17 May 2012 03:36 am

Las Vegas’ celebrated restaurants are gearing up for the annual foodie  extravaganza of the year - the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair.  On Thursday, May 24, many of the city’s illustrious restaurants will unite again poolside at The Palazzo to give guests a taste of the decadent culinary offerings that have elevated the city to a renowned international dining destination.


Sponsored by Nevada Restaurant Association (NvRA) and hosted by The Palazzo Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair is the premier tasting event that delivers a dazzling evening of culinary splendor year after year. Guests will savor samplings of cuisine and cocktails from prestigious restaurants and beverage purveyors in a luxurious poolside setting at The Palazzo.

Participating restaurants include Mario Batali’s Carnevino, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse and Lagasse’s Stadium, FIRST Food & Bar, Gilley’s BBQ, Mint Indian Bistro, Valentino, TAO, LAVO, Zine Noodles Dim Sum, Origin India Restaurant & Bar, Hash House A Go Go, Maggiano’s, McCormick & Schmick’s and more. 

The Pools at The Palazzo Las Vegas

Thursday, May 24 from 7-10 p.m.
VIP admission begins at 6 p.m.

General admission prices are $100 each and VIP tickets are available for $150 per person, granting early admission at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at LasVegasEpicureanAffair.com. To complete the evening, private cabanas are also available for purchase. Proceeds from the event benefit NvRA’s educational and scholarship programs.  Book the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair suite package at palazzo.com or venetian.com or call 702.607.4100

16 May 2012 04:20 am

The Cart’s healthier new alternatives include Burgers, Soups and Desserts


Rouge Tomate, a Michelin starred Modern American restaurant located in midtown Manhattan, reopened its eco-friendly food cart in Central Park for its second season with a complete new menu. The Rouge Tomate Cart in the Park, which was conceived in 2011 as a healthy food

alternative to traditional street cart offerings, reclaims its original location in front of the North East entrance to New York City’s Central Park Zoo on 64th street along 5th Avenue. The cart will remain open to the public throughout the season, weather permitting.

This year, Executive Chef Jeremy Bearman is introducing a delicious burger-themed menu based on the same fundamental nutritional guidelines as the restaurant, with an emphasis on sustainable and local ingredients supporting farmers in the New York area. Some of the new menu items include:

  • The Green Burger, a Teton Waters Ranch Grass Fed Beef with Avocado “Mayo,” Local Tomato, Arugula, Red Onion and Salsa Verde
  • The Rouge Tomate, a Fossil Farms Grass Fed Buffalo Burger, served with Spring Onion Jam, Wild Arugula, Organic Tomato, Horseradish Yogurt, and Pickled Ramp
  • The Meatless Greek, Marinated Portobello Burger, Goodale Farms Feta, Black Olive Tapanade, Organic Tomato, Wild Arugula, Pickled Red Onion and topped off with Cucumber Tzatziki
  • Moroccan Chicken, Amish Country Chicken, North African Spices, Sweet Peppers and Onion, Harissa, Tomate, wild Arugula and Minted Yogurt.

Every burger will be served on Amy’s freshly baked Whole Wheat rolls and will be accompanied by a side of Housemade Pickled Greenmarket Vegetables.

Additional menu items include, local vegetable-based soups, which will change regularly, as well as refreshing seasonal juices from Rouge Tomate’s award-winning juice bar. The juice selection features the Passion Palmer made with freshly squeezed Passion Fruit, Litchi Tea, Black Tea, Lemon and Agave. For desserts, the Cart offers housemade ice cream sandwiches, including the Coconut, made with Coconut Lemongrass Sorbet and Coconut-Blueberry Macaroons; the Grasshopper, with Valrhona Chocolate cookie and Fresh Mint Ice Cream; and the Gingersnap, a Gingersnap Cookie with Tahitian Vanilla Gelato. The Cart menu also offers Lunch Boxes including a Burger, Soup and Drink as well as a “Kids Lunch Pail.”

