José Andrés Just Created the World's First 'Gaming-Optimized' Menu
When chef José Andrés isn't racking up culinary acclaim, or feeding millions of people in Puerto Rico, he's been known to play a video game or two. And starting early in 2018, you'll be able to experience the combined fruits of his gaming and cooking experience at the Strip's first-ever esports venue, the upcoming Esports Arena Las Vegas, which will feature a menu from Andrés designed specifically with gamers in mind.
"I know what it is like to want a snack while gaming," Andrés tells Food & Wine. "I love to get into the mind of a gamer and think about how to help them win." To that end, he says, the menu will feature easy-to-eat dishes like flatbreads and sushi, and provide efficient and tasty portions that will support the e-athletes facing off in the 30,000 square foot, multi-level arena dedicated to the growing world of esports (competitive video gaming), which now reaches hundreds of millions of viewers a year.
The Esports Arena Las Vegas will sit within MGM Resorts International's Luxor Hotel and Casino, and will be the flagship of Allied Esports' globe-spanning group of esports venues, featuring a competition stage, massive video wall, telescopic seating, production studios for streaming and TV broadcast of events designed to host major gaming tournaments, leagues, and other matches. Which, if you are unfamiliar with the still-new world of gaming, are indeed filled with fans in the same way you'd expect from traditional sports.
"I love Las Vegas—everything is bigger and better there," says Andrés, who is now on his fifth concept in the city. Maybe even bigger, though, is what brings him to gaming in the first place. "To me, it’s amazing to be able to explore another world," says the chef, whose favorite game at the moment is Call of Duty—"to get into another universe for a little while." And it seems that with this menu, which will be available to both gamers and spectators alike, that other universe is about to get as tasty as its ever been.