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Home > CHEF SECRETS > Las Vegas Chef Secrets > Geno Bernardo and Emilio Tiburcio (Anatomy of a Pop-up Dinner)

Geno Bernardo, Executive Chef of Nove Italiano; Emilio Tiburcio, Mixologist of Fusion Mixology Bar

Anatomy of a Pop-up Dinner

    Geno Bernardo
Executive Chef, Nove Italiano

Emilio Tiburcio
Mixologist, Fusion Mixology Bar; Premier Mixologist Dress the Drink LLC

In recent years, the culinary scene has been dazzled by a new trend: Top chefs across the country have been throwing traveling underground dinner parties called "pop-up" dinners. On Dec. 7, 2010, Patron Social Club organized one of its own, featuring the theme, "Re-imagining the Holiday Feast," at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas. TravelsinTaste.com spoke to two of the event's organizers -- Geno Bernardo, executive chef of Nove Italiano, and Emilio Tiburcio, mixologist at Fusion Mixology Bar in the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, as well as premier mixologist for Dress the Drink LLC -- about the lead-up to the event, the inspiration for its menus and how they prepared for the challenge. Simply put: We talked to them about the anatomy of a pop-up dinner.

TravelsinTaste.com: What are your thoughts on popup dinners?

Bernardo: Since I have been working with 9 Group at Palms, we seem to have gotten a lot of pop-up events. I enjoy these dinners because they have to be quick; they challenge you to be on your feet at all times. Personally, it’s easier for me to do these pop-up events, as opposed to planning a month out. Just ask my team.

Tiburcio: I think that they are a great way for the food and cocktail connoisseur to really enjoy the great talent of each city, and I am very excited to be part of it!

TravelsinTaste.com: What made you think to do this?

Bernardo: I always enjoy doing cooking events at both Palms Casino Resort and off-property. I went online and did a little research about the event, and I thought it would be an interesting event to host. As a chef, these events are always fun and rewarding.

Tiburcio: To say yes to this project was an honor for me. When I received the phone call, I couldn't believe that they would choose me out of all the other great mixologists in Las Vegas. Patron is a great company and on top of that a great company to work for. I feel privileged to do this project for them.

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