An Interview With Head Chef Joe Zanelli of Greene Street Kitchen


An Interview With Head Chef Joe Zanelli of Greene Street Kitchen

The Method Behind the Greene Street Madness

When you step into Greene Street Kitchen, located inside the famous Palms Casino Resort, you get transported back in time to SoHo in the 70’s. The venue blends an unforgettable artistic atmosphere of the time with a creative menu of small plates, vegetarian options, and our unique tableside hot rock servings. The upscale menu options at Greene Street are the creation of well-known Chef Joe Zanelli, who has helped open several famous Vegas restaurants, including the Wynn’s Jardin and Botero as well as Lutece at the Venetian.

We sat down to get to know the Chef Joe Zanelli and ask him about his favorite Greene Street dishes, his inspiration, and his absolute favorite dishes to cook.

What or who inspired you to become a chef?

I grew up with my grandmother Rose, she was an amazing scratch cook. She was also a big advocate of growing fruits and vegetables. She always had a garden in the yard. In addition, my grandfather’s cousins were also chefs in Washington DC at the embassies.

You have worked Las Vegas before, when you helped open Aqua at the Bellagio, what about Las Vegas drew you back?

The tragic events of 911 had me relocate from NYC back to Las Vegas. After helping with the aid effort, I decided to come back to Las Vegas.

What menu item are you most excited about at Greene Street?

The mushroom hot rock, the confit process packs the trumpet mushrooms with flavor. Then it’s finished with miso sauce before going on to the rock.

Do you have a signature dish that you love to both prepare and eat?

I love cooking seafood, and just about any lobster dish. The BIG ASS!! Lobster is out of this world.

What people consider comfort food tends to have roots in their childhood. What does comfort food mean to you?

Comfort food is affordable and delicious. Dishes that you can enjoy eating several times a week. Pizza, pasta, and sushi and are perfect examples of good comfort food.

Is there any dish or ingredient that you absolutely hate to work with?

I have a thing against raw onions, this is an application that my palette definitely does not care for.

In your opinion, what makes for the most tender, flavorful steak? Cut, age, seasoning, or something else?

Several factors help define the most flavorful meats. First, we all know fat is flavor, so choose a steak with great marbling. Short ribs or rib cap are my personal favorites. Second is the age of the meat. At 36 to 48 days, it will be the most tender.

Third, the cooking process. Tempering the product before you cook it, seasoning it aggressively with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Next applying a good char on the meat, followed by roasting at a low temperature if a sous vide is not available. Last, proper resting before slicing and finishing salt.

Carrot Soup Greene St Kitchen

Do you have kitchen pet peeve? Either something you insist on or something you ban from your kitchen?

Whistling is definitely a big no in the kitchen. Also talking near the pass during service.

If you could cook and sit down for a meal with one person, who would it be and what would you make?

Julia Child, and I would make Chicken Grand’mere. ( A classic French dish of braised chicken with glazed pearl onions, bacon lardons, sautéed mushrooms and new potatoes.)

If you were on an episode of Chopped Million Dollar Baskets, what would you hope to find in your basket?

Maine Lobster, citrus, tarragon, and Luxembourg butter.

Thank you, Chef Joe Zanelli, for answering our questions today. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for Greene Street!

Make your reservations to dine at Greene Street located in the Palms Resort and Casino today! Group dining and private events are available. For groups of 8 people or more, please email the reservations team at reservations@greenestkitchen.com.