, the cookbook teaches you how to make 30 different types of pasta dough (even mint and lemon dough), form it into shapes, and make a fantastic meal. There are more than 100 recipes covering pasta, gnocchi and risotto, as well as pasta sauces.
Classically trained in Bergamo, Italy, Vetri is a James Beard Award-winning chef from Philadelphia. He and his business partner Jeff Benjamin opened a second location for their acclaimed Philadelphia restaurant Vetri Cucina in November 2018 on the 56th floor of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Vetri has also written cookbooks about pizza and other Italian foods.
The NoMad Cookbook and The NoMad Cocktail Book
A nod to the library at the NoMad Hotel New York, the new NoMad Restaurant, which opened at Park MGM in Las Vegas in November 2018, is gorgeously decorated with a sprawling three-story book collection (which reportedly belonged to David Rockefeller). So, it’s no surprise that The Nomad Cookbook ($100) by Chef Daniel Humm and Restauranteur Will Guidara also makes a bold statement.
With more than 300 pages of recipes and photography by Francesco Tonelli, the book also includes a hidden prohibition-style back panel containing The Nomad Cocktail Book by NoMad Bar Director Leo Robitschek.
Recipes are organized like the NoMad menu: snacks, appetizers, mains and dessert, followed by directions for making the basics used in the recipes, like dressings, pickles, stocks, crumbles, dough, butter, ice cream and sorbet.
Together, the duo has also authored the cookbooks Eleven Madison Park and I Love New York.
Giada’s Family Dinners
Celebrity Chef Giada de Laurentiis has nine cookbooks under her belt, including her most recent title, Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita and her New York Times bestseller, Everyday Italian.
Trained at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, the Food Network darling opened her first restaurant, Giada, at The Cromwell on the Las Vegas Strip in 2014, and a fast-casual concept, Pronto, at Caesar’s Palace in early 2018.
Giada’s Family Dinners ($35) celebrates the fun of family meals with flexible Italian recipes, like Lasagna Rolls and Turkey Bolognese, that are delicious and simple to make. She also includes holiday favorites that can be made year-round.
Portions are easily adaptable to accommodate a family of any size. Recipes are interspersed with photos of Giada’s real-life family by photographer Victoria Pearson.
The Drinking Food of Thailand
James Beard Award-winning Chef Andy Ricker fell in love with a subset of Thai cooking called ahaan kap klaem or “drinking food” in the 1980s. Sour, chewy, spicy and salty, they’re a perfect accompaniment to drinking.
In August 2018, Ricker, who splits his time between Thailand and the U.S., opened his beloved Portland eatery Pok Pok (named for the sound a pestle makes when striking the mortar) inside the Block 16 Urban Eatery at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Written along with JJ Goode, with photography by Austin Bush, The Drinking Food of Thailand ($35) conveys heartfelt stories from Ricker’s years on the road in Thailand. He also shares insight from the Thai cooks he met along the way.
The book is not only a collection of recipes (snacks, soup, dips, fried food, grilled food, salads, stir-fries, late-night foods and sundries) but also an exploration of the country’s drinking culture, particularly the Northern provinces. Straightforward-yet-thorough recipes like Kai Thawt (Thai-style fried chicken) and Aep Sammoeng Muu (Pig’s brains grilled in banana leaf) use ingredients you can find in the United States, though they might require a trip to an Asian supermarket.