You hunger for short rib braised by a three-star Michelin chef that lets your knife goes untouched. A cabernet selected by one of the world’s 186 Certified Master Sommeliers that changes what risotto means to you, and absinthe expertly prepared to follow today’s selection of scallops.
The credentials of our roster of culinary talent go beyond expert training and esteemed awards. Take a bite, and you’ll know.
Shawn McClain has a knack for balancing innovative concepts with tradition and sensibility. His spirited Artisanal American menu takes the seasons as its departure point, tapping the freshness of California’s fertile environment to produce elevated flavor combinations with Mediterranean undercurrents.
McClain’s star rose quickly in the culinary world. He first broke onto the national scene at Trio restaurant in Evanston, earning four stars from both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. After seven accolade-filled years, he left to open Spring in 2001, which served as his homage to seafood and earned extraordinary critical acclaim and consumer success. That same year, Spring was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant award, and McClain was named Esquire magazine’s Chef of the Year.
By 2004, McClain was ready to take on a new challenge and opened his second restaurant, Green Zebra. An immediate success, this vanguard concept brings vegetables to the center of the plate and was lauded by The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine and several other prestigious publications.
After continuing his success in Chicago with Custom House, McClain eventually found his way to the bright lights of Las Vegas. At Sage in ARIA Resort & Casino, McClain changed focus once more with a New American menu built on the irresistible freshness of California’s local harvests. After having achieved so many of his goals in Chicago, McClain was drawn to both the challenge of a new city and the allure of CityCenter as a culinary destination. His sharp eye for distinctive concepts forms the cornerstone of his ongoing ability to excite diners nationwide.
Richard Camarota was the Chef de Cuisine of Shawn McClain’s Custom House restaurant in Chicago. While at Custom House, Chef Camarota gained national attention for his work. When Sage opened inside of ARIA, Chef Camarota was chosen by Shawn McClain to become the Chef de Cuisine.
Nick Hetzel, an Iowa native, became interested in Food & Beverage when he worked in the back of the house at Aunt Maude’s Restaurant during High School. He moved to Las Vegas in 1997 to attend University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he studied Food & Beverage Management. Nick’s fascination for wine began in college when he took a class at UNLV taught by Steve Geddes, Master Sommelier.
While attending the UNLV, he also worked in the kitchens of James Beard Award-winning chefs Stephan Pyles and Mark Miller. In 2001, upon completion of his Food & Beverage Management degree, he spent a year in the management training program with Houston’s Restaurant in Irvine, CA.
Building on his love of wine, he worked as Sommelier at Rosemary’s Restaurant for four years in Las Vegas, and two years as Sommelier at the acclaimed Redd Restaurant in the Napa Valley. He was presented with the opportunity to move back to Las Vegas and open Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro in 2008, serving as the opening Beverage Director. While at Morels, Nick built a 500 selection wine list deep in Rhone, Bordeaux and California cult selections and was integral in the creation of a seasonal cocktail program.
In 2009, Nick was part of ARIA’s opening Sommelier team as the lead at Sirio Ristorante and is currently the Lead Sommelier at Sage, Chef Shawn McClain’s restaurant in ARIA. Sage has been named by Wine Enthusiast as Top 100 Wine Restaurants in the nation for 2011 and 2012 as well as the current winner of Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence. Be sure to ask for Nick Hetzel to assist you in pairing the perfect wine with Sages contemporary American dishes.