Mark LoRusso, executive chef of Botero at Encore, was selected as the 2011 Culinarian of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association at the organization’s annual Culinary Excellence Awards gala on Oct. 27, at Canyon Gate Country Club (Photo credit: Alex Karvounis).
“I am pleased to have been chosen as Culinarian of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association,” said LoRusso. “It is flattering and exciting to be in the company of my fellow nominees and to be recognized by an organization that shows great commitment to the culinary industry and Las Vegas community, but I couldn’t have done it alone. I share this honor with my great staff at Botero.”
LoRusso was selected for his exceptional skills in the kitchen as well as his ongoing dedication to the culinary industry and community. LoRusso is an active supporter of such charitable organizations as Couture for a Cause, Meals on Wheels and Three Square.
A graduate of the renowned Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, LoRusso has served as executive chef of Michael Mina’s Aqua at Bellagio and executive chef at Aureole in New York City. Since emerging on the Las Vegas dining scene, he has established himself as a creative chef with impeccable instincts, recognized for his refined modern-American cuisine.
LoRusso approaches Botero’s steakhouse menu with his signature innovative style. Guests can begin with a selection of appetizers such as butter poached Maine lobster, Dungeness crab agnolotti with artichokes and lemon emulsion, wild mushroom tart with Gruyere cheese; and a crudo tasting comprised of tuna, halibut, salmon and hamachi.
Botero’s signature entree is “Steak Your Way,” prepared in three possible styles—traditional, pepper steak and chimichurri—and are available in 12-ounce filets, 18-ounce dry-aged New York strips and 20-ounce bone-in ribeyes. Those craving seafood can enjoy the whole roasted European loup de mer with Niçoise vegetables and olive oil poached halibut with roasted vegetables. Truffle macaroni and cheese, aged cheddar tater nuggets and vanilla scented yams with marshmallow are just some of the tempting side dishes that complete the menu.
Located at Encore, adjacent to XS, Botero provides guests with an exciting view of the nightclub activity and Encore’s sparkling pool. Designer Roger Thomas has created a setting that combines earthy and luxurious elements resulting in a space that is sexy and sophisticated. Botero features paintings and sculptures by renowned artist Fernando Botero, whose humorous and larger-than-life works complement the restaurant’s bold design.