CHEF ANDRÉ ROCHAT
Chef/Proprietor, Gastronomy Management Group
André Rochat is Las Vegas’ original celebrity chef.
Long before Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Charlie Palmer arrived in Las Vegas, Rochat was providing world-class cuisine and sophisticated service, easily satisfying the most discriminating high rollers.
Today, while he shares the limelight with some of America’s most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, Rochat remains the dean of Las Vegas chefs, with two top-ranked, award-winning restaurants, and a dedication to standards as high as the 56th floor perch of one of his grandest restaurants, Alizé, which overlooks the city from the top of the Palms Casino Resort.
Rochat was born in the French Alps where his family owned a charcuterie in the village of La Rochette. After learning the business — beginning at the tender age of five—and inheriting the gift of cooking from his mother, he left home at 14 to apprentice at Leon de Lyon, the renowned Michelin two-star restaurant in the heart of Lyon, in the region known as the cradle of French gastronomy. Later, he took a job at the Hôtel du Mont-Blanc in Megève, not far from home, and followed with a military assignment as chef to a French naval commander, a prestigious appointment for a rising culinary star.
In 1965, Rochat departed his native France, arriving in Boston with nothing but $5, a bagful of knives and a head full of youthful dreams. After cooking at several prestigious East Coast hotels including Boston’s Charter House and Washington’s Mayflower and enjoying a stint as an in-flight chef for United Airlines, he drifted west, eventually landing in Las Vegas — a long way from La Rochette.
In 1973, he opened a successful business, Savoy French Bakery, after observing the absence of an authentic French boulangerie in Las Vegas.
In 1980, Rochat founded his cozy French restaurant, Andre’s, which would eventually become one of Las Vegas’ most venerable and acclaimed establishments. Despite its location in downtown Las Vegas, word quickly spread that Andre’s, with the rustic ambiance of a French country auberge, was the place for an intimate gourmet dinner in the burgeoning metropolis. Since then, Andre’s has set the standard for culinary excellence in Las Vegas and even the much-publicized arrival of celebrity chefs from L.A., New York and San Francisco didn’t detract from the restaurant’s superlative reputation and immense following.
As LVCitylife.com put it, “Andre’s is what people think of when someone says, ‘take me to the nicest place in town.’”
In 1997, Rochat opened a second location on the Strip, Andre’s Restaurant and Lounge at Monte Carlo. In 2001, he opened Alizé on top of the Palms Casino Resort, the hip hotel that has profoundly altered the dynamics of Las Vegas nightlife. With his now two highly acclaimed restaurants, Rochat remains at the top of the Las Vegas culinary hierarchy and seems to be a chef truly at peace with his choices in life. Described by his peers as having no ego, he is regarded as a superb mentor to younger talents. Recognized in 2008 and 2009, Rochat accomplished his life dream when two of his restaurants were recognized by the Michelin Guide with one star rating.
Rochat, a passionate collector, maintains one of the most extensive and exclusive collections of Cognacs in the world, displayed throughout his fine restaurants — yet another reason discriminating diners enjoy spending an evening with the legendary chef who put Las Vegas on the culinary map.
Joseph Marsco serves as Director of Operations and Managing Partner for two Michelin 1-star restaurants, Alizé at the Top of the Palms and Andre’s Restaurant & Lounge at Monte Carlo. Marsco began his restaurant career at his family-owned and operated Italian restaurant in Youngstown, Ohio.
To pursue an interest in cooking and an ultimate desire to be a chef, he moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. While attending the CIA, Marsco had the opportunity to apprentice in many famous New York City restaurants.Having the privilege to work with Andre Soltner at Lutece, Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque and Jean Jacques Rachou at La Côte Basque exposed him to classical French training that would shape his future career. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Marsco worked as a chef tournant in the kitchen of La Reserve under Chef Dominique Peyraudeau.
Influenced by an instructor of The Culinary Institute of America and a general interest to learn more about the front of the house operations, he pursued a service position at New York City’s Le Perigord to master the art of the Dining Room.With continued interest in fine service and being among the public, Marsco maintained a career in restaurant management and front-of-the-house operations while working at the famed Bouley.
An opportunity to venture into management came when Claude Troisgros offered him a job at his new CT restaurant in New York. As an assistant to the Maitre d’, CT earned three stars from the New York Times.Then, the news broke: Las Vegas was turning into a dining destination! Being involved with Rio Suites Hotel and Casino’s expansion at a time when Jean-Louis Palladin was coming to Las Vegas was an opportunity Marsco couldn’t pass up.
Marsco began his work at the Rio as a food and beverage manager at which time he managed the Masquerade Village restaurants including VooDoo Lounge and Café, Mama Maria’s Cucina, Antonio’s and Buzio’s before taking the position of Fiore Rotisserie and Grille’s general manager.
In 2001, Marsco joined André Rochat’s restaurants, opening Alizé. He held the position of General Manager at Alizé for three years before taking on the position of Director of Operations for Andre’s entire restaurant group.