31 Aug 2012 03:24 am

By Elaine and Scott Harris/Photo Credit: Elaine and Scott Harris

Cuisineist.com
Vino Las Vegas

There are many Food and Wine events held worldwide practically year around that feature renowned Chefs, mouthwatering cuisine, and of course, unimaginable wines. There is one event and one man that stands above the rest and its longevity is proof of a classic event.  The Central Coast Wine classic founded by, and watched over by, Archie McLaren, a true modern day renaissance man, is in its 28Th year.  Calling the Central Coast Wine Classic a “Food and Wine “event is really not the proper context; it is an event that is about the lifestyle of Food, Wine, Art, Music and Travel.  This one very special event helps generate thousands of dollars for well deserving beneficiaries representing the healing, Studio and Performing Arts.

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This classic event is held in the picturesque California Beach town of Avila Beach and celebrates the lifestyle of California’s Central Coast. You really can’t talk about the event with out speaking about Archie McLaren.  On a personal note, we have met many amazing people in our journalistic endeavors, but we have never met anyone like Archie. When the Universe came together and created Archie McLaren, the mold was broken, never to have another with such compassion and dedication towards the betterment of community wellness and awareness. When you are around Archie you feel his positive energy flow in every direction, like a sun shining on its solar system.

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Archie McLaren is a writer, painter, photographer, musician, radio host, Handball Champion and holds a Juris Doctor of Law and has done post graduate work in Humanities, Literature and International Marketing.  His foundation has revenues of over $ 1,000,000 and the Central Coast Wine Classic has been named one of America’s most successful wine auctions.  He and his life partner Clarissa Chappellet, are a team that uses their immense talents and passion for the Arts, Wine and adventure to help others share their passion with synergy and positive energy.  When you are around them; you can’t help but feel their kindness and compassion for others.

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The Central Coast Wine Classic is held in July of each year and brings thousands to experience the Central Coast Lifestyle. Thursday is the kick off day for the event. Many guests chose to start off the weekend with a Barrel Tasting that featured Yet-to-be-Released wine from a large group of outstanding wineries from all over California.

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The Crowned Jewel event of the Weekend is the Invite only Gala Dinner at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. This one event is difficult to describe to someone who has never had the privilege to dine in this most glorious venue. We mingled and got to know many of the guests on our hour long luxury coach ride from Avila Beach to San Simeon. We waited with much anticipation as we drove up the beautiful California Highway 1 over looking the Pacific Ocean.

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Arriving at Hearst Castle just before sunset, guests were graciously handed a sparkling glass of the Roederer Estate L’Ermitage as the  Reception and Hors D’ oeuvres commenced around the Castle’s magnificent Neptune Pool .  For the guests who choose a brief tour of the Hearst Castle, Walking through one could feel as if Mr. Hearst himself would be descending from his office to greet his guests. Grand and awe-inspiring are the words that come to mind, noting that most of the construction took place in the 20’s and 30’s where only mule teams hauled the precious treasures up the steep mountain. Spectacular is definitely the right word to describe the magnitude and the magnificence of this remote Mansion. As the Sunset over the ocean, we were treated with breath taking views that only a few have been able to gaze upon.  This Gala dinner is the only event of its kind allowed at this historical venue, and the sunset seen from our vantage point long after tourists have left the property, was a momentous occasion that splashed the area with brilliant gold, orange, blue and pink.

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The Guests were seated at communal tables and a low buzz of delightful conversation rose to the highest windows of the Castle that was now bathed in a golden bath of color from the setting sun. Chef Michael Hutchings prepared the first course and it was on the way to our tables with Tuxedo adored Sommeliers in close proximity. Chef Hutching’s Sautéed Santa Barbara Abalone with Butter emulsion sauce, enoki daki mushrooms and dill were a delightful gift from land and sea for our taste buds. This dish paired nicely with 2000 Au Bon Climat XX Anniversary Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay en Magnum and 2010 Au Bon Climat XXX Anniversary Le Bon Climat & Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay.

