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Fun Facts and Future Plans with Chef Leticia Nunez of Bacchanal Buffet

Last updated: August 15, 2017 at 3:26 pm. Posted by in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Restaurants, Things to Do in Las Vegas. 1 Comment on Fun Facts and Future Plans with Chef Leticia Nunez of Bacchanal Buffet.

The world’s greatest buffet is only going to get greater. It would be easy for the internationally renowned, all-you-can-eat, upscale Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace to rest on its reputation, but new executive chef Leticia Nunez is having none of that. We caught up the with the ambitious Nunez during dinner service and she let us in on some secrets, plans and goals she has for the crown jewel in Vegas’ buffet offerings.

The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace.

Every guest can Get a Quality experience

The Bacchanal Buffet serves up to 4,000 people a day. That means 275 people an hour, every hour of every day, 365 days a year. It would be easy to fall into a routine where it’s about how quickly and how much the chefs can serve. But that is not the case at the Bacchanal Buffet.

“You have to make sure each person feels special,” Nunez says. “It’s about quality no matter how many guests we do.”

That quality experience is the reason why there are options such as crab legs two ways – chilled or steamed, fresh dessert crepes made with Nutella and a wagyu carving station. If a guest has a craving, the Bacchanal Buffet will do its best to fill it.

Make sure to hit the Mexican station

Fresh tacos at the Mexican station at Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Photo by Jason Leinwand.

Fresh tacos at the Mexican station at Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Photo by Jason Leinwand.

When the Bacchanal Buffet was being designed, it was Chef Nunez who was tasked with creating the food options from her home country. That means the Bacchanal is stocked with fresh street tacos with carne asada, chicken and al pastor pork made right in front of guests, homey hominy and pork stew, pozole. That means fresh salsas and guacamole. And coming soon, that means mole.

Nunez is a native of Oaxaca, the region of Mexico famous for its mole sauce. The chef promises three types of mole, each with its own deep flavors courtesy of fruit, spices, and chili pepper and sometimes chocolate.

Street Tacos at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Photo by Bethany Couture.

Street Tacos at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Photo by Bethany Couture.

Nunez has worked for some of the most famous food personalities in the world

At the age of 17, Nunez began her career in Napa Valley working at the famed French Laundry under the esteemed chef Thomas Keller. Twice named “Best Restaurant in the World” by Restaurant Magazine, it is a fabled place where chefs perfect technique and learn to maximize the usage of ingredients.

Nunez was also one of the chefs who helped open Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho at Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, an eatery that represents the high energy television food presenter. Here Nunez worked on the over-the-top food creations that could only come from Fieri.

If you don’t eat your meat, how can you have any pudding?

Pink Floyd reference aside, it is a tough balance to strike between sweet and savory at the Bacchanal Buffet. The American station is a centerpiece of the buffet and features all types of smoked meaty goodness. The brisket is a must-have item, according to Chef Nunez, and it is done in a way that will make bar-be-que aficionados proud.

A combination of apple and peach wood creates the bases for the smoke and the meat is cooked low and slow. The brisket, which has a basic sugar and acid marinade, stays in the smoker for 18 hours at a temperature of 180 degrees, creating all that deep, smoky flavor on the pull-apart beef.

Meat carving station at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Photo by Jason Leinwand.

Meat carving station at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Photo by Jason Leinwand.

Brisket isn’t the only necessary thing to try

Besides the smoked meat, Nunez loves the lobster bisque, the pozole and gnocchi alla Genovese. For dessert, her can’t miss items include lemon basil and rum raisin gelato.

The Asian evolution is coming

Already one of the most impressive stations in the Bacchanal Buffet is the Asian area, but Nunez expects it to be revamped. The current section featuring a variety of Asian soups – everything from ramen to miso to laksa – will be overhauled so the broths will be seen by the diners and they will be able to view all the ingredients creating their soup, making it more interactive. The same spirit will find its way to the sushi station where hand rolls will be made up close.

If you eat here now, come back a few months later and try a different dining experience

While the big ticket items – smoked meats, chilled seafood, gelato – are there to stay, smaller plates will be changed out seasonally. That means dishes like pork cheek with truffle mashed potatoes and a truffle demi glaze and quail with polenta and berry reduction are working their way into the rotation now, but will be replaced by something else before you know it.

Vegans, they got you covered

There are nine separate stations at Bacchanal Buffet. Each station is required to put out at least one vegan dish per meal period. Finding amazing plates like sweet and sour watermelon, grilled Italian vegetables with lemon dressing, and gazpacho shooters is easy.

Nunez is busy

Speaking of those nine food stations, let’s do some math. Each station creates three dishes per meal period with two meal periods per day. Nunez is in charge of the concepts and approval of each of these dishes. That’s 54 items each and every day the chef is stamping with her approval. It’s no wonder it takes a chef of her pedigree to take the Bacchanal Buffet to the next level.

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About The Author

Jason is originally from the great state of New Jersey. That’s right – great! He’s lived in Las Vegas on and off for the past 20 years, which he also rates as top notch. As a pop culture fanatic, he loves concerts, great food, offbeat adventures and movies. He has written for too many publications to mention, has sold a few screenplays and is immersed in the creative world.

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One Response

  1. Very good information on good food here in Las Vegas. Thank you for sharing.