Executive Chef Benjamin Jenkins brings the signature restaurant MICHAEL MINA to the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The menu offers contemporary seafood and refined American cuisine uniquely prepared using seasonal products and produce. Japanese and French influences drive the flavor profile, exhibited in such dishes as the “Three Seas” fish tasting, with bamboo rice, and seasonal Colorado Rack of Lamb with Tagine Vegetables and Lamb Jus.
Favorites include platters to share such as the Shellfish Tasting or Signature Caviars, along with Phyllo-crusted Sole, Michael’s Maine Lobster Pot Pie and our grilled steaks from America’s pastures.
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Benjamin Jenkins discovered his culinary talent at age 16 when he made ice cream for upscale restaurants in Durham, North Carolina. This after-school position allowed Jenkins to network, landing him an unpaid apprenticeship under the tutelage of James Beard award-winning Chef Scott Howell at Nana’s. Howell recognized Jenkins’ natural talent and promptly offered him a paid position as a cook. Having developed a love of cooking, Jenkins enrolled at New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont.
Jenkins graduated in 1998, setting his sights on Michael Mina and George Morrone’s AQUA in San Francisco. A phone call to the restaurant led to a position at what was then AQUA Bellagio in Las Vegas under executive chef at the time, Mark LoRusso. Jenkins developed a strong reputation in the kitchen and swiftly ascended the ranks from chef garde manger to sous chef in a year. Jenkins was then appointed sous chef at The Mansion at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, where he worked closely with both Executive Chef Philippe Rispoli and Mina himself. A year later, Mina approached Jenkins about an opportunity to work with him at AQUA in San Francisco. Jenkins’ star would continue to rise when, in 2003, Mina offered him a position at NOBHILL and ultimately at SEABLUE, both at MGM Grand, Las Vegas. After opening SEABLUE as executive sous chef in October 2003, Jenkins was promoted to executive chef in January 2005. At MICHAEL MINA LAS VEGAS Jenkins is pleased to continue to flex his (culinary) muscles while staying true to Mina’s philosophy of high-quality ingredients and inventive cooking techniques.