Sunday, June 27, 2010 | 12:05 a.m.
To those who know him, Chef Barry Dakake is as much of a star as the actual celebrities he cooks for.
A graduate of the culinary program at Rhode Island School of Design, Chef Barry now commands the kitchen of one of the country's hottest restaurants. As executive chef of N9NE Steakhouse at Palms, Dakake's signature dishes are a favorite of some of Hollywood's hottest A-listers, politicians, Vegas' top movers and shakers and yours truly.
Chef Dakake recently stepped out of the kitchen to dish with me about some of the things he loves about Sin City.
N9NE: I love to wake up every morning knowing I have the greatest job in world. Every day I get to come in to work and create new dishes that I know my customers are going to love and I get to be surrounded by staff that continually inspires me.
Culinary City: Even with the shaky economy, the Vegas crowds still respect a good meal.
24/7: I used to think NYC was the place to be in the early '90s, until I moved to Vegas. Here, you can do anything, anytime, anywhere and whenever. ... What's not to love about endless possibilities?
Convenience: I love when my friends come to party in Sin City with me. I set up the whole Vegas experience for them. I take them to eat ... then we party till the sun comes up at my favorite spots in the Palms: Rain, Ghostbar and Playboy Club. I like to give a shout out to my boys — you know who you are — VM, DVB, LCT and RP.
Charities: Nothing warms my heart like being able to give back to charities. I love to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other local charities in the Valley with my time and resources.
Lotus of Siam: Nothing like an amazing Thai meal to get the mouth watering.
Family: I wouldn't be the person I am today without the love and support of my family. My family comes first and then everything else. Our house wouldn't be the same either without our dogs, Boomer, a chow mix and Brandy, a boxer.
Shake Down Door: I love getting A-list celebrities and athletes to sign my "shake down" door in the back of the kitchen. The first door became so full (of signatures) that we had to buy a second door.
— Originally published in Las Vegas Magazine