Joseph Marsco the managing partner for Stacked Hospitality, the premier Las Vegas-based dining and hospitality group. He brings 25 years of restaurant management and fine dining service experience opening and managing restaurants in New York and Las Vegas.
Marsco joined André Rochat’s restaurants in 2001, opening Alizé at the Top of the Palms Casino Resort. He held the position of general manager at Alizé for three years before becoming the director of operations and eventually managing partner for Andre’s entire restaurant group.
He began his restaurant career at his family owned and operated Italian restaurant in Youngstown, Ohio. To pursue an interest in cooking and an ultimate desire to be a chef, he moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. While attending the CIA, Marsco apprenticed in numerous high-profile restaurants including Lutèce with André Soltner, Le Cirque with Daniel Boulud and La Côte Basque with Jean-Jacques Rachou. He would continue his career in restaurant management by working at Bouley and CT, both located in New York and eventually move to Las Vegas to the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino at the Masquerade Village restaurants which included VooDoo Lounge and Café, Mama Maria’s Cucina, Antonio’s and Buzio’s.
Mark Purdy the managing partner for Stacked Hospitality, the premier Las Vegas-based dining and hospitality group. He brings more than 30 years of culinary and management experience working as executive chef for multiple award-winning kitchens in the United States.
With this new company, Purdy is responsible for overseeing the culinary vision and business development of the Stacked Hospitality restaurants including Andre’s Bistro & Bar and Alizé at the Top of Palms Casino Resort.
His first job was at the age of 13 as a dishwasher in the kitchen of a modest Nantucket restaurant. He next moved on to another small restaurant, Morning Glory Café, where he started doing basic prep work for the chef and was eventually introduced to the poetry of plating food. After graduating from Skidmore College in Upstate New York, he moved to Washington, D.C. and became sous chef at Trattoria, I Matti.
In 1996, Purdy returned to his native New York. He landed a job as an appetizer cook at the famed Aureole under celebrity Chef Charlie Palmer, where he was exposed to true haute cuisine and world-class service standards. Chef Palmer further reinforced Purdy’s sense of commitment and mentored him in every aspect of the business. During his two years at the rarefied venue, he mastered every cooking station and ascended to the position of chef tournant.
In 1998, Palmer invited him to be the opening executive sous chef at the new Aureole at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. He then worked tirelessly at the striking $11 million, 375-seat restaurant, which received international acclaim for its cuisine, wine list and dramatic architectural design.
Demonstrating a commitment and skill level beyond his years, Palmer then hired Purdy to serve as chef de cuisine at his new Dry Creek Kitchen in the Sonoma wine country. Dry Creek Kitchen was an instant success and he was named Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle.
But he was anxious to return to Las Vegas. Within six months, legendary Las Vegas chef/restaurateur André Rochat recruited him as chef de cuisine for Alizé at the Top of the Palms Casino Resort. He would eventually become the executive chef for the Michelin rated 1-star restaurant. During this time, Purdy created traditional French cuisine with contemporary twists and accents and was considered one of the top chefs in a city filled with world-renowned names.
John Wood is the managing partner for Stacked Hospitality, the premiere Las Vegas-based dining and hospitality group. He brings 15 years of business, dining and nightlife experience working for multiple award-winning venues and million-dollar companies.
In this position, Wood is responsible for marketing and business development, as well developing nightlife and after hours programming and concepts.
