Sven Mede
3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 891-3110


Antoinette Bruno: Why did you start cooking? Who or what inspired you to be a chef?
Sven Mede: Cooking is in my family. My grandfather was a cook and my father also loved to cook. I started when I was 16.

AB: Did you attend culinary school?
SM: Yes, in Germany. It was an apprenticeship program. I would definitely recommend culinary school to aspiring chefs today. It’s a great chance to learn what you need to know. An apprenticeship is very important. The opportunity to do one week on, one week off in the restaurant.

AB: Can you talk about your mentors?
SM: Raymond Blanc – he’s a classical guy. He taught me to have respect for product. Charlie Trotter taught me about cleanness of flavor, using fresh herbs, and paying attention to seasons.

AB: Are there any secret ingredients that you especially like?
SM: Minus 8 vinegar – it’s a great product, very unique flavor.

AB: What is your most indispensable kitchen tool?
SM: I like a microplane and a truffle slicer – no favorite brands.

AB: Is there a culinary technique that you have either created or use in an unusual way?
SM: I use the sous vide technique with a lot of ingredients – pork belly I’ll cook for 8 or 9 hours, foie gras, etc. It concentrates the flavor with the limited use of liquid and slow, slow cooking.

AB: What is your favorite question to ask during an interview for a potential new line cook?
SM: What’s your favorite dish and why? It lets me know how passionate they are and why they are cooking.

AB: What tips would you offer young chefs just getting started?
SM: If they are serious about what they are interested in learning, have pride and work hard; it takes many years to get there.

AB: What are your favorite cookbooks?
SM: Art Culinaire, also Raw by Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein

AB: What cities do you like for culinary travel?
SM: I like to visit Japan. The sense of respect and techniques - what is part of their culture – shows in their food.

AB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
SM: Being a chef here or at another successful restaurant.

Sven Mede
NOBHILL | Las Vegas

German-born chef Sven Mede is serious about becoming a master of modern American cuisine. His first stop in the US was in Chicago at Charlie Trotter’s, and he cites Chef Trotter as a key mentor, who instructed him on the importance of achieving clean flavors, using fresh herbs, and paying close attention to seasons. Prior to joining the kitchen at Nobhill Las Vegas in December 2004, Mede was part of the opening team at Bradley Ogden, and helped the restaurant to earn a “Best New Restaurant” award from the James Beard Foundation. Raised in a cooking family – his grandfather was a professional chef – Mede started learning the ways of the kitchen as a young boy. Before moving to the United States, he worked under French chef Raymond Blanc at his Michelin two-star restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, outside of Oxford, England.


Marinated Hawaiian Tuna with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Daikon Radish and Spicy Cucumber
Chef Sven Mede of Nobhill at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
– Las Vegas, NV
Adapted by

Yield: 10 Servings


    Marinated Tuna:
  • 1 ounce organic soy sauce
  • 1 ounce yuzu juice
  • Black pepper
  • 8 ounces Hawaiian tuna
    Santa Barbara Sea Urchin:
  • 2 ounces Santa Barbara sea urchin
  • ½ ounce cream
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Spicy Cucumber:
  • ½ English cucumber
  • 2 ounces Champagne vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1 ounce sugar
  • Salt to taste
    Daikon Radish:
  • ½ small daikon root, peeled
  • Micro-cilantro
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Tuna:

Combine soy sauce, yuzu juice, and black pepper to make a marinade for the tuna. Slice raw tuna very thin and brush with marinade.

For Sea Urchin:
Blend sea urchin with cream, lime juice, salt and pepper and pass through a chinoise.

For Spicy Cucumber:
Peel cucumber skin, then shave flesh by using peeler to make long strips. Combine remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Pour over cucumber, then cool down in an ice bath.

For Daikon Radish:
Julienne raw daikon, mix with micro-cilantro, and season with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

To Serve:
Arrange several slices of tuna on a plate. Spoon sea urchin cream on top. Garnish plate with pickled cucumbers and daikon.

   Published: August 2005