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The first course was a true food/wine pairing experience and we waited with great anticipation for the second course prepared by Chef Kurt Grasling. His culinary creation of Seared Monterey Bay Salmon, Miyashita heirloom tomatoes, fennel and red wine could not be more fitting while dining high above the Pacific Ocean. 2007 Hitching Post / Hartley-Ostini Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir and 2008 Wedell Cellars Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir added the proper balance to enliven this course.

Chef James Sly pleased us with his Southern Hospitality Fried Chicken, Wilted iceberg and cress, chilled Beylik Farms ratatouille. His dish paired nicely with 2009 Hearst Ranch Winery Paso Robles Chileano Tempanillo and the lovely 2009 Viader Dare Napa Valley Tempanillo.

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The ever pleasant Chef Ian McPhee got everyone’s palates jumping for joy.  His succulent Oak Grilled Pork Belly , honey ale glaze, Roasted sweet potato salad with Red Pepper vinaigrette & fennel red cabbage slaw was accented by 2009 Qupe Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard Edna Valley Granache en Magnum and big 2009 Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Estate.

It was now Chef Frank Ostini’s turn to impress the VIP guests under the stars at the Hearst Castle. Ostini’s Fire Roasted Filet Mignon with cherry peppercorn sauce, grilled market vegetable sandwich and creamy polenta.  This mouthwatering dish paired up well will 2008 Babcock Vineyards Santa Ynez Fathom and big boisterous 2007 Still Waters Winery Clone 3 Paso Robles Cuvee’.

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After six courses of delicious, classic dishes, Chef Laurent Grangien provided a Chilled White Peach and Strawberries Basil emulsion and basil Chantilly to punctuate this very special event.  These six Chefs combined together their culinary artistry to provide the guests at Hearst Castle a night to remember.

The first full day of the Central Coast Wine Classic offered attendees over 12 hours of Educational Symposiums leading into the evening with a choice of two dinners to show off the bounty of the Central Coast of California.

Pinot Noir at 9:30am? Sure why not, when it’s the Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir Symposium. Legendary pioneer winemaker and vineyard owner Jim Clendenen headed up a panel that included other local legends as well.  The “founders” of this area included Brian Babcock, Chuck Carlson and Frank Ostini were joined by the “next generation”of winemakers, Benjamin Silver, Storm Wines, Ojai Vineyards. Having such illustrious winemakers proved for a lively conversation featuring classic Pinot Noirs from the area to a sell out crowd. This event is exactly what the Central Coast Wine Classic is all about. It provided attendees a chance to meet the winemakers that literally were the first to bring Pinot Noir to the forefront of this very special region and provided guests the opportunity to ask questions, meet the new generation of Winemakers extraordinaire, and sample seven Pinot Noirs that showcased the winemaker’s artistry like paint to canvas.

The Wine Classic’s vision is to create a venue of education, enlightenment, and enjoyment with various seminars on the fine art of winemaking and wines. This day also included a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Symposium that again featured small boutique Cabernets that show off the best of what the Napa Valley has to offer. Alpha Omega Winery , Brand, Diamond Creek , Herb Lamb , Melka ,Padis , Peter Paul ,Pride ,Rudd and Viader came together to talk about their wines and provide guests a thorough education as they sampled 10 Cabernet Sauvignons from these classic producers.

The activites was not over by any means as day faded into the evening and the sun disappeared on the horizon as the Avila Beach pier lights sparkled above the white sand. Guests could attend a very nice Justin Vineyards & Winery Winemaker Dinner at the lovely Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa in nearby Shell Beach or attend The VIP Outdoor Winery Dinner Dance at the Avila Beach Golf Resort.  Each venue proved to be an excellent way to end the day as well. Very special wines, food and entertainment from San Luis Opispo County, Santa Barbara County and Napa all came together under the stars at the VIP Dinner Dance, as guests danced the night away and mingled from table to table. Everyone enjoyed the supberb cuisine prepared by Chef Megan Loring and the sultry tones of the Red Skunk Jipzee Swing Band.

