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MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay chefs honored at 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards

LAS VEGAS Chefs Claude Le Tohic, executive chef for Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand, Rick Moonen, executive chef and restaurateur of rm seafood at Mandalay Bay, and Tom Colicchio chef and restaurateur behind the Craft restaurants nationwide, have won coveted 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards, one of the highest marks of distinction within the culinary community.

“Among our collection of restaurants, we are very fortunate to have amassed an array of extremely talented chefs,” said Jim Murren, President and CEO of MGM MIRAGE. “I am thrilled for Rick, Claude and Tom to have been nationally recognized for their abilities by the prestigious James Beard Foundation.”

Culinary history was made in Las Vegas when legendary chef Joël Robuchon opened his first fine dining restaurant in the United States at MGM Grand. Since the September 2005 opening, Chef Le Tohic has served as executive chef for the most award-winning restaurant in Las Vegas and prepares unparalleled cuisine in a stunning setting.

Chef Le Tohic, who took home the Best Chef Southwest Award, said, “I’m delighted to have received such an esteemed honor, but I couldn’t have done it without my incredible team at Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand.”

Rick Moonen’s hosting duties on the PBS television show “Chefs A’ Field: King of Alaska” earned him a win in the Television Show, On Location category. In Chef Moonen’s episode of the Emmy Award-nominated series, he navigates the mighty Yukon River in search of the region’s legendary King Salmon which he calls, “The best fish I ever ate.” With the Native Yup’ik as his guide, Moonen fishes the glacier-fed waters and discusses the importance of salmon to the Alaskan people and the environmental future of the pristine river.

Moonen said, “I’m so proud of the ‘Chefs A’ Field’ episode which brought to light the sustainability issues I have spent my career fighting for. Winning the James Beard Award is the highest honor in the culinary world, and I could not be prouder of this achievement.”

This is the first win for both chefs and inducts them into the James Beard award-winning MGM MIRAGE family that includes Aureole, Chefs Julian Serrano, Shawn McClain, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Todd English, Michael Mina, Masa Takayama and this year’s winner for Outstanding Chef, Tom Colicchio, for his Manhattan restaurant Craft.

Chefs Claude Le Tohic, Rick Moonen and Tom Colicchio Winners at Annual Ceremony

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