Richard Camarota has overseen the day-to-day operation of Shawn McClain’s Sage as executive chef since the restaurant opened along with Aria in 2009. In the nearly seven years since, Sage has remained a steadfast fixture in the local fine-dining scene. While trends and of-the-moment hot spots have come and gone, Sage’s reputation among serious food aficionados has never faltered. When McClain ventured into the casual dining sphere with Five50 Pizza, Camarota helped design a concept that delighted pizza lovers while never betraying his fine-dining roots. And he’s been pulling double duty as executive chef for both restaurants ever since. Most recently, Camarota helped his boss create the menu at Libertine Social, one of the most talked-about restaurants to open this year. “Richard is a lot [of things] to me, including a super-close friend, a confidant and an amazing chef,” McClain says. “He always wants to push things and improve upon things. He never wants to be stale.” You can experience some of Camarota’s latest creations at either Libertine or on Sage’s fall menu. Sage and Five50 Pizza Bar, in Aria, Aria.com; Libertine Social in Mandalay Bay, MandalayBay.com.