In addition to its commitment to local and sustainable practices, Rouge Tomate restaurant worked closely with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and the renowned architectural firm Bentel & Bentel to develop the cart. It features solar panels, energy efficient equipment such as a small compressor and electric in the winter for warm soups to offset the use of electricity. The cart only uses city’s electrical network when the panels cannot provide

enough energy to run the cart. As a 100% electric cart, it does not produce any carbon dioxide and uses serving pieces that are fully biodegradable or recycled.

The Rouge Tomate Cart in the Park is located at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue and will operate from 10AM to 6PM Monday through Sunday and will remain open until October, weather permitting. All major credit cards will be accepted. For additional information please call 646.237.9877 or visit www.rougetomatenyc.com or follow the Rouge Tomate Cart in the Park on twitter at @rougetomatecart.

15 May 2012 03:52 am

Mizumi, the premier Japanese restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas, is now open. Helmed by rising star chef, Devin Hashimoto, Mizumi introduces a taste of Japan to the heart of Wynn Las Vegas.  Drawing its inspiration from timeless Japanese design motifs, Mizumi captures the sophistication of modern Japan, creating the perfect complement to Chef Hashimoto’s re-imagined and seasonally focused approach to Japanese cuisine.


Photo Courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas

“The development of Mizumi has truly been one of the most exhilarating culinary experiences of my career to date,” says Hashimoto. “I’m very excited and hope everyone will enjoy my new menu, which features both classic and traditional dishes, along with my spin on contemporary Japanese cuisine, utilizing classical French influences and seasonal ingredients.”   


The menu at Mizumi is a reflection of Hashimoto’s mastery of kaiseki, traditional skills and Japanese cooking techniques, learned through studies and travels to Japan. The menu features classic entrées, sushi and sashimi, robatayaki selections prepared over authentic Japanese charcoal grills and teppanyaki offerings. 

Chef Hashimoto pays homage to his heritage with unique creations including a 72-hour braised American Wagyu shortrib “kakuni,” with creamy satsuma potatoes, fava bean and shitake ragout and red wine miso sauce, as well as seafood Inaniwa pasta with scallops, king crab, octopus, roasted tomatoes, shiso, lime and uni butter sauce. Other Japanese favorites, such as dobin-mushi soup, with sea bass, shrimp, shimeji mushrooms, yuzu, mitsuba and bonito-kombu dashi, and Okonomiyaki, a traditional Japanese pancake made with shrimp, scallops, cabbage, tonkatsu sauce, creamy mustard, aonori and katsuo, round out the bill of fare.

Mizumi features contemporary interiors designed by Roger Thomas, executive vice president of Wynn Design and Development, setting the perfect stage to showcase Chef Hashimoto’s cuisine. Throughout Mizumi, traditional Noh theater masks, embroidered obi sashes, hand-painted fans and other iconic Japanese design themes pay homage to tradition, while the bold color motif of crimson with gilded accents strike a distinctly modern tone. “Mizumi,” a popular female name in Japan, speaks to the feminine design elements found throughout the newly renovated space.

The floor-to-ceiling windows in the main dining room have been expanded to fuse the elegance of indoor dining with the beauty of coursing waterfalls and tranquil Japanese gardens. Whether seated in Mizumi’s main dining room or the theatrical teppanyaki room, the space offers unimpeded views of a captivating Japanese eco-garden.

The elaborate garden and pond, filled with live koi fish, was meticulously designed with vegetation and rockery characteristic of Japan. Central to this scene is exclusive seating that has truly earned the right to be called the best seat in the house at Wynn Las Vegas-the “Floating Pagoda Table,” situated over the pond in full view of the sparkling waterfall.

Mizumi at Wynn Las Vegas is open for dinner nightly from 5:30 p.m. For reservations, please call (702) 770-DINE. For more information, please visit www.wynnlasvegas.com.

14 May 2012 04:21 am

Author Jeni Britton Bauer Wins Media Award in the Cookbooks: Baking and Desserts Category


“Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home” (Artisan, 2011) has received a James Beard Foundation media award in the “Cookbooks: Baking and Dessert” category. Established in 1990, The James Beard Media Awards are the country’s most coveted honor for journalists, broadcast media and authors writing about food and the culinary arts. The cookbook is written by founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Jeni Britton Bauer. This is her and the company’s first James Beard Award.

