This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Sonia El-Nawal, chef-owner of Rooster Boy Cafe at Desert Shores Las Vegas. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, the chef talks about her global travels while cooking; working with some of great chefs of the world; her decision to move to Las Vegas; why she picked the rooster as the face (?) of her cafe; why she decided to make her cafe different from the standard presentations in Las Vegas; and how she aims to stimulate not just taste, but memories.
El-Nawal, born 1963, of Armenian and Lebanese descent, has been climbing the restaurant industry’s ladder and working with its top chefs for nearly 35 years. Nobu, Bond St, Lafayette, Masa’s, Jojo’s, APT, Theo, the list goes on and on. Food is innate in her, a natural instinct. Since the early 80’s in San Francisco at Masa’s with Chef Julian Serrano and then back to New York at Sign of the Dove, Sonia has been creating extraordinary desserts. In 1989 she was hired as Pastry Chef at the notable Lafayette, under the direction of Jean Georges Vongerichten.