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December 19, 2014

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It’s always game time for Marc Zakin, Lagasse’s Stadium’s GM

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Tiffany Brown

Lagasse’s Stadium’s general manager Marc Zakin

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The NBA playoffs are under way and nothing accompanies the action better than a good drink - or, in this case, a deceptively good drink. We say deceptive because underneath the layers of DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker, lemon sour and cranberry juice is a fair-weather friend known as Crown Royal. Available by the glass or by the pitcher, it's best served up with a buddy shouting (a la Bill Walton), "Throw it down, big man!"

Name a job in the food and beverage industry and Marc Zakin has done it. He's been behind the bar and behind the line, and these days, he's the man behind one of the biggest names in the culinary industry, Emeril Lagasse, as general manager of Lagasse's Stadium at The Palazzo. But enough of all this "behind" stuff; it's time for Zakin to step out and get the attention he so rightfully deserves.

"Opening a place for a famous chef was the only thing in my career I hadn't done yet," said Zakin of Lagasse's, which opened last September. "There was no question about it. I said yes immediately."

A New York native, Zakin describes Lagasse's as "your own home environment with someone taking care of you," a place where guests can watch sports, place bets (there's a sportsbook in the restaurant) and enjoy the famed chef's cuisine. If kicking it up a notch was the goal, consider it scored.

"My chef and I, chef Vincent Chiyuto, have a unique relationship. Most restaurants don't get along, (between the) front of the house and back of the house. We actually get along, so it definitely makes for a more enjoyable work experience."

Also making it an enjoyable experience? More than 100 high-def TVs tuned to an ongoing stream of sporting events. While Zakin admits he doesn't really have a chance during work to sit down and watch sports, including his beloved New York Yankees, he does fly back home whenever he can to catch the team's games in person.

— Originally published in Las Vegas Magazine

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