“I like to say we make slow ice cream, and we wrote this book slowly, too” said Britton Bauer during her acceptance speech. “It takes time to source the best ingredients and develop new flavors, so we wanted to take it slow and make sure this book featured only the best techniques and recipes we could create.” This philosophy is the centerpiece of her Columbus, Ohio-based company, which uses grass-fed, local milk and cream, Ohio produce and handcrafted spirits, essential oils and single-origin chocolate and takes months to develop ice creams that truly resonate with American and world cultures.

With “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home,” a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Britton Bauer sought to redefine the process of at-home ice cream making. Her book instructs home cooks to produce creamy, scoop-shop quality ice cream with over 100 recipes, paired with stories about the company’s fruitful relationships with the farmers whose ingredients help make her ice cream so popular.

The 2012 winners were announced at the Media & Book Awards dinner on Friday, May 4, in New York City at Gotham Hall.  The awards were hosted by two James Beard Award Winners: Food Network Iron Chef and co-host of ABC’s The Chew, Michael Symon and CBS news correspondent Martha Teichner.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams was also voted “Best Ice Cream” by “The Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards,” which were announced on General Mills’ Tablespoon.com the morning of Friday, May 4. “Bizarre Foods” host Andrew Zimmern was part of the panel of experts that nominated Jeni to be among the contenders, who were then voted on by thousands of people for the top spots across twenty categories.

11 May 2012 04:15 am

Chef Marc Forgione is serving a meatball dish for one day only, that’s a nod to his mother this Sunday at his Tribeca eatery in honor of Mother’s Day. The dish, “Mom’s Meatballs,” is made with veal, ricotta and stone ground polenta.



Most people don’t know that his mother met his father, Larry, at culinary school and is also a trained chef. So that’s Marc, Larry, both of his brothers Sean and Bryan as well as his mother who are chefs. When can we come over for dinner?


Marc claims that these meatballs are the best in his family and he’s looking forward to featuring one of her dishes on his menu for the first time ever.


The dish will be priced at $14 for the appetizer portion and $22 as entree size.  Sounds like a plan!

10 May 2012 03:56 am


Taste your way through American history this National Burger Month at NOBHILL TAVERN at MGM Grand. Every week throughout May, NOBHILL will present a specially crafted burger inspired by early American train lines and the regions through which they traveled. Juicy eight ounce Kobe beef burger patties sandwiched between brioche buns, baked daily in-house and topped with the finest ingredients are sure to evoke warm nostalgic images of the culinary diversity of America’s past and present. The cozy atmosphere of NOBHILL, known for creating cuisine reminiscent of classic American tavern fare, combined with Executive Chef Michael Mina’s cutting-edge vision, provides an inviting ambiance to enjoy these delicious symbols of Americana.


Week 1: May 1-5
The Silver Service - Traveling from New York City to Miami on the Silver Service train line means a journey through the Southern U.S., known for its deep fried dishes and homemade treats. This burger, celebrating the route and the region’s cuisine, is topped with a generous serving of cheddar cheese, crispy onion rings and Chow Chow, a Southern staple made of a variety of pickled vegetables, for an authentic down-home Southern delight.


Week 2: May 8-12
The Capital Limited - Transporting visitors to our nation’s capital is an important job and a burger created in honor of the Capital Limited must truly epitomize American cuisine. With a mixture of two of America’s most beloved condiments, mustard and mayonnaise, plus grilled Romaine lettuce and pickled red onions, this feast on a bun is a great representation of the passion for food felt in Washington, D.C. 

Week 3: May 15-19
The Lake Shore Limited - Passengers on the Lake Shore Limited train line could visit three of the country’s best foodie cities; Chicago, New York and Boston. The burger by the same name captures the essence of all of these cities with strips of bacon, a fried egg and beer cheese sauce. The best part is, guests only need to make one stop.

Week 4: May 22-27
The California Zephyr - Coastal San Francisco is synonymous with fresh seafood and NOBHILL’s take on a California burger does not disappoint. The California Zephyr combines salmon tartare, fresh California avocado puree and fried shallots for a burger that travelers arriving from the Midwest would surely crave.

