From Campton Place, Ogden went on to open Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, just across San Francisco Bay, and, later, One Market in downtown San Francisco. The Lark Creek group now boasts eight restaurants in California, all co-owned by Ogden and his longtime business partners, Michael and Leslye Dellar. Close relationships with West Coast purveyors, farmers, and fishermen, carefully nurtured over the last two decades, mean that Ogden can bring fresh ingredients with him wherever he goes. "We use 99.5 percent domestic raw materials here," says the chef.

His eponymous restaurant in Las Vegas is Ogden's first restaurant outside the Golden State. It also happens to be a very personal venture in that Ogden's son Bryan, who, like his dad, is a Culinary Institute of America grad, joins him in the kitchen as senior chef tournant - the jack-of-all-trades who fills in at every station in a busy kitchen, as needed. "What I'm doing here is much more detailed than what I've done before in California," Ogden says, "and more carefully thought out. Here, I'm behind the stove again, cooking every night."

Menu items such as the Humboldt Fog blue cheese soufflé with watercress and blood orange, or Alaskan Ivory salmon with artichoke hash and lobster gremolata show Ogden continuing to explore the bounty of American cuisine and further refining his farm-to-table style. The dining room has a relaxed, modern feel with rustic touches that deliver a bit of all-American relief from the Roman splendor of Caesars Palace. Even Liberace would have loved it.
CHEF'S CHOICE
Kistler Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2001 ($55)

Bradley Ogden matches this gorgeous Pinot with his oak-grilled, corn-fed pheasant breast with cèpe soufflé. While this particular vintage is sold out, you can sign up for the mailing list to purchase Kistler's future releases by e-mailing sskubic@kistlerwine.com.