Going To Vegas
Las Vegas Fine Dining Chef Takes Over For Golden Entertainment

Las Vegas Fine Dining Chef Takes Over For Golden Entertainment

Tue, Aug 07, 2018

How would it feel like to work in one of the best restaurants in the world with breathtaking views?


Chef John Church recently took over as the corporate executive chef, Golden Entertainment, one of Las Vegas’s leading casino hotel. After his appointment, Church gave an interview from the Stratosphere Top of the World restaurant, which is a rotating restaurant that moves at one revolution per hour speed.


 If you make your way there, you are sure to do a whole lot more than just eating. You could take in the city views. Or, you could just use a live cash game poker strategy to win some money - the possibilities are endless, after all.


The Top of the World - What does it Feel Like?


Church is in Las Vegas since 1994 and has been to Top of the World many times but never thought once he would work there. The first time he was here, he didn’t realise that it moved and when it did, Church was shocked. Golden Entertainment bought Stratosphere Top of the World restaurant in October 2017 along with Arizona Charlie’s two local properties and Aquarius casino in Laughlin. Church now will take on all responsibilities and will look after food served in all these resorts along with 59 restaurants of PT’s Entertainment Group, which is also owned by Golden Environment.


The Choice of Menu Is Exciting!

The 40-years old is excited about his new role, especially that he can go from chicken wings to foie gras because there are so many restaurants, serving different menus. Back home in Flint, Michigan, Church’s family owns a cleaning business, skating rink, and steakhouses, which hosts boxing matches on Saturdays and Sundays. Church has experience of working in the hospitality business since a very young age from working washing dishes to selling snack bars.


His family moved to Las Vegas in 1994 when Flint was hit with an auto industry crash. Church’s first job in Las Vegas was at KFC, which lead him to working at several restaurants and spent his days skateboarding and nights watching famous bands including Dinosaur Jr and Helmet.

Realising his dream

It was only at the age of 20-years old that he discovered his love for cooking while working at Tenaya Creek Brewery. He went to learn about technicality and seasonality and started his journey from a pizza cook to a sous chef. Unfortunately, Church couldn’t afford going to culinary school, so he took the decision to work his way up and took up the job in 2001 at recently opened, Stirling Club at Turnberry Place.


It was where he met Charlie Palmer, a legendary American chef, who became his mentor and guided through his chef career. Over the next two decades, Church worked with acclaimed chefs like Bradley Ogden, Andre Rochat, Michael Mina, Rick Moonen, and Jean Joho.

Choosing family


Now, Church’s decision to join the restaurant wasn’t only about money - it was also about being closer to his family.


His career took him to Los Angeles, California where he worked for a while but returned to Las Vegas because he wanted to be with his son. Church and his son are best buddies and even appeared on Chopped, a cooking show on Food Network. Even though he didn’t want to do Chopped, Church did it to show his son that sometimes you have to work out of your comfort zone.


The rotating restaurant gives him a 360 degrees view of how much the valley has grown in the past 20 years. When he came to Las Vegas in 1994, East Fremont was a complete wasteland and today there are so many restaurants, which excites him for the future. Career as a chef is gruelling but Church tries his best to take time out to go watch Golden Knights with his son, John Craig Church III.


Since he was born in Michigan, he is a fan of Red Wings hockey but his schedule doesn’t allow him to travel all the way there. The highest point in his career was to cook for culinary star Marc-Andre Fleury and his wife at Aureole.


Church has changed his model of working and has dedicated his time to serve people who can’t afford luxury dining. He is working with Create a Change Now to teach healthy cooking and eating habits to young minds and promoting vegetable gardens in schools. Through the non-profit organization, Church visits schools that are located in high-risk neighborhoods like Booker Elementary on Martin Luther King and don’t have sufficient access to nutritious and hygienic food.


The organization has gathered farmers and volunteers who help build the vegetable gardens. Church teaches him simple recipes, which doesn’t involve use of gas. After teaching them, the children are proud of themselves and can’t wait to go home and cook the recipe for their family.