James was Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, James Trees’ culinary career began as a teenager at the Mirage Hotel & Casino on the Strip prior to attending the Culinary Institute of America, then he rose through the ranks under chefs including Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden, Eric Ripert, Heston Blumenthal, and spent several seasons behind the scenes with Gordon Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen. His first independent restaurant, Esther’s Kitchen, offering seasonal Italian in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District, and Most recently, he opened Al Solito Posto, featuring refined Italian and Ada’s Wine Bar in Tivoli Village.
This conversation is so great because James explains the challenges he faced opening his first restaurant, Esther’s Kitchen, and how he celebrated his first 1-star yelp review by opening a bottle of champagne with his staff.
There are some fun facts as to who James’ pick is for the most overrated celebrity chef.
We also understand that the key to being a successful restaurateur is to never give up on quality, and pursue your dreams. James laid the foundation of his success with hard work, dedication, and mastery of his craft.