When it comes to cooking at one of Las Vegas’ most celebrated restaurants, Vincent Pouessel gets down to the basics. Straightforward, seasonal ingredients define his sense of style in the kitchen. This fundamental approach to cooking along with his upbringing and experiences in France make him a perfect match for American chef Charlie Palmer’s upscale, Las Vegas showplace, Aureole. “Vegas is no longer known for its buffets, it is a true dining destination,” says Pouessel. “For years no one took this town seriously when it came to food, but now it’s one of the most credible cities in America for diners as well as for chefs.”
Hailing from a small town in Brittany known for seafood – as well as coming from a family of butchers – Pouessel was naturally infused with the importance of fresh, quality food. He pursued this rudimentary curiosity first at Saint Michel College and then at Lycée Hotelier Notre Dame in St Méen le Grand, where he earned certificates in both Cuisine de Collectivitées and Restaurant Cuisine. He began his culinary career as a seasonal cook at La Mere Pourcel in Dinan before working in both Bordeaux and Paris, where he was honored to be named Executive Sous Chef de Cuisine at Le Jules Verne, a Michelin-starred restaurant located inside the one and only Eiffel Tower.
Pouessel’s experience at the world-famous Tower foreshadowed the grandeur of Las Vegas, where he began as Sous Chef de Cuisine at the MGM Grand’s Mansion. While there he continued to hone his skills and soon left to work at Aureole in Mandalay Bay (it’s own “Tower” being much distinguished). Just a little more than a year later, Palmer would ask Pouessel to take the reigns as Executive Chef.