Dave loves to cook.  When Jess surprised him with a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate his 30th birthday, she worked extra hard to plan some special activities that would mean a lot to him.

There were three surprises for Dave on this trip which included our activities.  The favorite of them all was a Cooking Lesson at Restaurant Guy Savoy.  To check out more about the others, click here.

We were both SO excited for this experience.  We enjoy cooking together in the kitchen so this was right up our alley.  Dave didn't know until we arrived that the cooking lesson was private.

Jess's expectations for this surprise were set pretty high, and Chef Julien Asseo and his team at Restaurant Guy Savoy delivered!  It was beyond the goodness we had imagined.  In fact, it was such a great experience in itself that we decided it deserved an entire post... because it was that awesome. 

So, without further ado... 
A Personal Cooking Class from Chef Julien Asseo!

Restaurant Guy Savoy is located in Caesars Palace and is known for acclaimed French masterpieces created by the famed Michelin-star chef.  The restaurant itself is absolutely stunning, as most high-end restaurants in Las Vegas are.  It had been on our list of restaurants to try in Vegas, but when Jess came across this experience she had a feeling it would be even better than dinner.

This one of a kind experience comes at a hefty price, but we can honestly say that it really was worth every single penny.  The price per person is $265, although tax and gratuity are included.

If you're planning to do this for just two people (like we were), you will be the only ones.  The reservation can be made for up to six, but other people will not be paired with you to make it six.

When you make the reservation it says that payment must be made in full, payments can only be made by credit card and the name of person making reservation must match the credit card being used for payment for reservation.  It all sounded a little imitating with clearly no cancellations.

However, our actual booking experience was extremely simple.  You make your reservation by calling the restaurant OR by emailing... which Jess found out goes directly to Julien.  He also informed us that we wouldn't need to pay until that day.  Maybe he just trusted us?  Who knows?

Our window of time to plan things during this trip wasn't big, as we were arriving Wednesday afternoon and leaving Saturday morning.  If you've never been to Las Vegas before, you only need three nights... anymore and you've outstayed your Vegas welcome.  This was our fourth time visiting, and we can say from experience that three nights (no more than four days) really is the sweet spot.

We've done Las Vegas on a BUDGET... It's possible, but a little more fun when there isn't one.
We've done Las Vegas for JESSICA'S 21st which was on budget because... "hello, college!"
We've done Las Vegas on A SPLURGE... at least living it up for our standards, anyways. 
And now, we've done Las Vegas (as a surprise!) for DAVE'S 30 BIRTHDAY.

After coming across this experience, Jess REALLY wanted to book it.  However, she still needed to figure out which days this was offered.  All of the stars aligned as these special cooking classes with Chef Asseo are offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays for lunch.  It was perfect.  Once Jessica had officially booked that Thursday, she knew it would be the highlight of the trip.

On the restaurant's website, there is additional info listed under the link titled Cooking Classes where you'll find all the magic.  Learn how to prepare some of Restaurant Guy Savoy's signature dishes.  Your personal cooking class features preparing dishes in the kitchen of Restaurant Guy Savoy, where you will cook and enjoy one appetizer and one main entree.

Jess searched, read reviews and different articles talking about the new culinary Vegas experience along with Chef Asseo himself.  There weren't many details, but it sounded pretty great.

We thought this was going to go one of two ways... too good to be true OR better than expected.  We can honestly say, it was even better than we could have dreamed - such a unique experience.

The experience is from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and we weren't rushed a bit.  As we arrived and waited patiently for 11:00 AM, Dave discovered that we were the only two people there.

The restaurant is not open for lunch service, so we along with the staff were the only people there.  This did make it a little strange when we walked it, but as soon we let them know we were there for the cooking class we felt like family.  We were offered water along with espresso (we were in a French restaurant, after all), and asked to wait for Chef.

A few minutes later, Chef Julien Asseo greeted us and welcomed us to Restaurant Guy Savoy.  We followed him into the kitchen and simultaneously, our jaws dropped.  It was at this point we got the true picture of how this was going to go.  We each had a perfectly prepared cooking station side by side across the pass from one set up for Chef Asseo.

Our menu included salmon tartare followed by a rack of lamb with carrot puree.  We got to take home recipes for both dishes.  We have already recreated the carrot puree a handful of times at home since this experience... and we completely nailed it.  Each time we make it, we're reminded of the fun we had this day.  Plus, it makes us get a little more creative on our plating skills.

