Show 129, July 4, 2015: Chef Johnny Church, MTO Cafes, Las Vegas

Johnny ChurchDowntown Las Vegas is not an easy market for independent restaurants. You’re competing with all the dining options available in the large Hotels and must appeal to visitors, conventioneers, and the discriminating locals. Not an easy task.

Shift Hospitality has overcome the obstacles with their highly successful MTO Café serving breakfast and lunch. They have recently opened a second branch in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. It’s also open for dinner.

The MTO Cafes serve fresh comfort food in a highly personal, everyday atmosphere. The goal is to position the MTO Cafes as the locals’ neighborhood go-to.

Chef Johnny Church is the culinary talent behind MTO. Named 2014 Culinarian of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association, Chef Johnny is an up and coming star on the dynamic Vegas food scene. His career path has taken him through Rick Moonen’s rm Seafood & Rx Boiler Room, Charlie Palmer’s Aureole at Mandalay Bay, Andre’s at the Monte Carlo, Alize at the Top of the Palms, Paris Las Vegas’ Eiffel Tower Restaurant and the former AJ’s Steakhouse at the Hard Rock Hotel. He was part of Bradley Ogden’s opening team at Root 246 in Solvang, CA. Earlier in his career he was chef for Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares.”

Chef Johnny is a big fan of the Intuitive Forager, Kerry Clasby, who is the cornerstone of the award-winning Las Vegas Farmers Markets.

MTO’s Chef-Partner Johnny Church is our guest.