The Central Coast Wine Classic offers so much to its guests. Many times some of the events bring together wines, Chefs and others that make history just by their presence. Saturday brings the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Silent and Live Auction which is the focus of the weekend. However, prior to the auction, many guests had the opportunity to be a part of history.  Arnaud Weyrich , Vice-President of Production Roederer Estate in Anderson Valley presented a Methode Champenoise Symposium .  This was an once-in-a-lifetime Vertical tasting of Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Vintages in Magnums. This historical event started with L’Ermitage Vintage 1994 then moved on to the 1996 Vintage , 1997 Vintage and  the 1999 Vintage all of which are no longer available. The 2000 Vintage and the 2002 Vintage finished off this historical event. Guests left very satisfied knowing that we were now apart of history.

The Auction raises Tens of Thousands of Dollars for the Beneficiaries representing the healing, studio and performing arts. Guest roamed the isles of the silent auction looking for that special wine, Art, or vacation to bid on for these very worthy recipients and then took their seats at their tables as the live auction began.

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Guests opened their Auction Catalogs and turned through over 200 pages of incredible items.  How about a Safari to India or attending Emeril Lagasee’s New Orleans Carnival du Vin as his VIP guest?  With a winning bid you could have Dinner in Washington DC as guests of esteemed Chef Michel Richard or take a fabulous cruise on the Mediterranean or Antarctica. What ever one could possibly imagine or what may be on one’s bucket list could possibly be found amongst these 200 pages of world class events, dinners, wine and art. The Auction lasts throughout the afternoon as guests bid on 77 LOTS that get the auction attendees into a lively competitive bidding “war”.  Each auction participant could imbibe in wines from all over the area while enjoying the very special lunch prepared by rising star Chef Rick Manson and his culinary team.  The proceeds of this spirited event go to sustain the healing, studio or performing arts of the many non-profits in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Many participants were extremely generous in their bidding and thousands of dollars were raised for these worthy organizations.

The Central Coast Wine Classic did not end with the renowned Auction. Sunday also offered guests two more events to enjoy before they traveled home. For those interested in Red Rhone Varietals, The Paso Robles Red Rhone Symposium was the place to be and featured many of the areas best producers.  As the morning faded, the afternoon brought the Reserve Wine Tasting featuring over 50 wineries, classic central coast cuisine and music from Soul Sauce to close out the 28th Central Coast Wine Classic.

For 28 years Archie McLaren and his foundation have helped countless organizations.   The foundation has conferred over $1,883,000 to 91 non-profits just over the last eight years alone. We have said it for years, if there is one event you can attend The Central Coast Wine Classic is the event to attend that encompasses knowledge, enjoyment, and entertainment all the while generating proceeds for many well deserving non-profits. While attending next year, look for the Renaissance man in the beret, you will never meet anyone like him or the many like-minded organizers, including the team of incredible volunteers, which work tirelessly in producing this world class event.  We look forward to The Central Coast Wine Classic as it enters into its 29th year.


30 Aug 2012 03:32 am

Las Vegas’ premier gourmet burger restaurant unveils The Exposed Prince

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After delighting in the international majesty that is the Olympic Games, Las Vegas and i♥burgers were proud to welcome His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales (Prince Harry to his friends) for a weekend of debauchery.

In his honor, and in memory of a Las Vegas vacation that will not soon be forgotten, i♥burgers today unveiled a brand new gourmet burger:  The Exposed Prince.  The Exposed Prince features a ground Kobe patty, aged Boxing Cheddar, garlic and onion chutney, a fried egg and HP sauce served open-faced on a pretzel bun.  The Exposed Prince serves as a delicious British Invasion to i♥burgers’ re-engineered American classic flavors.

David Cameron, the right honourable gentleman from Chicago, stated “I love burgers, and I love the Royal Family.  I’m so glad that there is finally a location in the Colonies that lets me celebrate both while stuffing my face with scandalous beef goodness.”

To celebrate the unveiling of The Exposed Prince, i♥burgers is offering 20% off your bill at The Shoppes at The Palazzo when you flash us with your passport from the United Kingdom (we do appreciate the enthusiasm, but please limit your flashing to forms of ID). However, the royal family will always eat for free.  Enjoy your burger with any of our more than 50 types of bottled and draft beers or a selection from our full service bar.  Remember, if you are going to party naked with friends with camera phones, don’t. Viva Las Vegas.