Julien walked us through everything step by step while sharing tips and tricks along the way.  While we were cooking, his entire team was in the kitchen prepping for dinner service that evening.  His sous chef was right there each step to help us with technique and keep our working spaces clean.

It was absolutely incredible to see how his team prepares for such a fine dining experience that features delicate, acclaimed French masterpieces created by the famed Michelin-star chef himself, Mister Guy Savoy.

We felt like we were invited to stay all day.  Can we just say that Julien is plain awesome!  He is one of the most down to earth people we have ever met.  We also now feel like we are officially on first name basis with the superstar after spending the afternoon together.

We not only talked about food, his journey of becoming a chef and some of the incredible chefs he's had the opportunity to learn from, but he even shared things about his personal life including having a wife who also cooks and a sweet new baby girl.

Being similar in age, we chatted about millennials filling the footsteps of those before us.  Honestly, we felt like friends... even like family!  The culture that he has created in the kitchen leading a young team was phenomenal. He and his staff are extremely impressive, and really kind individuals.

To top off lunch, we indulged in a special dessert (candles for the birthday boy, included!) at the Krug Chef’s Table in the kitchen... which happens to be the only Krug Chef's Table in the United States.  To say we felt special is an understatement.  This was such a special gift because it was an experience that we won't ever forget.  Who knows, we may just have to do it again sometime?

When booking this, Jess assumed that we would of course get to enjoy our creations.  However, we had no idea about the extraordinary Krug Chef's Table or the fact that we'd get a special dessert.

They didn't have to do a single bit of that, and quite frankly we weren't expecting it.  We felt like they genuinely enjoyed our company and appreciated us... which really went such a long way.

In addition to that, Julien also poured a small glass of wine that paired nicely with both our appetizer along with the entree.   This was another detail that we were not expecting AT ALL, but it made the experience even better.

While we were enjoying our dessert, Julien brought us each a cup of espresso.  I think by this point we were both ready to move in and wash dishes for the night. 

While we sat to enjoy each part of our meal, Julien took care of things around the kitchen.  We watched as someone came in to show him the fresh lettuce they had just removed from the field.  We noticed the attention to detail that was going into preparation at every single station.

We noticed the fun and patience that Julien shares with his staff and we noticed that he is genuinely respected as a chef (and as a person) by his team.

As we were eating dessert, a man came into the kitchen with what appeared to be a small cooler on wheels.  It was at that moment we watched this gentleman selling truffles to Julien.

For someone who appreciates delicacy, for someone who appreciates the artistry, for someone who appreciates quality... this was amazing!  Here we were, sitting in a top restaurant on the strip, watching an executive chef personally pick out and purchase his truffles.  AMAZING!

We watched as the man unrolled each truffle from cloth and then weighed a few of the top selections.  We listened as he talked about where the truffles had been found.  We watched the staff get excited about the truffles and we enjoyed how Julien shared the experience with them.
Then, Julien walked to the Krug Chef's table and shared the experience with us.  He let us smell them and talked with us about what a special treat it is for a chef to use truffles.  He also told us that he likes to prepare something for his staff with them so that they too can enjoy the truffles.

We learned that this is something he likes to do with his staff each time they feature something special, something that's a true delicacy that people don't typically have the opportunity to enjoy.

Here was our finished product of the entree.  Any guesses as to which plate is whose?

When the three hours came to an end (it was actually a little longer, and they weren't pushing us out the door).  We actually excused ourselves from the table as no one seemed to be in a rush for us to go.  We paid for the experience (we would have paid more), and were preparing to walk out the door.  That's when Julien stopped to grab a book, Best of Guy Savoy and handed it to Dave.  He told us what a great time he'd had with us that afternoon and wished Dave Happy Birthday, again.

The book, along with this photo of the three of us found its home on a shelf in our kitchen.  We find ourselves looking at it often while we are cooking together and can't help but think of the amazing time we had with Chef Julien Asseo in his kitchen.  It's good for a little inspiration, too!

If you are a foodie by any stretch and are going to be in Las Vegas on a Wednesday or Thursday, this is simply is a MUST DO experience.  It is far worth the price tag and if we could give it ten stars on a one to five scale, we would give it twenty... because the whole darn experience was just THAT good.

We are forever fans of yours, Julien Asseo!

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