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And The 2023 Legacy Award Goes To…

January 23, 2023

We are very proud to announce that this year we will be honoring Chef Chris Johns at the 31st Annual Dinner & Auction taking place April 15, 2023 at the Palms Casino Resort. He is an extraordinary man who has impacted so many lives throughout Las Vegas in many different ways. We wanted to take a little time in this blog post to help you learn more about him.

Christopher Johns was born in Llanwern, South Wales, United Kingdom and attended Oxford School of Catering, graduating with City and Guilds of London, Diploma in Culinary Arts. Chef Johns honed his chops learning to cook first class cuisine at some of the United Kingdom’s most highly respected hotels with fine restaurants including: Claridges, a Grand Classic Hotel (known as the spare wing to Buckingham palace), Compleat Angler, and Crown Inn. After taking a job overseas at the Sheraton Hotel and Casino in Puerto Rico, Chef Johns moved to the US to open a few restaurants before settling down in Las Vegas where he served as Assistant Executive Chef at Frontier Hotel, Executive Chef at the Sands Hotel, and Chef de Cuisine at Caesars Palace. In 1996, he was brought on to open The Orleans Hotel & Casino where he spent many years building the property into a successful hotel. In 2005 he transferred to serve as Executive Chef on the opening team of The South Point Casino. He has been there ever since. 

While at The South Point Casino, Chef Johns took a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa. Here he joined 236 other chefs from 44 countries on the World Chefs Tour Against Hunger, helping raise money to feed and educate at-risk children in the country.

Throughout his career, Chef Johns has been at the forefront of mentoring younger generations of chefs. His belief that teaching and training is a very important part of a chef’s job led him to continuously serve as a mentor for younger generations of chefs. He has been an active member of the local American Culinary Federation of Chefs Las Vegas (ACF Chefs Las Vegas), serving as President from 1998-2002, volunteering with its apprenticeship program, and regularly participating in judging student culinary competitions. He is also on the Advisory Boards of UNLV and CSN. Many chefs who are now peppered throughout Las Vegas have been in some way impacted or taught by Chef Johns.

Chef Johns is also highly awarded by his peers:
1987 – Chef of the Year, the Fraternity of Executive Chefs of Las Vegas, A.C.F.
2000, 2009 – President’s Medallion, American Culinary Federation.
2001 – Las Vegas Grand Chef of the Year, American Tasting Institute
2004 – Culinary Achievement Award, Food and Beverage Directors Association of Nevada.
2013 – Inducted into The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque as one of 100 Chef Members in America
2017 – Named Culinarian of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association
2018 – Award of Excellence, University of Nevada, Reno Extension
2023 – Legacy Award, Chefs for Kids

Now, most recently, Chef Johns is being honored with the Legacy Award by Chefs for Kids, an organization he has selflessly dedicated 30 years of volunteer service to. Chef Johns became active with the organization in 1992, just a year after Chefs for Kids inception. He enjoyed the opportunity to pay it forward and give back to the community. Over the years he became more and more involved, ultimately spending 15 years as chairman. It is thanks to his leadership, and the teamwork of other board members and organization volunteers, that Chefs for Kids is where it is today – a growing and thriving organization. Thirty years later, Chef Johns can still be seen volunteering at nearly every Cookin’ Up Breakfast event with a smile on his face. But he says the children’s smiles are his favorite part…

“Seeing all the children enjoy their breakfasts, and their smiling faces when they see the chefs on the buffet line ready to serve them – that’s my favorite part of being involved with Chefs for Kids.” – Executive Chef Chris Johns

Chef Johns, we humbly thank you for your selfless and steadfast dedication to our organization through all these years. 

If you would like to join us in congratulating Chef Johns on this award, ads, tickets, and sponsorships are available. Click here for more details.

Executive Chef Chris Johns, The South Point Casino

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