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Elizabeth Blau is one of the investors featured in CNBC's reality competition series "Restaurant Startup."

Elizabeth Blau's impressive food service career spans nearly three decades. Widely credited with transforming Las Vegas into a world-class culinary destination, she continues to lead the industry with her innovative and fresh approach to hospitality. Deftly distinguishing fad from trend, irrelevant from significant, Blau's skilled touch defines her work in Las Vegas and around the world.

Blau parlayed her extensive experience and expertise in the restaurant industry to found Blau & Associates in 2002. She adeptly assembled an impressive team of experts and turned the firm into one of the foremost restaurant development companies in the field. Blau & Associate's client list reads like a Who's Who of hospitality: Celebrity Cruises, Destination Hotels and Resorts, the Kor Group, One and Only Resorts, Montage Resorts, Paragon Gaming, the Ritz Carlton Hotels and Resorts, Trump Casinos, Viceroy Hotels and Resorts and Wynn Resorts, among many others.

Blau also maintains partnerships in four successful Las Vegas ventures. She and her husband, Kim Canteenwalla, opened neighborhood hot spot Honey Salt in 2012. Located on the west side of Las Vegas, the restaurant has gained attention locally and nationally for its sophisticated yet low key approach to seasonal American favorites inspired by the food the power couple serves at home. Blau's longstanding friendship with celebrity chef Kerry Simon resulted in their fifth collaboration together; they opened Simon Restaurant & Lounge at Palms Place in 2008 with partner George Maloof. Noted for its whimsical spin on the traditional Sunday brunch, the restaurant emphasizes Simon's flair in the kitchen and Blau's attention to the details. Buddy V's at the Venetian is a collaboration between Blau and the world famous "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro. Valastro's first restaurant venture, it's a larger than life homage to the red sauce culinary traditions of the baker's family, come to life through Blau's meticulous attention to detail. In 2014 Blau and her husband opened Made LV, an American tavern located in Tivoli Village, and most recently the couple added Andiron Steak & Sea to their growing portfolio, located in the newly built Downtown Summerlin.

Blau began her career with famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni. When Maccioni expanded the renowned Le Cirque brand to Las Vegas, Blau's insightful work on the project caught the attention of Stephen Wynn, at that time, CEO of Mirage Resorts, Inc. Wynn then personally recruited Blau to fulfill his vision of revolutionizing the food and beverage operations at his newest venture: the $1.6 billion Bellagio. As Vice President of Restaurant Development for Mirage Resorts, Blau persuaded an extraordinarily talented group of award-winning chefs to join the company and the burgeoning Las Vegas dining scene. These included Todd English, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Michael Mina.

During her tenure at Mirage Resorts, Blau opened Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi and began to modernize dining at the Mirage and Treasure Island. After the MGM Grand acquired Mirage Resorts in 2000, Blau became Senior Vice President of Restaurant Development. In this capacity, she continued to develop, integrate and promote new restaurant concepts for the corporation's many properties.

In 2004, Wynn again recruited Blau to join Wynn Las Vegas, a $2.7 billion mega-resort that was still in the design and construction phase. As Executive Vice President of Restaurant Development and Marketing, Blau worked closely with management to realize Wynn's vision of an unrivaled food and beverage program. The team conceptualized, developed and marketed 22 unique dining, bar, lounge and nightclub establishments. In the process, they assembled an all-star team of "chefs-in-residence," a revolutionary concept that ensured the name on the establishment matched the working chef in the kitchen.

Blau resides in Las Vegas with her husband Kim and their son Cole, as well as two golden retrievers Brookie and Dodger. She passionately supports numerous non-profits throughout the Las Vegas valley including Communities in Schools, Child Focus, and Three Square where she is honorary chair of the Culinary Council. She has been repeatedly recognized for her commitments, including being named Dream Builder of the Year 2009 by the I Have a Dream Foundation of Las Vegas and Nevada Restaurant Association's 2014 Humanitarian of the Year. She is a trustee of the Culinary Institute of America, as well as a member of the Dean's Advisory Board at the university of Nevada, Las Vegas. An annual judge for HOTELS magazine's Best Hotel Restaurants she was also named the 2014 Dame de L'anne by the Maitres Cuisinier de France.


ELIZABETH BLAU: FACTS

Husband: Kim Canteenwalla





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