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Elizabeth Blau

Co-Founder
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My Story

With an impressive career spanning four decades, James Beard Award Nominee Elizabeth Blau is recognized for the impact of her leadership, innovation and philanthropy throughout the hospitality industry. Elizabeth is widely credited with transforming Las Vegas into a world-class culinary destination. Today, she is known for helping shape the global dining scene by bringing award winning chefs and restaurateurs to international real estate mixed use projects as well as luxury resort developments. 

A graduate of the prestigious Cornell School of Hotel Administration, Blau began her career in New York with legendary restaurateur Sirio Maccioni, proprietor of the iconic Le Cirque, and worked with him to expand the brand to Las Vegas. After opening Le Cirque at the Bellagio, Blau was recruited to Mirage Resorts as Vice President of Restaurant Development. In that role and in her subsequent evolution to EVP of Restaurant Development and Marketing for the Wynn Las Vegas, Elizabeth developed and oversaw every aspect of food and beverage concept creation, development, operations, and promotion for hundreds of restaurants. With her vision, Blau inspired award-winning chefs, and convinced them to venture to Las Vegas and join with her in transforming the culinary culture and dining experience there. This quantum leap forward and focus on fine food, were revolutionary to the once buffet focused dining scene.

Elizabeth founded Blau & Associates in 2002 and made it into one of the foremost restaurant development and consulting companies in the field. She went on to open a series of successful restaurants across Las Vegas, Dallas and Vancouver, Canada.

In 2012, Blau and husband chef Kim Canteenwalla embarked on their first solo independent venture, Honey Salt. The next year, Blau & Associates partnered with Buddy Valastro, star of TV’s Cake Boss, to open Buddy V’s Ristorante on the Las Vegas Strip. For the Parq Vancouver Resort & Casino, which opened in 2017, Blau conceptualized, developed, and assembled a world-class portfolio of five restaurants, including a new location of Honey Salt in the JW Marriott, which they continue to operate today. In 2023, Elizabeth and Kim opened their newest restaurant concept, Crown Block, located at the Reunion Tower in Dallas.

Blau has appeared as a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, has been featured on the Travel Channel and the Martha Stewart Show, and is an annual judge for Hotels magazine “Great Hotel Restaurant” list.  Elizabeth co-starred on CNBC’s Restaurant Startup as one of the Season 3 investors. In 2017, Blau and Canteenwalla co-authored “Honey Salt: A Culinary Scrapbook,” which was named Best Cookbook of 2018 by Food & Beverage Magazine.

Elizabeth’s many honors and awards include the 2006 recipient of the IFMA Gold Plate Award, Cornell’s 2017 MMH Outstanding Alumna of the Year Award from the School of Hotel Administration and 2019’s Stevie Award for Women in Business. In February 2020 Elizabeth was honored as the Silver State Award’s Innovator Award, which honor excellence in the state of Nevada. In 2022 she was named one of the 20 Most Influential Female Chefs and Restaurateurs by OpenTable as well as the recipient of the 2022 Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship. Recently, Elizabeth was included in Observer Media’s 2023 Nightlife Dining Power List and DCEO Magazine’s 2024 list for the Dallas 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders in Dallas-Forth Worth.  

Blau serves the global hospitality community through advisory and board roles for organizations in many capacities; as the Global Ambassador of Food & Beverage for Forbes Travel Guide, as an International Advisory Board member for the Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, as chairwoman of the Culinary Council of Three Square Food Bank in southern Nevada and on the State Board for Communities in Schools. Elizabeth continues to serve emeriti after completing a 12-year trusteeship for the Culinary Institute of America at the end of 2020 and a global advisory board membership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2022.

In February 2020, Elizabeth launched and co-founded The Women’s Hospitality Initiative (WHI), a Las Vegas-based 501 c3 nonprofit venture committed to developing and implementing programs for women to grow and achieve leadership programs positions in the restaurant community.  Under Elizabeth’s stewardship, WHI will work to identify and increase opportunities for women leaders, while providing a platform for them to connect, influence and grow in academic, networking and workplace settings.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Elizabeth co-founded Delivering with Dignity with Punam Mathur, executive director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation and Julie Murray, chair of the Moonridge Foundation in partnership with Clark County Commission Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick.  Delivering with Dignity was a one-of-its-kind program that provides thousands of meals every week from multiple local restaurant partners and safely delivers them to a large community of food vulnerable who would not otherwise be able to obtain meals. Delivering with Dignity completed its final meal delivery in December 2023, culminating in the successful distribution of 925,000 meals.

Elizabeth lives in Las Vegas with her husband Kim, their son Cole, and their two golden retrievers Brookie and Dodger.

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