Chicago Chef Wins Food Network Competition, But Coronavirus Delays His Vegas Restaurant Opening
Usually, when a chef wins a reality TV show, there’s a lot of celebrating with a viewing party full of friends and family. That wasn’t the case for Chicago chef Lamar Moore, who took home the crown Thursday night on Food Network’s Vegas Chef Prizefight. Moore was declared the winner — his prize is the executive chef’s job at the upcoming Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse inside the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
The stay-at-home orders due to the novel coronavirus forced Moore into a muted celebration. There was no watch party with T-shirts, like what former Spiaggia chef Joe Flamm experienced when winning Top Chef. Several friends called him and video conferenced with him on Thursday night after the 90-minute final episode.
Moore — who’s cooked at Chicago’s restaurants like Currency Exchange Cafe, The Smoke Daddy, and The Swill Inn — now plays the waiting game. Bugsy & Meyers, a restaurant from Caesar’s Entertainment with a name derived from famous mobsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, was supposed to open on May 1 off the Vegas strip. Crews haven’t finished construction on the $10 million restaurant. An outro screen at the end of the episode read the restaurant would open “later this year.” There’s much uncertainty in the market, “anything can change,” Moore tells Eater Chicago. But the menu is finished, and Moore is ready.
“Right now, obviously with the pandemic everything is on hold,” he says. “Vegas is on hold. But we’re all on the same page.”