Kim Canteenwalla, Principal
Chef Kim Canteenwalla is a visionary artist whose hands-on familiarity with restaurant operations, wealth of culinary knowledge and vast global experience characterize his many accomplishments. As principal and cofounder of Blau & Associates, he provides the firm with more than 25 years of hospitality expertise and industry leadership. Canteenwalla’s ambition to perfect the art of dining reflects his sincere love of food and genuine dedication to exceptional service: a seamless fit with the firm’s philosophy and mission.
At Blau & Associates, Canteenwalla directs many of the company’s project management assignments. Most recently, he developed and opened food and beverage venues at the following five-star resorts: the Park Hyatt in Chicago, the Plaza Hotel in New York City, the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach and the Viceroys in Miami and Snowmass.
Canteenwalla also recently partnered with Stephen Wynn to launch Society Café at Wynn’s newest signature resort, Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. As executive chef and managing partner, Canteenwalla created a restaurant that celebrated food critic John Mariani selected as one of Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants of 2009.” This alliance marks his second collaboration with Wynn; Canteenwalla previously worked at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi as the resort’s executive chef.
Though his formal training began at the Institute at St. Denis in Montreal, Canteenwalla’s passion for food began in childhood and took him around the world in search of unusual flavors and new culinary techniques. Following a job as sous chef at the flagship Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, he accepted positions as executive chef in many exotic ports of call: with the Raffles International Hotel Group in Singapore, Le Royal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Grand Mirage in Bali, Indonesia, Le Meridian in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and with the Royal Garden Group in Bangkok, Thailand.
Canteenwalla subsequently returned to North America to enhance food and beverage operations at the Beau Rivage, where he met wife and partner Elizabeth Blau. He next served as executive chef of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In this capacity, Canteenwalla supervised the daily operations of 14 food and beverage outlets and support kitchens for the 5,034-room resort. Revenue generated during his tenure exceeded $120 million yearly and he supervised a staff of 430 employees. He also worked closely with management to reinvent and execute several new restaurant concepts.
Canteenwalla participated four times in the Best Hotel Chefs in America series at the James Beard House in New York and is a member of the American Culinary Federation. In 2005, he teamed up with celebrity chef and partner Kerry Simon on Food Network’s Iron Chef America series and won.
Canteenwalla takes part in culinary events around the world. He appeared in several Bon Appétit Wine and Spirits Focus events in San Francisco and Las Vegas, a weeklong guest chef program featuring television appearances and gala dinners at the Shanghai Hilton in China, the Food and Wine Festival in South Beach, Miami and the Grand Jury European and Davidoff Gourmet Festival in Kitzbuhel, Austria. He also accepted an invitation to prepare a guest chef dinner and lecture for graduate students at the internationally famous Ecole Hoteliere in Laussane, Switzerland.
When not in the kitchen, Canteenwalla proudly serves on the Culinary Council of Three Square, a Las Vegas-based food bank dedicated to feeding the hungry. Additionally, he assists Communities in Schools of Southern Nevada and Child Focus. In 2009, the I Have A Dream Foundation of Las Vegas named Canteenwalla Dream Builder of the Year. He enjoys golfing and visiting national parks with his wife, son and two dogs. You may also find him cruising around Vegas in one of his classic cars, a 1989 Jaguar and a 1976 Eldorado, dreaming of what to cook next.