Executive Chef Nicole Brisson

Executive Chef Nicole Brisson


Stand out quote

“Cooking professionally for me is a lifestyle.  It consumes you every day and hour.  I could never do anything else because I live and breathe it.”

 Some people are born to live life in the kitchen. Cooking, creating and leading a crew in a fast paced and oftentimes frenzied environment seems to come naturally. And, despite mental and physical demands that can quickly crumple the meek, innate passion, grit and an obsession with putting out the very best cuisine possible becomes the driving force that turns challenges into success.  It’s why Executive Chef Nicole Brisson is rising to the top of the Vegas restaurant scene.  From overseeing four restaurants as the Culinary Director of the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality, to running the entire kitchen and food operations of Eataly Las Vegas, touted as one of the most exciting culinary experiences to grace the Strip, Nicole’s ability to evolve and grow in the industry is paying off. 


Being a chef is literally in your blood. Tell us about the journey.

I started in kitchens at a very young age.  My grandfather owned a restaurant in Saratoga where my mom grew up learning from him.  My sister Kasia is also an Executive Chef and I followed her career path initially.  With the help of Faith Willinger, I was able to move to Italy for two years and work under some amazing chefs. Fabio Picchi and Dario Cecchini taught me so much about Italian cuisine and culture.  This paved the way of my future, working at many Italian restaurants because of my love for Italian food. After Italy I moved to Las Vegas where I became one of the youngest female chefs, something there’s not a lot of, on the Strip. At the Wynn I worked for Steven Kalt and Paul Bartalotta.  I eventually moved over to the B&BHG group and held numerous positions ranging from Chef Cuisine to Executive Chef, and finally the Culinary Director. Along the way I’ve appeared on various television shows, including Chopped, two seasons of Late Night Chef Fight, Action Bronson Munchies, and Beat Bobby Flay.  I am now the Executive Chef of one of the biggest, most exciting projects in Vegas, Eataly located at the Park MGM. All of these positions have molded me as a close member of the Vegas culinary community.


There’s a lot of excitement centered around Eataly. What’s all the buzz about?


Eataly is unlike anything to come to Vegas and locals and tourists will love it.  It’s THE best place for Italian food lovers with 40,000 square feet of space that will have different restaurants, bars and vendors that sell anything from fish to pizza, dry aged steaks to pasta in a space where you can eat it there or take it home.  I am overseeing the whole operation with all restaurant and food venues. We will be changing our menu seasonally and focusing on local ingredients as much as possible. I am so excited to have 150 Italian cheeses and 100 salumi to work with daily. It’s a very exciting brand to work with as they’re always changing and growing.

As if Eataly isn’t enough to keep you busy, you’ve recently been appointed to the Board of the Southern Nevada Health District. What do you hope to accomplish?


I grew up in a very small town, so community is very important to me.  I hope to be able to make a difference by being an active member of my community here. Having just finished my term on the Board of Urban Seed Las Vegas, I am very honored to be appointed as a member of the Board of the SNHD.  I look forward to representing the entire culinary community.  I’ve spent years being involved writing HACCP programs for curing/charcuterie so I hope we can expand these programs in Vegas. I also want to be very involved with environmental health as well as the writing of the new health regulations. It helps that I have an active role as Executive Chef in this ever-changing environment, but I’m also learning so much about the Health, Nursing and Solid waste industries.  It is a very exciting time with all the changes and the growth of Vegas.


So is being a Chef in Las Vegas all you’ve thought it would be?


I have lived in Vegas 15 plus years.  I feel like Vegas has become such a food city in the years I have lived here.  It is continually challenging me to be fresh and competitive.  When I first came here you couldn’t be as creative as we can be as chefs now. Vegas has been very impactful on my career. I have matured as a chef here and can’t wait for what’s to come.