29 Aug 2012 03:22 am

This is the first time N9NE has ever offered a lower price point option and it’s a new concept for NOVE as well. The menus feature:

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NOVE Italiano is known for its redefined Italian dining with superb homemade cuisine and you now can try all the favorites in one prix-fixe menu. From 5-7 p.m. each night, Executive Chef Geno Bernardo prepares his classic Italian fare with contemporary accents in the new menu featuring the popular Gulf Shrimp Franchaise, Nana’s Meatballs, Rigatoni Bolognese and much more. The $55 per person prix-fixe menu also includes bottomless glass wine pairings.

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One of Las Vegas’ most popular rendezvous, N9NE Steakhouse, is known as a premier steakhouse and celebrity hot spot. The sizzling atmosphere and diverse menu by Chef Barry Dakake, can now be enjoyed in one prix-fixe menu. At $65 per person, the menu offers popular favorites including Garbage Salad, Naturally Raised Prime Ribeye Steak, Atlantic Salmon and much more. Guests can indulge in the new prix-fixe menu with bottomless glass wine pairings from 5-7 p.m. each night.


28 Aug 2012 04:03 am

The next time you stop in to Dig Inn Union Square at 17 E 17th St, you can step up to the bar and order a glass of locally brewed Kombucha — the fermented tea that has been slowly rising to superfood status.
Partnering with Eric Childs and the team at Kombucha Brooklyn, Dig Inn’s Union Square location will be launching NYC’s first ever ‘Buch Bar, serving the local brew on tap in four flavors alongside its menu of cold-pressed raw juices, shakes and smoothies.

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Why the ‘Buch from Brooklyn ?

Dig Inn Founder Adam Eskin raves about the tea’s “strangely addictive properties, not to mention the reputed health benefits on digestion, liver function, cancer fighting properties and immune strengthening qualities”.

Dig Inn’s Chef Daniel Angerer notes that “it was the first I had tried that actually tasted good. Somehow the folks at KBBK were able to develop a kombucha that is really smooth with great flavor - unlike some of the other brands we have tried.”

The ‘Buch Bar at Dig Inn officially launched on Monday, August 27th, initially with four flavors: Straight Up, Jasmine Green (the Dig Inn favorite), Cherry and the Seasonal Flavor Watermellow Twist which will rotate seasonally.

Two sizes will be available - a 32oz growler for $8.04 (+ a $1.83 growler deposit) and a 16oz for $4.82. Growlers Slings will also be available for $10 for those that want to tote around their Growler with ease.

Dig Inn Union Square is located at 17 East 17th St b/w 5th and 6th Avenue just off of Union Square.


24 Aug 2012 02:36 am

French Blue, the beautiful new neighborhood restaurant in St. Helena, Napa Valley, is now open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm. Chef Philip Wang’s wood-fired Napa cooking is sourced from the best local ingredients, with a retail market offering house-made specialty products. The restaurant is from renowned architect Howard Backen, his wife interior designer Lori Backen, and vintner Leslie Rudd (who also owns PRESS restaurant, Oakville Grocery).

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Photo Credit: Eric Wolfinger


23 Aug 2012 03:39 am

Las Vegas’ finest restaurants will offer value-priced prix fixe meals for a great cause August 27 through September 2

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Celebrating its sixth year, Las Vegas Restaurant Week returns to provide tourists and locals the opportunity to affordably dine at some of Caesars Entertainment’s most popular restaurants while also helping to end hunger in the Las Vegas valley. Through a partnership with Three Square Food Bank, 13 participating Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas restaurants have prepared specially designed menus at a discounted price in participation of Las Vegas Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week will begin on August 27, 2012 and run through September 2, 2012. Guests who take advantage of special Restaurant Week menus will contribute to this great effort with a portion of proceeds from the sale of each menu benefiting Three Square.  For every $1 raised, Three Square provides three meals for hungry children and elderly persons in Southern Nevada.  In addition, all 13 participating Caesars Entertainment restaurants have pledged to donate $5 from every meal purchased during this week-long event, meaning guests contribute 15 meals to those in need each time they select a Restaurant Week menu.