Week 5: May 28-31
The Sunset Limited - When heading from Louisiana to California, passengers travel through the Southwestern United States, home to some of the country’s best cattle ranches and Mexican-influenced cuisine. It’s fitting that the Southwest’s signature burger consists of a double helping of beef. In addition to the eight ounce. Kobe beef  patty, it’s topped with beef short rib chili, New Mexican green chile and Cotija cheese.

Throughout May
Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday

$20 each includes a generous helping of delectable fries

NOBHILL TAVERN by Michael Mina
MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Blvd S

09 May 2012 04:25 am

By Elaine and Scott Harris/Photo Credit: Elaine and Scott Harris
Vino Las Vegas


Pebble Beach is one of the diamonds in the world’s luxury lifestyle collection of crown jewels. Names like Spyglass and the Links at Pebble Beach are used congruently with names like Palmer and Nicklaus all legends with an intertwined relationship that will last well past their physical attendance on those noble greens.

This picturesque luxury community located between Monterey and Carmel also includes one of the best hotel spas in the world, The Spa at Pebble Beach and Twelve unforgettable restaurants and lounges that provide unique culinary delights.

Over the last 5 years, Pebble Beach has added one more luxurious event to its repertoire. Pebble Beach Food & Wine.  Founded in 2008 by Co-Founders  Robert Weakley and David Allen Bernahal II with 25 renowned Chefs and 75 word-class wineries has now  grown to over 75 Chefs, 250 wineries and over 50 events located all over  this  historical resort region. If there is only one event each year you should attend, hands down, without a doubt this is where you want to be in early April. Just when you thought it could not possibly get any better, the 5th Annual Pebble Beach Food Wine 2012 raised the bar even higher than the previous year.


The four day culinary extravaganza actually started off with a founders’ dinner at a private residence and then a celebrity Chef and Winemaker Golf tournament at the Links at Pebble Beach.  The official opening was the Lexus Opening night reception at the Inn at Spanish Bay.  Many celebrated into the early morning hours but had to keep in mind the extraordinary lineup for the first full day of this 5th Annual love fest of Food and Wine.

Walking into the Spanish Bay Inn, enjoying a spicy bloody Mary overlooking the magnificent view from their immaculate lobby was the perfect way to start the day.  For foodies , it was like  a dream come true with many of their favorite Food Network stars like Guy Fieri , Anne Burrell  and Michael Symon all just “hanging  out” and getting their day started in the lobby. Celebrity Chefs Geoffrey Zakarian and Laura Werlin all joined in mingling with the guests. After the early morning interlude it was time to get the first big day started.

Oenophiles could join Pinot Noir renown winemaker Gary Pisoni and friends for a nice selection of wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands or a Master class from Philppe Melka, or even travel to France for a “Lieu-dit” with Domaine de La Vougeraie. For those wanted to stay closer to home, an excellent exploration of Napa’s Cult Cabs would be just the way to start the day.

After a morning like that it was time for lunch and there were a wide variety to choose from. Who could pass up the Lexus Chefs Table Michelin Star lunch with 3 star Michelin Chefs Daniel Boulud and Chef Christopher Kostow ?  If Asian Fusion was more to your liking Chef Roy Yamaguchi was on hand to “show you the way.”  From a Belgium Beer Luncheon, to a grouping LA All-Star-Chefs and Wine Farm and Sea from nearby Monterey, there was something for every palate.

Chef Michael Chiarello offered a great way to spend the late afternoon with his bold Italian cooking demonstration and Chef Jacques Pepin and daughter Claudine demonstrated the Essential Pepin cooking style and had the audience in stitches with their family humor in the kitchen.


The sun was starting to close on the horizon but the afternoon was not quite over.  Mixologist Mariena Mercer from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas has just the right cocktail to get you in the happy hour mood.  Kent Torrey from the renown Carmel Cheese shop partnered up with some rare wines such as Latour and Valandraud & Mondotte  from the 1999 Vintage in large formats  . Now THAT is a VERY happy hour! The Icon of Italy, Gaja, is just what anyone could need prior to changing into your very best for dinner with wines direct from the vineyard itself.

