Robert Irvine Keeps His Secrets Close to the Kitchen

Anthony Mair | Vegas Seven

Robert Irvine shows us his best squat stance at his soon-to-open Tropicana restaurant.

Robert Irvinewho made a splashy entrance on the Las Vegas scene nearly a year ago by rappelling 22 stories off the Tropicana to announce a signature restaurant at the property—is the latest celebrity chef to set up shop in town, a place he refers to as the “culinary mecca of the world.” But, if you ask him about what exactly guests will experience at his new spot, he goes mum.

All Irvine—who wants to maintain an element of surprise surrounding his restaurant, set to open at the end of July—readily admits is that “the food will be eclectic and wow-able,” and he will be serving up comfort food “with a twist.”

He hints at the gimmicks of chefs like Guy Fieri and his Donkey Sauce, only offering that his desire is to “be the only [restaurant in town doing] this certain thing.”

Cryptic? You bet. And for now, that’s the best we’re going to get in terms of details.

That is, until he returns to town for his one-night-only show, Robert Irvine Live at the Tropicana Theater, where he’ll tease us with tidbits about the restaurant that will “take the world by storm.”

The former Food Network TV host, known for Dinner: Impossible, Restaurant: Impossible and his current CW talk show, The Robert Irvine Show, isn’t doing a death-defying stunt but showing audiences that in Las Vegas, anything is possible.

And when the lights go up April 6, the city will learn exactly what that means. Dubbed a high-energy, multimedia and multisensory theatrical experience, the show (think Dinner: Impossible style, in which Irvine faces culinary challenges while attempting to make a meal with a time constraint) lets the audience dictate what happens. It’s about laughter. Escapism. Cooking. Two hours of fun at Irvine’s expense.

“It’s got challenges, videos—all the things that go into a good variety show,” he says. “It’s silliness.”

At the end, those in the audience will be treated to some information most aren’t privy to—more details about his restaurant slated to debut at the property’s former sportsbook.

As for opening a celebrity chef–driven restaurant, Irvine knows challenges await.

“The wow of TV only lasts so long, then you have to deliver. When people come to your restaurant, they have traveled across the globe to get there, and their expectations are very high,” he says. “We intend to deliver that. We’ve got lots going into that and how we make it different. Everybody who is everybody is [in Las Vegas]. What better way to test your chops than that?”