Before joining Stacked Hospitality, he spent nearly 10 years as senior executive director at Wynn Resorts. During this time, the resorts' nightclubs collectively amassed more than $100 million annually. He was responsible for numerous strategic areas of the business including marketing, customer development, VIP services, security, compliance, design and development. Wood also orchestrated the growth of one of the most successful VIP service programs in Las Vegas nightlife, receiving the “Nightclub and Bar Top 100” award for "#1 Nightclub" seven times from 2008 to 2015. While at Wynn, he oversaw multiple venues during his tenure including La Bête, Tryst, XS and Intrigue, as well as Lure Ultra Lounge. In 2012, he assisted with the creation and launch of the Botero Supper Club, which became Wynn's first step toward the "vibe dining" experience. Wood is an Idaho native and has lived in Las Vegas since the late '90s, when he received his bachelor of arts degree in marketing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
He is also one of the founders of Respect Your Universe (RYU), a premium performance athletic apparel brand. RYU was conceptualized in Las Vegas in 2006 and continued its cultivation and growth in Portland, Oregon. During his tenure, he held the positions of president and PFO. In 2009, the company went public and was listed on the OTCBB. By 2010, the first one million dollars was raised and with a thriving brand he assisted the company acquiring more than 10 million dollars in capital. He was instrumental in the opening of the company’s first flagship retail store at Palazzo Las Vegas in 2012 and by 2013 the company had expanded in the public market to include trading on the TSX Venture Exchange.
Wood has spent the past decade leading the charge in the raising and donating of more than one million dollars for the annual 98.5 KLUC toy drive, as well as additional charities and organizations including Mondays Dark with Mark Shunock and A Home 4 Spot.
Long before Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Charlie Palmer arrived in Las Vegas, André Rochat was providing world-class cuisine and sophisticated service, easily satisfying the most discriminating high rollers. Today, while he shares the limelight with some of America’s most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, Rochat remains the dean of Las Vegas chefs.
Rochat was born in the French Alps where his family owned a charcuterie in the village of La Rochette. After learning the business—beginning at the tender age of five—and inheriting the gift of cooking from his mother, he left home at 14 to apprentice at Leon de Lyon, the renowned Michelin two-star restaurant in the heart of Lyon, in the region known as the cradle of French gastronomy. Later, he took a job at the Hôtel du Mont-Blanc in Megève, not far from home, and followed with a military assignment as chef to a French naval commander, a prestigious appointment for a rising culinary star.
In 1965, Rochat departed his native France, arriving in Boston with nothing but $5, a bagful of knives and a head full of youthful dreams. After cooking at several prestigious East Coast hotels including Boston’s Charter House and Washington’s Mayflower and enjoying a stint as an in-flight chef for United Airlines, he drifted west, eventually landing in Las Vegas—a long way from La Rochette. In 1973, he opened a successful business, Savoy French Bakery, after observing the absence of an authentic French boulangerie in Las Vegas.
In 1980, Rochat founded his cozy French restaurant, Andre’s, which would eventually become one of Las Vegas’ most venerable and acclaimed establishments.
Despite its location in downtown Las Vegas, word quickly spread Andre’s, with the rustic ambiance of a French country auberge, was the place for an intimate gourmet dinner in the burgeoning metropolis. Since then, Andre’s has set the standard for culinary excellence in Las Vegas and even the much-publicized arrival of celebrity chefs from L.A., New York and San Francisco didn’t detract from the restaurant’s superlative reputation and immense following. As LVCitylife.com once put it, “Andre’s is what people think of when someone says, ‘take me to the nicest place in town.’”
In 1997, Rochat opened a second location on the Strip, Andre’s Restaurant and Lounge at Monte Carlo, which subsequently closed in 2016. In 2001, he opened Alizé on top of the Palms Casino Resort, the hip hotel that has profoundly altered the dynamics of Las Vegas nightlife. In early 2017, Andre's Bistro & Bar will open, returning Rochat's legacy to the warmth of a neighborhood restaurant and ambience.
Described by his peers as having no ego, he is regarded as a superb mentor to younger talents. Recognized in 2008 and 2009, Rochat accomplished his life dream when two of his restaurants were recognized by the Michelin Guide with one star rating.
Rochat, a passionate collector, maintains one of the most extensive and exclusive collections of Cognacs in the world, displayed throughout his fine restaurants—yet another reason discriminating diners enjoy spending an evening with the legendary chef who put Las Vegas on the culinary map.