Dinner at Pebble Beach Food & Wine is a lifetime experience.  As the stars in the sky came out so did those huge stars in the kitchen.  The iron Chef Dinner transported all of us into “Kitchen Stadium” with culinary masters, Chefs Michael Symon,  Masaharu Morimoto and Geoffery Zakarin for Picassos on the plate and a life time of memories.  Of course the Tribute Dinner for Iconic Chef Thomas Keller brought out a who’s who of former Chefs and Sommeliers who have worked under him to pay tribute in Food and Wine to one of America’s best.   Oenophiles  would have enjoyed any of the previous choices but a Legacy Dinner to mark the one year anniversary of Jess Jackson’s  passing with Chefs Michael Chiarello, Richard Reddington, Justin Wangler and Elizabeth Faulkner  all from the region,  paired his legendary wines with their remarkable dishes was an event  not to be missed.

The first full day was over and there was still a spirited after party to attend for those who were still going after round one of some of the best food and wine in the world. As guests drifted off to sleep in the early morning hours once again, they did not have suger plums dancing in their heads but visions of the great dishes and wines to come the next day as well as the first day of the Lexus Grand Tasting.

The gentle sounds of waves, seagulls flying overhead and the distant sound of sea lions marked the second full day and the biggest day thus far.  There was no better way to get the day off with excitement than with Celebrity Chef Anne Burrell and Cook Like a Rock Star.  She was the perfect way to get the juices flowing and showed how any novice cook  can cook like a rock star at home and impress their family and friends .   For wine lovers, the Sommelier Dream team of Shayn Bjornholm MS, Greg Harrington MS, Andrea Robinson MS took a room full of novices and experts through a Blind Tasting of White Wines.  Presently pleased, it was now off to the culinary and wine Mecca of The Lexus Grand Tasting where opulence and indulgence is the key. The best of the best from Wine, Champagne, Food Network Stars and Celebrity Chefs were there to greet the guests a serve up some mouth watering dishes and other libations.


The Lexus Grand tasting was just that, GRAND! Feeling fully energized it was time to head for a visit with Mr. Energy of The Food Net Work, Chef Guy Fieri. Spanish Bay Inn was wild with excitement and this high-energy Chef took to the Jen-Air stage for his Cookin’it, Livin’it, Lovin’it demo.  This was yet another one of a kind chance that Pebble Beach Food & Wine offers its guests  to see how it’s done up close and personal with a Food Network Star.

There are so many great events that all one really has to do is throw a dart and no matter where it lands it’s going to be exceptional.  A “bulls eye” event had to be Celebrating 30 Years of Extraordinary: 1982 First Growth Bordeaux.  This event was so special we have to name them all as there are so few and so rare. Mouton-Rothchild, Margaux, Lafite, Latour and, of course, Haut Brion.  There is no other wine event at this year’s Pebble Beach Food & Wine that exemplifies what this event is all about. The 5th year of this incredible event celebrates 30 years of the finest vintages of the finest wines in the world.  This is one tasting that many never have the opportunity ever indulge in with a lifetime of appreciating wines.

An event like Pebble Beach Food & Wine started with class and ended with sophistication at its best.  This “tete de cuvee” shows off the best of the best in one Grand Finale featuring Dom Perignon Champagne. All of the stars this weekend had their individual stage to shine. At this event they all came together, the best of the best at the Beach and Tennis Club for a night of stars and bubbles.

Even though the Finale was over with memories of bubbles and stars, one more star showed once again how to shine. Chef Tyler Florence started off Sunday Morning and the last day of the event with an Ultimate Dining Experience to send guests home with fond memories and yet another Food Network Star to shine in their memory.  Champagne is used for hellos and goodbyes all over the world. The final farewell came with a Homage a La Grand Dame, a celebration of Veuve Clicquot. This world class champagne was proper send off and a bon voyage until next April  4-7 2013 where many plan to return again to the home of legends , Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013.

