Executive chef Ariela Lyttle
Raised by her immigrant, Culinary-Union family in Las Vegas, Ariela Lyttle spent much of her childhood in working kitchens, watching and learning from her father, a long-time local line cook. Her passion for food started in earnest at age 11, and Ariela has been experimenting with – and perfecting – her own culinary techniques and recipes ever since.
A move from Nevada to New Mexico just as she was entering high school presented unexpected challenges, but it also opened a new horizon for Ariela. That move gave her the unique opportunity to enroll in a well-provisioned culinary trade school at age 15, where she quickly rose to, and remained at, the top of her class. By the age of 17, still in high school, Ariela began working as a full-time line cook in a local fine dining restaurant.
After graduating from high school in New Mexico, Ariela could not wait to move back to her beloved hometown of Las Vegas, and, at just age 18, she put her substantial culinary skills to work at the newly opened House of Blues on the Las Vegas Strip. Starting as a line cook there, Ariela was immediately one of the most experienced and innovative members of the kitchen crew. She was quickly promoted to Exhibition & Event Chef, which allowed her to cook for both the elite clientele of the Foundation Room and the raucous crowds of the world-famous Sunday Gospel Brunch – and to showcase her own unique brand of elevated comfort-food flavors in the process.
After paying her dues on the Strip and elsewhere in Las Vegas for nearly a decade, at age 27, Ariela founded Bella Azure Catering, specializing in the planning and execution of high-end, in-home events across the valley. With Bella Azure, Ariela was able to further refine and customize her delicious recipes, always achieving rave reviews and referrals.
More recently, Ariela has been working professionally as a paralegal, but that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to flex her culinary chops. When not working at her office desk, Ariela has continued her in-home cooking career as a personal chef, specializing in providing delicious, all-kosher meals to clients on various restricted and specialized diets. More publicly, Ariela has become a nationally known food blogger, sharing recipes, tips and insights across multiple digital media platforms. Two of her food and lifestyle websites, one featuring vegetarian and vegan dishes and another devoted to Southern American kosher cuisine, remain among the most heavily trafficked domains in their respective categories. In her quest to bring the most delicious experiences to her clients, followers, and fans, Ariela has steeped herself in the science and craft of, among other disciplines, breadmaking and pastry, cheesemaking, and home gardening, embracing the mindset that the most flavorful ingredient is often the one she has grown herself or made from scratch.
Ariela’s Pizza & Kosher Kitchen, its namesake’s first eponymous venture, represents both a triumphant culmination and a natural continuation of Chef Ariela’s two-plus-decade mission to deliver outstanding food to her favorite city. Her husband (and the restaurant’s General Manager), Sean Lyttle, is a food professional in his own right, having previously created or rebranded a dozen different dining venues across three different states. Together, this talented and experienced wife-and-husband team intends to set a new standard for kosher comfort food in Las Vegas – and beyond.