Since 2006, the Three Square Food Bank has provided more than 1.5 million meals for those in need through Restaurant Week. Caesars Entertainment contributed 78,570 meals for the community through participation in 2011 Fall Restaurant Week.

All participating restaurants will feature a minimum of a three-course meal. Breakfast and lunch options will be priced at either $20.12 or $30.12. Dinner options will be priced at $30.12, $40.12, or $50.12.  Participating restaurants include:

Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay’s acclaimed flagship restaurant featuring vibrant southwestern cuisine, will offer both lunch and dinner menus. This year’s three-course dinner menu highlights a variety of Flay’s famous dishes such as shrimp and grits featuring hatch chile hominy grits with chipotle butter;New Mexican spiced rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon-ancho chile sauce and a sweet potato tamale or grilled chicken with hot red pepper-garlic sauce and a fresh corn tamale. Lunch and dinner menus are value-priced at $30.12 and $50.12, respectively.  In 2011, Mesa Grill was Restaurant Week’s top Gold Plate Donor, a rewarding achievement for being one of the largest contributors in Three Square’s fifth annual fundraiser.

Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro, the creation of award-winning Pastry Chef François Payard, will offer a three-course lunch and a four-course dinner, both with added value wine pairings. The menu will feature lobster sliders served with mango and fennel pollen aioli, onion soup or spinach salad and a choice of either the fish of the day or filet mignon au poivre with peppercorn sauce and gratin dauphinois priced at $30.11 for lunch and $50.11 for dinner.

Rao’s at Caesars Palace has been called a “culinary national treasure,” widely acclaimed for its authentic, southern Neapolitan Italian cooking and home-style family ambiance.  The dinner menu features three courses for $50.11 and includes a choice from its famous selection of menu items including ravioli purses stuffed with bartlett pears and ricotta cheese or Uncle Vincent’s lemon chicken.

Serendipity 3, one of New York City’s most beloved eateries with more than 50 years of history, offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience at Caesars Palace with over-the-top desserts and a variety of savory creations that makes it a haven of comfort food.  This year, the restaurant will continue its commitment to fight hunger by offering menus for all meals of the day. To start, the restaurant will highlight its popular breakfast option featuring amixed berry smoothie and a list of eye-popping entrée choices, such as Frrrozen Hot Chocolate french toast triple-stacked with strawberries or fried eggs benedict with corn meal-crusted fried poached eggs and classic hollandaise sauce.  The world-famous Oreo kiss & Frrrozen Hot Chocolate shotwill top it off at just $20.11.

James Beard award-winning Central Michel Richard at Caesars Palace will be another participating restaurant featuring a choice of rotisserie chicken with ratatouille or pan seared halibut with dill fingerling potatoes for dinner.  Rounding out the exceptional list of participants is The Range SteakhouseKGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers and Ming’s Table at Harrah’s Las Vegas; Center Cut Steakhouse at Flamingo Las Vegas; Le Provencal and Le Café at Paris Las Vegas; Bally’s Steakhouse at Bally’s Las Vegas and Martorano’s at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

For the full list of Restaurant Week participants and menu specifics, visit:

http://www.helpoutdineoutlv.org/restaurants/menus.


22 Aug 2012 03:27 am

Bellagio, recipient of 12 consecutive AAA Five Diamond Awards, announces the remaining events for the 2012 Epicurean Epicenter Series, continuing their tradition of exclusive culinary experiences coupled with perfectly paired wines. The resort’s extraordinary chefs, along with talented Master Sommelier and Bellagio Director of Wine Jason Smith create and execute an impressive lineup of events that consistently provide guests with unforgettable dining experiences.

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The year concludes with five events at the world-renowned resort that showcase the talent and skill of Bellagio chefs Edmund Wong, Sean Griffin, Royden Ellamar, Patrick Lee and Hiew Gun Khong. FOOD & WINE Special Projects Director Gail Simmons will serve as guest host for two of the Epicurean Epicenter events as part of MGM Resorts International’s FOOD & WINE All-Star Weekend Oct. 5-7.

