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Marc Poidevin, Executive Chef of Le Cirque

by R.H. Duke

Executive Chef Marc Poidevin of Le Cirque recalls the days of his youth "brushing black truffles" in his family's catering business in the south of France.  Poidevin, age 36, says "cooking in my family has always been very important."

Chef Marc graduated from a prestigious culinary school in 1980, just south of his village of Montauban, France.  He honed his skills in classical French cuisine with celebrated Chef Roger Verge's French Riviera restaurant "Moulin de Mougin."  By the age of 22 he had ascended to Sous Chef.

In the mid-eighties this rising young chef joined Verge and the legendary Paul Bocuse at New York City's Westbury Hotel.  Chef Marc joined Daniel Bolud, Patrice Boyle, Ray Bradley, Thomas Kheller and Bill Yosses to take the Big Apple to new heights in classical French cuisine.  Chef Poidevin would later move to New York's Plaza Athenee and the original Le Cirque with head chef Sottha Khunn. The restaurant would soon obtain a 4 star rating and become one of our country's most prestigious.

Chef Marc made the move to the "City of Entertainment" in October as Executive Chef at the new Le Cirque at Bellagio. Many of the famous dishes of the New York City restaurant are being offered here in Las Vegas:  black sea bass in crispy potatoes, braised leeks and Barolo sauce, and sea scallops with black truffle and spinach in a puff pastry.

Poidevin says the bottom line in his cooking is "freshness of produce, taste and flavor." He says "two types of cuisine exist: one good, the other bad."  When I asked the chef about fusion cooking, he replied that "he doesn't know what this is," reflecting his background in classical French cuisine. "We have come full circle from traditional to Nouvelle to fusion and back to traditional. This is classical cuisine. We did not invent it. It's been around for centuries--we just perfected it."

The chef's initial perceptions of Las Vegas diners is positive.  He says both New York and Vegas gets lots of visitors, and many are Epicureans who seek fine dining.  Chef Marc Poidevin promises to give it to them!

You'll find Le Cirque under the watchful management of Mario Maccioni of the legendary Maccioni family. Open for dinner with three seatings-- 5:30 pm; 7:30 pm; and 9:30 pm. A strict dress code is enforced. Reservations required; please call (702) 693-8100.

R.H. Duke is a former restaurateur and a Las Vegas restaurant critic who says "Fine Dining is one of Life's Greatest Pleasures!"


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