Tom Kaplan has worked alongside master chef Wolfgang Puck in the development and operations of his world-renowned restaurants. His responsibilities range from overall business and financial management, company expansion and design supervision, to community relations and philanthropy for the company’s domestic and international locations.
Since 1982, Puck and Kaplan have grown the company from several individual restaurants into a collection of restaurants known as the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Primary brands include Spago, CUT, re/Asian Cuisine, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, as well as Lupo, Five Sixty, The Source, and Cucina. Over the years Kaplan has nurtured key strategic partnerships with luxury hotel brands and major casinos such as the Four Seasons, Dorchester Collection, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, Ritz Carlton, St. Regis and Boyd Gaming. Currently, four new restaurants are in development internationally, as well as two in the United States.
Raised in Stamford, Connecticut, Kaplan relocated to Los Angeles in 1980 after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Bowdoin College that same year with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, Visual Arts and a coordinate major in Environmental Studies. He has been a resident of Las Vegas since 1992.
Kaplan is intimately involved in community service and philanthropy. He is a member of the prestigious Brookings Institution Metropolitan Leadership Council and is a Board Director for the Council for a Better Nevada and the Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas as well as a member of the UNLV Foundation Advisory Board. He is also the Co-Chairman of the newly formed The Nevada Board, and was Vice President of the Puck Lazaroff Foundation from 1986-2004 and a Director for The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, from 1999-2014.
He was named Nevada Restaurateur of the Year by the Las Vegas International Hotel & Restaurant Show in 2005 and one of the “50 Most Influential” in Nevada by In Business in 2008. In 2003, he was in the first induction group of the Las Vegas Dozen which honors men in the Vegas valley for their role in business and community involvement. In 2011, Kaplan was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by Greenspun Media Group’s publication Vegas Inc.
To compete with the rigors of the hospitality world, Kaplan enjoys running, cycling, skiing, and hiking. His passions include architecture, art, environmental issues, music, and travel all shared with his wife, Elizabeth and son, Austin.
David Robins brings more than 20 years of culinary and restaurant experience to his role as Managing Partner, Operations and Corporate Chef- Las Vegas of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. A position he has held since 1995, Robins plays an integral role in restaurant development, culinary operations and team building for the company’s Las Vegas-based fine dining restaurants, as well as casual dining concepts domestically and internationally.
In Robins’ current role, he is responsible for restaurant development and overseeing the daily supervision of all dining room operations including front-of-house, staff training and recruitment. Robins has led the opening of five Puck restaurants in Las Vegas and is frequently traveling outside the city to assist his managing partners and operating teams in new restaurant openings, executing Wolfgang’s vision and upholding the quality and consistency of the brand.
Robins joined the company in 1992 to open Spago at The Forum Shops at Caesars. As executive chef, Robins led the Las Vegas iteration of Wolfgang’s flagship restaurant to critical acclaim, earning it and himself a number of accolades including a nomination for Best Chef – Southwest by the James Beard Foundation Awards in 2005 and was awarded Best Chef in Las Vegas at the 2003 Las Vegas Life Epicurean Awards. Most recently, Robins was named 2015 Restaurateur of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association.
In addition to his role with the restaurants, Robins donates his time to many philanthropic and charitable endeavors including Keep Memory Alive– Cleveland Clinic at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and served as a Big Brother in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization for five years. Giving back to the community is a high priority for Robins and a characteristic he works hard to instill throughout the restaurants’ staff. His extensive commitment to charitable endeavors led him to become inducted into the Las Vegas Dozen, which honors men in the Vegas Valley for their roles in business and community involvement.
When Robins is not traveling the country, growing and sustaining the company’s collection of fine dining and casual restaurants, he can be found spending time with his wife, Anna, and their two sons, Zachary and Nathan.