K.C. Fazel’s culinary passion was ignited while growing up in the San Francisco Bay area and furthered by summers spent surrounded by the rich farmlands of Nebraska and Iowa. While studying architecture in high school, Fazel quickly realized that life behind a desk was not for him and found that his interest in cooking at home could lead to an exciting profession. He read cookbooks and tuned-in to cooking programs to learn the basics that laid the foundation for a successful career in the food industry.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from California Polytechnic University, Fazel immersed himself in the culinary world as a student at the Culinary Institute of America. It was during this period that he encountered the man who would have the greatest influence on his future in the culinary arts, Chef Bradley Ogden. Their shared belief in the importance of working with local producers made an impact on Fazel and stayed with him throughout his career.
During his time at CIA, Fazel had the privilege of working with a plethora of celebrity chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Alice Waters, and Jeremiah Towers. Learning from these culinary masters gave Fazel the determination to develop his skills and expand his knowledge by digesting their expertise. Following graduation, Fazel entered one of the foremost apprenticeship programs in the U.S. at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Here, he stretched his culinary horizons and began refining his personal style of cooking.
Once the apprenticeship was completed, Fazel joined the kitchen team at the fine dining restaurant, Lafite at the Registry Resort in Naples, Florida, which was beginning to gain recognition as one of the top restaurants within the region. He quickly advanced to sous chef at Lafite and then to chef de cuisine at the resort’s Café Chablis. Through working at Lafite and Chablis, Fazel found his niche in sourcing the right ingredients, using fundamental cooking techniques, and developing full and well-balanced flavors.
Following his success in Florida, Fazel realized the expanding culinary landscape of Las Vegas, Nev. and relocated to The Brown Derby at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Soon renowned chef Tom Colicchio brought his Craftsteak restaurant to MGM Grand and Fazel became a member of the opening team. It was through Craftsteak that Fazel rediscovered his passion for sourcing products from local producers and he determined that Las Vegas was ready to experience farm-fresh, quality ingredients prepared with proper cooking techniques.
In his current role as executive chef of TENDER Steak & Seafood at Luxor Hotel and Casino, Fazel continues to adhere to his farm-to-table philosophy by working with local and regional producers to bring guests the freshest meats, seafood and produce available.