NFL Legend Opens Restaurant on Las Vegas Strip

Working toward providing a world-class culinary experience, Emmitt’s Las Vegas announced Rainer Schwarz as the head chef of the restaurant and venue. Combining his unique Austrian roots with his classical training, chef Rainer will be sure to bring his Southern California expertise to the Entertainment Capital of the World.

“I am beyond thrilled to join the Emmitt’s team in creating a world-renowned destination for all things food and beverage,” Rainer says. “We are in the process of creating a menu that is sure to reach flavor perfection, showcasing a delicious array of seasonal ingredients.”

Chef Rainer is currently the executive chef for the company’s restaurants in Orange County, California: Driftwood Kitchen, Hendrix at Ocean Ranch, The Deck on Laguna Beach, and The Bungalows on Laguna Beach. Taking on a new twist to all-American food, Rainer is known for his rotisserie from rosemary-lemon chicken to leg of Colorado lamb that bring in his customers week after week.

“We sought the best culinary minds throughout the country and bringing in chef Rainer to assist us in developing our menu is a pinnacle step in creating a memorable experience,” says Jim Hensely, director of operations at Emmitt’s. “We are excited to bring this master to our organization and provide an elite culinary experience to elevate our prime destination.”

Emmitt’s restaurant and venue is located near some of the highest traffic locations in Las Vegas including The Encore at Wynn Las Vegas and The Palazzo at the Venetian Resort.

Emmitt James Smith III is a professional football icon, businessman, entrepreneur, and family man. A Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, Smith played for 15 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as the cornerstone of the Dallas Cowboys offense for 13 of his 15 professional seasons. The 1990 first-round draft pick's legendary career resume includes three Super Bowl championship rings, eight Pro Bowl appearances, NFL 100 All-Time Team member and holding the record as the NFL's all-time leading rusher (a record that still stands today). After his playing days, Smith made the transition to exploring various ventures including football analyst, author and an appearance on ABC's hit show, “Dancing with the Stars.” As a businessman and entrepreneur, Smith runs several companies spanning real estate, construction, technology, and hospitality.

Rainer has 25 years of experience as executive chef/director of food & beverage in four- and five-star hotel properties. Rainer has successfully operated The Deck and Driftwood at the Pacific Edge Hotel for the past nine years. During the pandemic, he helped ensure the property’s profitability for Morgan Stanley and Highgate Hospitality. Rainer was a partner at Skylar Hospitality Management Company and has participated in high-profile media events and TV appearances such as Food & Wine (Aspen, Colorado), e-entertainment, Masters of Food and Wine Annual Event at the Highlands Inn Hotel (Carmel, California), Emmy Awards, Blockbuster Awards, and TV Guide Awards. He has designed, conceptualized, outfitted, trained, and opened more than 20 restaurants and hotels.

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