In this month's The Art of the Snack we head to the award winning TREVI Italian Restaurant (Morton Restaurant Group) at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which is known for their Italian menu that has a traditional menu, along with a few unexpected twists that their guests enjoy. We talked with their Executive Chef, Jose Navarro about his culinary background, his role at the restaurant and what dishes and cocktails we should enjoy there.
ATHLEISURE MAG: You’re the Executive Chef of TREVI. Tell us what your culinary background was prior to coming to the restaurant as well as what your role as an Executive Chef is at TREVI?
EXECUTIVE CHEF JOSE NAVARRO: My culinary background has been pretty diverse. I started off in my serious cooking journey at Palace Court (now closed), where I spent two years learning the classics, as well as nouvelle French culinary techniques. My earlier Italian culinary education came under Chef Paul Bartolotta, where an emphasis on fresh ingredients and classic Italian preparations was the focus. Prior to TREVI, I was in the steakhouse wheel house. I was the Executive Sous Chef at Morels in the Palazzo, Executive Chef at Beso -Eva Longoria's Restaurant, and Chef d' Cuisine at SHe by Morton’s.
In my role as Executive Chef at TREVI, I'm responsible for the seasonal menu, where the focus is to source quality ingredients and prepare them in a way that showcases the season. Additionally, I am responsible for the training of Sous Chefs, but most importantly, training the cooks whom will be making the dishes day in and day out. In addition to the core menu, I'm also responsible for crafting a Vegan Menu, which is a personal passion as I have a lot of respect for vegetables, and this is a great platform to showcase both.
AM: For those who have yet to attend TREVI, what can one expect in terms of the ambiance, dishes, etc?
EC JN: Our menu is peppered with classic Italian-American dishes, with a modern theme, focused on seasonality and quality. The food is approachable, with a touch of comfort. There is also a focus on ingredients that typically would not be on a neighborhood restaurant, like our Short Rib Ravioli with foie gras sauce, as an example.
AM: What are signature dishes that we should know about at TREVI?
EC JN: In reference to our "signature" dishes, they really change from season to season, and even week to week. It's here where the creative legs are stretched a little, and future menu items are developed. As a rule of thumb, I recommend trying the kitchen's special for the night.
AM: What are 3 signature cocktails available at TREVI?
EC JN: Tuscan Dream, which is a spin on the classic Negroni; made with sweet vermouth, Millet Bitters and Vietti Moscato. Aperol pear spritz, a modern twist on a very classic cocktail found in Italy. Made with Aperol, St. George Pear liqueur, St. George vodka, and sparkling wine. And of course our, a must try, the TREVI Bellini. A frozen blend of peach nectar, Peach Schnapps, rum and sparkling wine.
PHOTO CREDIT | TREVI