08 May 2012 03:34 am

L’Art du ChocolatierTM Challenge 2012
Cacao Barry® announces Simon Bregardis as Chocolatier of the Year


  • Assistant Pastry Chef from Bellagio Hotel & Resort Las Vegas bested six finalists from leading U.S. establishments, in two-day competition, May 5-6, to win first place, Best Showpiece and Best Workmanship awards
  • Chef Florent Cheveau earned 2nd place, Chef Russ Thayer earned 3rd place in competition
  • More than $30,000 in cash and prizes were awarded


Cacao Barry®, the French premium chocolate brand, is proud to announce that Simon Bregardis has been named Chocolatier of the Year in its annual L’Art du ChocolatierTM Challenge, an all-chocolate, U.S. competition that encourages creativity and expertise in designing and executing original creations. Bregardis is an Assistant Pastry Chef at Bellagio Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas.

“Cacao Barry created this unique competition to give pastry chefs and chocolatiers a stage to showcase their creativity and skill through the medium of chocolate,” said Alexandra Urbe, Cacao Barry® Brand Manager, Americas. “We are pleased to congratulate Chef Bregardis on earning Chocolatier of the Year.”

“I am honored to be recognized for my work and want to thank Cacao Barry for its dedication to innovation and providing chefs from around the country a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate their talent,” said Bregardis.

In a first for the competition, Bregardis not only earned the coveted title, but also won two additional awards in the competition: Best Showpiece and Best Workmanship.

“Chef Bregardis undoubtedly set a new standard for our competition,” added Urbe. “His showpiece was an impressive work of art that clearly showed his incredible talent, focus and mastery of techniques. Additionally his work was extremely consistent, precise and flawless.”

During the two-day competition on May 5 and 6, seven pastry chefs competed at the state-of-the-art Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago for the coveted title and chance to win $15,000 worth of prizes from Cacao Barry® and another $15,000 worth of certificates and prizes, which were generously donated by sponsors: Boiron, Demarle, Pregel, Bakon USA, Savy-Goisseau, Waring, Technobake, Tomric and Solia.

Other awards that were presented included:

  • Second place to Florent Cheveau, Pastry Chef, Jean-Philippe Pâtisserie, Las Vegas
  • Third place to Russ Thayer, Assistant Pastry Chef, PreGel America, North Carolina
  • Best Tasting to Florent Cheveau, Pastry Chef, Jean-Philippe Pâtisserie, Las Vegas


In addition to the title, Bregardis won a $4,000 cash prize, a course at the Chocolate Academy, round trip airfare to Chicago plus accommodations, a shared feature in a leading food industry publication, a signed copy of Ramon Morató’s book “Chocolate” plus $4,000 worth of gifts and certificates donated by sponsors. 

Cheveau earned $6,000 worth of prizes as the second place winner as well as the Best Tasting award for his near-perfect score in taste, an uncommon accomplishment. As third place winner, Thayer earned $5,000 in prizes.

On the first day of competition, each finalist submitted two finished gâteaux de voyage and two containers of spreadable paste. Participants also had six hours to prepare their original chocolate pastry, chocolate tablets and tabletop showpiece using Cacao Barry®.

Highlights of the final day included renowned AlambiQ mixologist Freddy Diaz preparing Boiron purée-based cocktails and La Guilde Culinaire celebrity chef Jonathan Garnier preparing artisanal hors d’oeuvres using Mycryo®, Cacao Barry’s unique powder form cocoa butter.

The panel of globally renowned pastry chefs who evaluated the chocolate creations included:

  • Ramon Morató, Cacao Barry® Technical Advisor & Director, Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy, Spain
  • Christophe Morel, Master Chocolatier & Pastry Chef, Christophe Morel Chocolatier and Cacao Barry® Ambassador, Canada
  • Dimitri Fayard, Pastry Chef Instructor, The French Pastry School, Chicago
  • Jonathan Garnier, Chef & Co-Owner, La Guilde Culinaire and Mycryo® Ambassador, Canada
  • Sarah Kosikowski, Executive Pastry Chef, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago
  • Patrick Fahy, Executive Pastry Chef, The Sofitel, Chicago and Cacao Barry® Ambassador
  • Jerome Landrieu, Cacao Barry® Technical Advisor & Director of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy, Chicago

With a rich French heritage dating back to 1842, Cacao Barry® is associated with innovation and passion among the finest pastry chefs in the world. Since founder Charles Barry travelled to Africa in search of the finest cocoa beans to create his first connoisseur’s chocolate 170 years ago, the brand’s vision always has been that the chocolate-maker’s craft is an art form.