The remainder of the 2012 Epicurean Epicenter Series schedule of events is as follows:

Shafer Vineyards with Sean Griffin - Friday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m.

The impeccable wines of Shafer Vineyards are brought to life with the cuisine of Prime Steakhouse’s Executive Chef Sean Griffin during this incredible four-course dinner hosted by Shafer Vineyards’ winemaker Doug Shafer and Bellagio Director of Wine and Master Sommelier Jason Smith.  The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in Tuscany Kitchen and tickets are $195 per person, all-inclusive.

Master Sommeliers Who Make Wine - Friday, October 5 at 3 p.m.

In the world of wine, there is no higher accreditation one can receive than the Master Sommelier Diploma and many of these talented individuals have ventured into the world of winemaking, with several producing their own label.  Master Sommeliers Richard Betts, Greg Harrington, Emmanuel Kemiji and Bobby Stuckey join event host Master Sommelier and Bellagio Director of Wine Jason Smith to discuss wine tasting and wine making.  The event begins at 3 p.m. in Tuscany Kitchen and tickets are $85 per person, all-inclusive.

Four Farms, Three Chefs, Two Brothers, One Table - Saturday, October 6 at 11:30 a.m.

Sensi Executive Chef Royden Ellamar and Brett Smith, Executive Chef of Zolo Grill in Boulder, Colo., join culinary forces to create an irresistible menu of seasonal ingredients paired with an array of exclusive wines.  Hosted by FOOD & WINE’s Gail Simmons and Master Sommelier and Bellagio Director of Wine Jason Smith, this farm-style luncheon will be served on the Bellagio Grand Patio, which will be transformed into a farmhouse setting.  The event begins at 11:30 a.m. and tickets are $125 per person, all-inclusive.

Jasmine Dreams of Dim Sum & Champagne - Sunday, October 7 at 11:30 a.m.

Deliciously hand-crafted dim sum created by Jasmine Executive Chef Hiew Gun Khong and Noodles Executive Chef Patrick Lee take center stage during this lovely champagne brunch.  Set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Fountains of Bellagio, the buffet is hosted by FOOD & WINE’s Gail Simmons and Master Sommelier and Bellagio Director of Wine Jason Smith.  The event begins at 11:30 a.m. in Jasmine and tickets are $125 per person, all-inclusive.

Bon Appétit Patz & Hall Wine Dinner - Saturday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Bon Appétit magazine presents the incredible single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines crafted by Patz & Hall showcased alongside a menu created by Bellagio Executive Chef Edmund Wong.  Winery owner Donald Patz hosts the event alongside Master Sommelier and Bellagio Director of Wine Jason Smith. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in Tuscany Kitchen and tickets are $175 per person, all-inclusive.

Heralded as the home of a wide range of award-winning dining experiences including two AAA Five Diamond restaurants, Julian Serrano’s Picasso and Le Cirque from the renowned Maccioni family, Bellagio’s Epicurean Epicenter series continues its tradition of innovative and immersive experiences.  With the opportunity to learn from a host of award-winning chefs, each event opens the door to a unique Bellagio culinary adventure.  For more information and to reserve seats to these special events visit Bellagio’s Epicurean epicenter webpage or call the Bellagio Concierge at 866-406-7117.  All offers are subject to availability and guests must be at least 21 years of age to attend.


21 Aug 2012 03:26 am

On just one day of the year, Las Vegas dining is never finer: It’s the Annual Jean-Louis Palladin Dinner, with proceeds going to the James Beard Foundation.

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Set this year for Sunday, October 21st at Alize restaurant at the top of the Palms Casino, this dinner is the diamond in the crown of Las Vegas dining, and has been the talk of Vegas since its inception in  2002. The Jean-Louis Palladin Dinner is the only “cuisine festival” of its kind as no less than 20 of the top chefs in all of Las Vegas come together in the Alize´ kitchen to create a 7-course dinner for V.I.P. guests, each “contributing” his or her favorite menu item.

