Elizabeth Blau

FOUNDER + CEO

Elizabeth is one of the most established and respected experts on restaurant development and operations in the country. Blau co-founded Elizabeth Blau & Associates in 2002 with her husband, chef Kim Canteenwalla. With an impressive food service career spanning nearly three decades, Blau is widely credited as being a key player in transforming Las Vegas into a world- class culinary destination. An alumni of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration’s masters program, Blau has long served as an arbiter of taste in today’s dining scene.
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With an impressive career spanning nearly three decades, James Beard Award Nominee Elizabeth Blau is the founder and CEO of restaurant development company Blau + Associates, and is widely credited with transforming Las Vegas into the world-class culinary destination it is today. A renowned restaurateur, Blau’s skilled touch defines her work in Las Vegas and around the world.

 

A graduate of the prestigious Cornell School of Hotel Management, Blau began her career with famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni. As Maccioni expanded the Le Cirque brand to Las Vegas, Blau’s work caught the attention of casino developer Steve Wynn. As the vice president of restaurant development for Mirage Resorts, Blau revolutionized the food and beverage operations at the Bellagio and persuaded award-winning chefs to join the company and the flourishing Las Vegas dining scene. Wynn turned to Blau again with the opening of Wynn Las Vegas where she served as executive vice president of restaurant development and marketing.

 

In 2002, Blau parlayed her extensive experience in the restaurant industry to found Blau + Associates, a firm dedicated to creating world-class hospitality experiences. Assembling an impressive team of experts, Blau quickly turned the firm into one of the foremost restaurant development companies in the field with an impressive client list that includes New York’s Rainbow Room, Montage Resorts, Ritz Carlton Hotels and Resorts, Netjets, Celebrity Cruises, Trump Casinos, and Viceroy Hotels and Resorts among many others.

Blau went on to open a series of successful restaurants across Las Vegas. In 2008, she and her husband, award-winning chef Kim Canteenwalla, launched Society Café at Encore to rave reviews. Society Café quickly became a Las Vegas favorite, lauded as one of Esquire Magazines “Best New Restaurants of 2009.”

 

In 2012, Blau and Canteenwalla embarked on their first solo independent venture, Honey Salt. Offering a glimpse into the couple’s culinary life, Honey Salt features the foods, drinks and vibe they have shared with friends for years. A second Honey Salt is scheduled to open as part of the parq resort in Vancouver, BC in 2017.

 

In partnership with TV’s Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, Blau + Associates landed on the Las Vegas Strip in 2013 with Buddy V’s Ristorante. Offering Italian favorites pulled from Valastro family recipes, Buddy V’s serves Cake Boss fans authentic comfort food.

Blau + Associates’ newest venture, Andiron Steak & Sea, which opened March 2015, brings fine dining to the Las Vegas suburbs with a celebration of all things grilled, roasted and shucked. Already a hit with locals and visitors, Andiron continues to elevate dining in Las Vegas with a thoughtful menu created for carnivores and vegetarians alike.

 

Blau’s awards and accolades among the industry are numerous, and she is dedicated to serving both her industry and her community. She has appeared as a judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, is an annual judge for Hotel Magazine’s best restaurants, and has been featured on the Travel Channel and the Martha Stewart Show. She was one of three investors on the third season of CNBC’s Restaurant Startup alongside Tim Love and Joe Bastianich and is a member of OpenTable’s advisory board.

Blau has delivered addresses at storied venues such as the Culinary Institute of America, Cornell University, and the Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, Switzerland, and is a member of the James Beard Foundation and Women Chef’s and Restaurateurs (WCR). Blau passionately supports local organizations including Communities in Schools and Three Square, where she serves as the Culinary Council Chair to help eliminate hunger in Southern Nevada. Blau also serves as a trustee for the Culinary Institute of America, where she chairs the Education Policy committee, and also serves on the Global Advisory Board at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband Kim, their son Cole, and their two golden retrievers Brookie and Dodger.