updated 4/26/2005 3:16:26 PM ET 2005-04-26T19:16:26

The $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas megaresort has filled a key gastronomic hole after losing one its star chefs weeks before the property's April 28 opening.

David Walzog will replace Jimmy Sneed, who left the hotel-casino after a difference of opinion involving the culinary direction of his restaurant, said Elizabeth Blau, Wynn's executive vice president of restaurant marketing and development.

Blau said Walzog, 37, will operate a contemporary steakhouse but the restaurant's new name hasn't been determined.

"It was an exciting offer and an exciting project," Walzog said Tuesday. "For the most part, it was an offer I couldn't refuse."

Sneed was to run the Country Club overlooking the golf course at Wynn Las Vegas. He's probably most famous for The Frog and the Redneck, his former bistro in Richmond, Va.

In New York City, Walzog was executive chef for five Glazier Group restaurants, including Michael Jordan's Steak House NYC, The Steakhouse at Monkey Bar and three Strip House locations.

Walzog has been nominated for three prestigious James Beard Foundation awards and will publish "The New American Steakhouse Cookbook" later this month.

Ten of the 19 restaurants and bars at Wynn Las Vegas will be chef-driven concepts. All of the chefs, except Daniel Boulud of New York City, will live in Las Vegas.

"It's a monumental project," Walzog said. "The team he has put together is nothing less than impressive."

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