Guests participate in a cocktail reception at the Ghost Bar and a silent auction, then move upstairs for a 3-hour culinary feast and eventual live auction hosted by Robin Leach.  Pricing is $325 per person and $300 for James Beard members. Reservation lines for the Jean-Louis Palladin dinner open today at (702) 951-7000.

The story behind the famous Jean-Louis Palladin Dinner

In 1980, Andre´Rochat was the first Original Celebrity Chef to offer fine cuisine dining at his namesake restaurant, Andre’s, along with extensive wine lists and cognac collections. For years, Andre´ was the only one of his kind until celebrity chefs began to arrive such as Wolfgang Puck (with Spago at The Forum Shops at Caesar’s), Emeril (at the MGM Grand Hotel in 1995) and Palladin (establishing Napa at the Rio Casino in 1997).

After his arrival, it didn’t take long for Palladin to find Rochat’s French restaurant, Andre’s, then in downtown Las Vegas. The two French chefs hit it off immediately. “I don’t think a week went by that Andre´and Jean-Louis weren’t in each other’s restaurants after a night of service,” says Joseph Marsco, Andre’s Director of Operations. “They would just wave at those of us manning the front while they marched into each other’s kitchens. It became a regular order of business.”

The Jean-Louis Palladin Dinner was originated by Chef Andre´ in 2002, a year after Palladin’s passing. When Palladin first contracted lung cancer, many chefs around the world hosted benefits to help Palladin with rising costs of his health care. After his death, Andre´ determined to carry Palladin’s extraordinary cooking legacy forward. This dinner has since become one of the country’s premier “Friends of the James Beard Foundation” events.

For the Jean-Louis Palladin dinner, famed chefs throughout Las Vegas vie for a place in the Alize´ kitchen as it’s the year’s rare event, allowing the finest cooking fraternity of friends to gather together and look over each other’s shoulders at their culinary creations.

The Jean-Louis Palladin Menu is now in place …
Announcements of the complete menu will be announced shortly, once careful wine pairings are done with each food item. Interestingly, there are so many food items that the person sitting to one’s right and one’s left will have a completely different 7-course meal.

In the days ahead, we will also be announcing the chefs involved in the 2012 Jean-Louis Palladin dinner and featured interviews with the chefs on the culinary creations they’re bringing to the table the night of October 21st.


20 Aug 2012 03:37 am

The new adventures menu at California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) is inspired by global cuisine with a healthy twist. CPK is looking to take customers on an adventure with ingredients that may be unfamiliar to some with items like Quinoa, Chimichurri sauce.

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The new menu will launch nationwide on August 27.

  • Quinoa + Arugula Salad- Our super-grain salad with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, toasted pine nuts and feta tossed in housemade champagne vinaigrette. (Cal. 610)

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  • Fire-Roasted Chile Relleno- Spicy poblano stuffed with chicken, cheese, corn & black bean salsa, wild mushrooms, spinach, and eggplant. Topped with housemade avocado salsa verde and cilantro. (Cal. 380)

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  • Shrimp Scampi Zucchini Fettuccine- Sautéed with lemon, garlic, and white wine tossed with zucchini ribbons, fettuccine, parsley, and Parmesan. (Cal. 550)

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  • Grilled Chicken Chimichurri- Marinated grilled chicken breast with pan-roasted vegetables and our housemade Argentinian inspired chimichurri sauce. (Cal. 550)

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  • Cedar Plank Salmon & Corn Succotash- Roasted on a cedar plank in our hearth oven with smoked paprika and lime. Served with white corn and spinach succotash topped with feta. (Cal. 640)

Additionally, CPK is launching a new wine on August 27th and will serve it only for the month of September, Dreaming Tree (Dave Matthews new wine label), Crush.


17 Aug 2012 06:38 am

Tony Abou-Ganim with Mary Elizabeth Faulkner

Photography by Tim Turner

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An in-depth tasting guide to 60 of the finest vodkas, engaging readers with the fascinating history of the world’s single most popular spirit.  Featuring beautifully photographed recipes for vodka cocktails both classic and modern, by one of the most celebrated cocktail authorities.

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Coming February 2013


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