In October, Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food and Beverage at The Venetian and The Palazzo, was honored by the Nevada Restaurant Association as Restaurateur of the Year at their annual Culinary Excellence Awards. The award recognizes individuals who operate an outstanding restaurant business, is a role model, demonstrates community involvement and advances the industry as a whole.
“I’ve been on the board for the association for several years and I knew I was nominated, but I never thought I would win,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized by my peers. The nominating committee consists of the top restauranteurs in town. It’s exciting to be a part of this great industry and a community that I love.”
Having worked at the properties for over nine years, Silvestri credits the properties’ leadership with the vision and development of the now famous celebrity-chef restaurant more than 17 years ago and establishing Las Vegas as a leader in the culinary industry. With the properties still at the forefront of restaurant development, he says it’s important to change as the customer changes.
“We are seeing more restaurant brands developing and restaurants evolving,” he continued. “Heavy food and buffets are on the decline because guests are eating healthier and are more aware of what goes into their food. It’s the same with bars and clubs. People are leaning towards craft cocktails and more of a lounge setting rather than mega clubs. Food and beverage offerings are constantly changing.”
Starting out in the hospitality industry at 16 years old, Silvestri mopped floors, polished glasses and worked his way up through various restaurants and hotels in Paris, London, The Caribbean, and Los Angeles.
“In all of my travels and experience, I’ve never seen a better food and beverage program than here at our properties,” he said. “The vision to have the best chefs and restaurants began when The Venetian opened. It’s a premier property and still very relevant in the market. There’s something for everyone here.”