100-year-old executive chef still cooking at Las Vegas restauran - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

100-year-old executive chef still cooking at Las Vegas restaurant

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Maria Perry appears in an interview with FOX5. (Source: Eric Hilt/FOX5) Maria Perry appears in an interview with FOX5. (Source: Eric Hilt/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

For nearly seven decades, 100-year-old Maria Perry has been watching Las Vegas grow from the kitchen of her valley restaurant. Perry still works as the executive chef at Bootleggers Bistro and said the recipes at Bootleggers are still basically the same as when she first started serving the valley in 1949.

"They're my old recipes from when I first started," Perry said. "I was the only Italian woman in Las Vegas that cooked Italian food at that time!"

Over the years, some of the valley's biggest names have eaten her cooking. 

"He'd come in and sit down, he'd say, 'go ahead make me a dish of pasta,'" Perry said about Frank Sinatra. "He was just real down to earth really," she added about Dean Martin. "They'd come over with their pots, would you believe it? And they'd say, Maria, fill it with pasta, fill it with this, fill it with that."

At 100 years old, she now has a smaller role in the Bootleggers kitchen, limiting her time there to a couple days a week, but that doesn't mean she's hands-off.

"When I come in [the cooks] go, 'mama's coming, mama's coming,'" she explained. "I'll go get a spoon and taste things, and I'll say, 'oh, this is good.'

Perry turns 101-year-old in March, and as for what she thinks is the key to her long life: "Hard work. And I'll tell ya, I worked hard. But I loved what I was doing."

Bootleggers Bistro is on Las Vegas Boulevard, just south of the Las Vegas South Premium Outlets. 

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