Executive Chef Nicole Brisson Gives It A Woman’s Touch
The steak Carnevino is known for combines a blend of organic and super-prime beef prepared by Executive Chef Nicole Brisson. Dry-aged, then rubbed with sea salt, black pepper and fresh rosemary, this is heaven for meat lovers.
Raised on a working farm in upstate New York, Brisson began her culinary career at age 14, working in her grandfather’s restaurant in Saratoga, New York. Her father had a dream to be a farmer, and her mother grew up in the restaurant business. Brisson continued her culinary education in high school, becoming a Vocational Industrial Clubs of America leader and president as well as participating in a number of culinary competitions.
Brisson graduated from Johnson & Wales University and moved to Italy after turning 21.
“I moved not speaking the language and worked in a kitchen with the staff speaking almost 10 different languages including Chinese, Moroccan, Lebanese, American English and Italian. I learned visually and really got more of a culinary education,” she said.
She also studied with food writers Molly O’Neill and Faith Willinger, developing a love for local produce and cured meats of both the United States and Italy. Under Chefs Steven Kalt and Paul Bartolotta, Brisson opened Wynn Las Vegas. She then served as chef di cucina at OTTO for three years before she was appointed executive chef at Carnevino.
According to Brisson, there are more female executive chefs in New York and California than in Las Vegas. While she admits to some minor problems with other venues, “with this company, it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female. It depends on how you do the job and if you are a hard worker. I feel like I am really part of the team.”
She also believes that women have a different style of managing a kitchen. “I think this comes from our nature as women—being nurturers, wanting to multitask and getting organized. I think this can create a good environment if handled correctly.”
Brisson also competed on the very popular Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2012. Her first basket included a pig’s head, fava beans, strawberries and Roquefort blue cheese, which she had to transform into an appetizer. She created a pig cheek salad with frisée, wine vinegar and olive oil. For the entrée, Brisson had to use pig organs, fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms and bourbon cream liqueur. She created a Norcino ragu with penne pasta, red onion and olive oil but was eliminated (“chopped”) after this round.
Carnevino’s menu features beef tasting including Carne Cruda, Tagliatelle Bolognese, BBL Dry-Aged Ribeye, Dry Aged New York Carpaccio and Veal Tongue in Brodo. Carnevino also offers organic veal, Colorado lamb, Heritage Foods pork, handmade pastas, classic antipasti and side dishes inspired by the street food of Naples. A full drink menu and desserts compliment the fine dining experience along with the exquisite décor and outstanding service.
The Palazzo Las Vegas
3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109