From French Fine Dining to Fancy Edibles in Las Vegas

Marisela Retana spent five years in the pastry department at the eponymous Joël Robuchon and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, an experience that exposed her to the detail-oriented approach and demanding standards involved in upscale food presentations. “The work has to be so precise, so delicate, and so perfect,” she says. “There is a person who will spend two or three hours preparing and polishing plates with alcohol. Everything has to be nicely decorated by hand.”

That’s especially true for the desserts and pastries, which complement the multi-course tasting menus that are the hallmark of Robuchon restaurants. “I learned a lot about gourmet ingredients,” says Retana. “Expensive nuts, expensive spices—like going from pepper to saffron. The most expensive butter and heavy creams you can imagine. You have to use a specific kind of sugar.”

However, fine dining often means late-night hours and Retana eventually left the Robuchon team for a position at Caesars

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