Culinary Director for Simon Hospitality Group
Born and raised in California, Culinary Director of Simon Hospitality Group, John Courtney’s inspiration comes one simple ingredient: family. From a cookbook developed by his great grandparents to making guests feel at home, Courtney’s main objective is preparing food that creates everlasting memories.
Courtney began his culinary career at the young age of 15, selling muffins and bread to a local coffee shop. He was later offered an apprenticeship by Chef Jean-Paul Peluffo and received the opportunity to be trained by talented French chefs. In 2006, he graduated from California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Courtney’s previous experience includes time with La Bouitte in Savoy, France where he worked as chef de partie. In 2009, he made the move to Las Vegas and worked under sustainable seafood advocate Rick Moonen at rm seafood inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, and later went on to open db Brasserie where he worked as a chef de cuisine, and most recently, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar inside The Venetian Las Vegas.
In 2014, Courtney was drawn to the role by the open kitchen and communal dining of Carson Kitchen in Downtown Las Vegas and in 2016 became a part of the award-winning downtown hotspot as the culinary director of Simon Hospitality Group, where he oversees various restaurants under the umbrella such as Carson Kitchen, Pink Flamingo, and Standard & Pour, to name a few.
Courtney’s day-to-day activities extend far past ensuring every award-winning dish is prepared to meet the highest standards. He hopes to continue building a strong back-of-house staff, to create new restaurant concepts and designs and maintain a reputation of innovative and tasty creations.
Outside the kitchen, Courtney enjoys a variety of outdoor activities. He loves snowboarding, wakeboarding, fishing, hunting and riding his Harley motorcycle.