Las Vegas Food & Wine featuring Executive Chef Marc Marrone – Graffiti Bao

Casa Playa Mexican Coastal Cuisine

Executive Chef  Sarah Thompson,  Casa Playa    WYNN | ENCORE Las Vegas  

Mexico has captured the heart of Sarah Thompson, Casa Playa's executive chef. "I was a culinary professional who enjoyed Italian food when I started working in a Mexican kitchen," explains the Boston-raised Thompson, who attended culinary school in New York before joining the Michelin-starred Marea, celebrated for its Italian seafood. When she was recruited to work at Cosme, the famed upscale Mexican eatery, Thompson discovered the delights of Mexican cuisine.

"That opened my eyes to a different culture and a cuisine that really spoke to me," she says. "Each region is so specific; the food in Mexico City is totally different from what you'll enjoy in Oaxaca, and they’re both amazing."  

Prior to opening Encore's Casa Playa, Thompson toured these and other regions to research outstanding dishes and resources. Those experiences informed Casa Playa's menu. "My goal is to take the best of the country's cuisine and then elevate it," Thompson notes of using wagyu beef in her tacos. "When you eat here, I want you to recognize Mexico's fantastic flavors, with a bit of surprise as well."