07 May 2012 03:55 am

This August, Forbes and Michelin-decorated Chef Masa Takayama will introduce the first teppan concept to his extraordinary culinary repertoire. Tetsu, located at ARIA Resort & Casino, will be an intimate and interactive dining experience, offering guests the first taste of Chef Masa’s passion for fine Japanese grilling.


Located inside Masa’s famed Japanese restaurant, barMASA, Tetsu will replace Shaboo, which closes April 28. The exclusive venue will feature four blackjack-style tables and two communal teppan grill tables seating 20 and 19, respectively. Highly skilled teppanyaki chefs will oversee the evening’s culinary entertainment - prepping, cooking and plating orders specific to each guest’s request. A produce table will serve as the room’s centerpiece, displaying the finest quality meats, seafood and vegetables, and will allow guests the opportunity to hand select the proteins of their entrée, specifying the exact cut, portion size and preparation style they desire.

 “ARIA is a leader in the evolution of the Las Vegas culinary scene, now a recognized contender as one of the world’s top epicurean destinations,” said CityCenter President and COO Bill McBeath. “With Tetsu, we continue to set the pace by offering guests a brand new, exclusive concept from Masa Takayama, arguably the world’s most celebrated Japanese chef.”

Tetsu Executive Chef/Creator Masa Takayama said, “With a passion for the finest-sourced ingredients, I have always been intrigued by the sizzling vegetables, meat and seafood prepared on a teppan grill. The act of choosing your ingredients and interacting with the chef as he prepares them elevates the conventional dinner - creating memories - which is how food is meant to be experienced.”

The teppan grill menu allows guests to try a variety of offerings at smaller portions and reasonable prices such as the Toro Tartare with Caviar, Wagyu Beef Steak Tartare and Pacific Lobster Sashimi Ceviche in addition to Tataki selections. Tataki, meaning to “pound,” is a traditional manner of preparing fish and meat so they better absorb other flavors, therefore enhancing the protein in the dish. The cuts are briefly seared over a hot pan, marinated in vinegar, sliced thin and seasoned with ginger. Tetsu’s tataki offerings will differentiate the restaurant with the finest culinary creations, such as the Wagyu Ribeye, and Filet Mignon-Soy Vinaigrette.

Main course offerings include prime cuts of beef such as Center Cut Lamb Chop and Filet Mignon. Seafood and steak also will delight guests with the incredibly fresh ingredients for which Masa is renowned, such as Butterflied Scottish Langoustine, Mediterranean Turbot and decadent Fatty Tuna. Side accompaniments including Kobe Garlic Fried Rice, Yakisoba Noodles and Seafood Udon will complement the main course. Completing the meal are unexpected and refreshing desserts such as Masa’s famous Truffle Ice Cream, Grapefruit Granite and Yuzu Sorbet.

Tetsu’s hours of operation will be Wednesday through Sunday 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. Guests enter Tetsu through barMASA, located adjacent to the stunning ARIA lobby. For more information or to make reservations, call 702.590.7111 or visit www.arialasvegas.com

04 May 2012 03:56 am

Check out these Cinco de Mayo specials offered this weekend only at Lure Fishbar & David Burke at Bloomingdales.


Lure Fishbar
142 Mercer Street (at Prince)
212.431.7676 / www.lurefishbar.com

Lure Fishbar is spicing things up for Cinco de Mayo offering a variety of specials honoring the flavors of Mexico. Dishes include mahi mahi fish tacos with pineapple, cucumber & spicy mayo, chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce, queso fresco & lettuce and spicy flan with cinnamon churros. Available Saturday, May 5th & Sunday, May 6th. 

David Burke at Bloomingdale’s
1000 Third Avenue (Entrance on 59th Street)
212.705.3800 / www.burkeinthebox.com 

David Burke at Bloomingdale’s will offer $2 frozen margaritas with a purchase of any entree. The margaritas, normally $12, will be made with 12NtM Rouge, chef David Burke’s own sparkling, non-alcoholic beverage flavored with a special combination of red fruits and teas.

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