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Dining

[Chef Talk]

KC Fazel puts his own twist on classic steakhouse fare

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Chef KC Fazel worked with Bradley Ogden and Tom Colicchio before taking control of Tender Steak and Seafood at Luxor.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

If you’ve dined at Tender, Luxor’s shockingly good steakhouse, you know the steakhouse experience can be so much more than a chunk of beef and a side of potatoes. The mind behind Tender’s diverse, creative menu belongs to KC Fazel, a veteran chef who’s worked with Bradley Ogden and Tom Colicchio. Fazel chatted with the Weekly and revealed his approach to spicing up the standard steakhouse.

On opening Craftsteak at MGM Grand: My first real job out here was at the Brown Derby at MGM, and they kept me on when they turned that space into Craftsteak. I was executive sous chef at Craftsteak, the No. 3 guy. Sometimes when [restaurants] come to a Vegas casino they struggle. They’re not used to seeing 12-tops. Here you get walk-ins of 20 and 30. How do you accommodate that? But the Craft system was already prepared to take it to that level. And Tom [Colicchio] helped open those doors and show there could be more to a steakhouse than five steaks and these same sides.

On competing with other steakhouses: The only competition is in the sense of developing your own identity, trying to present something unique. I have a different guest base and different expectations at Tender than they have at Bellagio or MGM Grand, and that opens things up for me.

On Tender’s menu: It’s all about the diversity people can experience. I have five different ribeyes. Here you have more options so you can really see and taste the difference between dry-aged, corn-fed and grass-fed. We have bison; we have Wagyu. You can have a new experience every day. Another part of my take is adding a lot of comfort food like our pot roast, taking what grandma used to make and really putting an upscale swing on things, showing how far you can go. –Brock Radke

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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