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  • Chef Matthew Hurley '93 is lauded for his extraordinary "culinary mastery" (Please click "View Full Article" below)

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Chef Matthew Hurley '93 is lauded for his extraordinary "culinary mastery" (Please click "View Full Article" below)

Chef of the Year

Matthew Hurley,  CUT by Wolfgang Puck in the Venetian

Hurley has transformed this destination steakhouse into a personal expression of culinary mastery

In the past few years, it’s become obvious that Wolfgang Puck’s CUT ought to be re-named Matthew Hurley’s CUT. We’re kidding, of course, because Puck’s gastronomic gravitas is what enables Las Vegas to host one of the world’s greatest steakhouses in the first place. But calling CUT just another celebrity chef beef boutique does it a grave injustice because, by flexing his own talent, Hurley has taken CUT to a level few fine steakhouses could dream of. No doubt his creations are highly vetted by the corporate masters, but they give him more than a little latitude to play with his food, and what he’s done with that freedom — with all the top-shelf ingredients at his disposal — is stunning. Hurley uses CUT like a painter uses a palette, gliding back and forth between the raw and the cooked like no steakhouse you’ve ever seen. Pulling off inventive vegetables, a cheese cart, a raw bar, world-class steaks, seafood, and pastas, is something few chefs have the chops for. The elegant fish preparations alone would be right at home in a fine French restaurant, and he and his colleagues are equally adept at slicing high-grade sashimi or various Italian carpaccios. If those aren’t enough, and you’ve got a craving for yukhoe (Korean steak tartare) or some maple-glazed pork belly, well, he’s got you covered there, too. It would be all too easy for a CIA graduate like Hurley (who’s been at the restaurant since its opening in 2008) to simply go through the motions and rake in the dough. Instead, his restless spirit has transformed CUT Las Vegas into an epicurean dreamland, and one of the best restaurants in America. John Curtas


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