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US $3.95

Life is Beautiful Announces Official Dates for 2014



Issue 2 Volume 14

February 2014




Cover Our




NEAT GLASS Please join us in welcoming the latest and very unique product to the US beverage market. Neat Glass may change the way we look at drinking spirits and has already made an impact on the liquor competition circuit. Check out the notes and contact them for a “taste test” at your convenience. NOSH LAS VEGAS Nosh Las Vegas comes to the Las Vegas Strip with an exceptional background in dining tours based in San Diego.




Front Cover Feature this month is dedicated to Life is Beautiful and the people that will put this formidable music, food & beverage event together for the 2nd year, taking place in downtown Las Vegas October 24-26. Here on the cover is the event team coming from Life is Beautiful and Wirtz Beverage Nevada, who are supplying the bulk of the entire venue’s beverages. Cover photo by Joe Fogarty full story on page 16

Plan a restaurant tour for you, your family and visiting friends where you can visit several upscale locations all within a few hours at a very reasonable price. Check them out and give them a try on your next visit to the Strip! Once again this year we look forward to the NCB-Nightclub & Bar Show when it invades Las Vegas March 24-26 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and various nightclubs throughout town. Always a great show to see the latest products and services for the beverage industry and experience many new ideas firsthand within one setting.

Page 4 Hot Off the Grill!

Page 12

Page 20

What’s Cooking?

Brett’s Vegas View

Page 5 Your New Year’s Resolution: Know When to Ask for Assistance

Page 14

Page 22

The Downtown Container

Is The LINQ Open Yet?

Page 6 What’s Brewing? Page 8 ASK DOCTOR SAKE… Sake Mathematics: 1 Sake + 1 Sake = 2 Sake Right or Wrong ? Page 9 Behind the Stick Page 10 Food For Thought: Are There Good Boxed Wines? Page 11 Wine Talk The Wine Industry in Asia

Park Is a One Stop Delight as Downtown Las Vegas Continues to Evolve Page 15 Recycled - by Ben Vaughn Page 16 COVER FEATURE Life is Beautiful 2014 Page 18 Chef Talk Egg-citing Food

Page 23

Page 26 Michael Mina

Page 27 Epicurean Corner

PHOTOS: Big Dog’s Winterfest PHOTOS:

Save the Date Chef Artist

Brooklyn Brewery Launch PHOTOS: Aces & Ales Winter Beer Fest

Page 28 Product Spotlight: Major Products

Page 24 HR Insights - Personal Appearance:

The NEAT Glass White Soy Sauce

What About Those Tattoos and Body Piercings?


Page 31 Events

The Commissary/

Page 25

Downtown Grand

Valentine’s Day Spots to

Welcome Party

Stay in Love

Advertiser Index

February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 3

The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 1200 S TORREY PINES SUITE 172 Las Vegas, NV 89146


February 2014 Mike Fryer Editor-in-Chief Thank you for joining us in this issue of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional. For any questions or comments please email

BROOKLYN BREWERY MAKES ITS SPLASH INTO LAS VEGAS VIA SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS… Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada has officially launched Brooklyn Brewery into the Las Vegas market and celebrated it recently at the Lou Ruvo Brain Center. The launch was attended by F&B professionals from throughout Las Vegas. LVFNB was there in attendance and caught a photo with former Mayor Oscar Goodman and SWS Larry Ruvo congratulating Brooklyn Brewery… THE COMMISSARY LATIN KITCHEN OPENS TO SERVE DOWNTOWN GUESTS… LVFNB recently covered the media opening of The COMMISSARY LATIN KITCHEN and was represented by Publisher Juanita Aiello and Editorial Director (and nationally known beer writer) Bob Barnes, who were there to sample and experience the various food & beverage offerings…

Juanita Aiello Publisher & Creative Director

Bob Barnes Editorial Director

Crystal Marie Brand Ambassador & Journalist

In our quest for excellent food & beverage professional knowledge, LVFNB had the opportunity to tour some local breweries and meet the brewmasters recently. Local breweries toured included Big Dog’s Brewing and Tenaya Creek Brewery. Here at Big Dog’s are Brewmaster Dave Otto, Pete’s Wicked Ale Founders Pete Slosberg and his wife Amy Margolis and LVFNB Editorial Director Bob Barnes, enjoying some good brews and great conversation!

Adam Rains Beverage Editor

In the January issue the square footage and number of seats of Carmine’s was incorrect: Carmine’s at the Forum Shops at Caesars is 27,000 square feet and seats 750; in the feature article on Rose. Rabbit. Lie. Tobias Peach was listed as GM, but Peach is actually the GM of Coastal Luxury Management’s Restaurant 1833; and in the article on Gimme Some Sugar Bake Shoppe, Kristen LoVullo’s name was misspelled. The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional corrects mistakes. Bring errors to our attention by emailing The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional welcomes letters to the editor. We are always striving to improve this publication and would like to know your comments and thoughts. Here’s your chance to be heard. Send your comments to and they may be published in next month’s issue! @lvfnb NOTE: All submissions become the property of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional.

The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional


Pre-Press Technician Brandon Yan

Journalist & Photographer Joe Fogarty

Journalist Juanita Fryer

Journalist Brett’s Vegas View Jackie Brett

Journalist Shelley Stepanek

Journalist Food for Thought Les Kincaid

Journalists Scott & Elaine Harris

Journalist Mixology-ology Mitchell Wilburn

Journalist Ben Vaughn

Journalist Late Night Dining with Kim Kim Trevino

Journalist Ask Dr. Sake K. Mike Masuyama Ph.D.

Journalist Rebecca Rajkowski

Journalist Chef Talk Allen Asch

Journalist On the Edge With Al Mancini Al Mancini

Journalist Ryan Wieczorek

Journalist HR Insights Linda Bernstein

Journalist Green Restaurant Association Michael Oshman

Journalist Wine Talk Alice Swift

Journalist Epicurean Corner Victoria Pindrik

Journalist Mark Kelnhofer

Photographer Bill Bokelmann

Photographer Alyssa Mayhew

Photographer Emil Rajkowski

Photographer Rose Powell-Carver

4 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

By Mark Kelnhofer, MBA

Your New Year’s Resolution: Know When to Ask for Assistance The restaurant operator is no different than any other entrepreneur. There is a large sense of pride with what you do. Too many times our pride is what keeps us from asking for assistance. Many times we may struggle and still find it difficult to ask for assistance. Whether it is with front-of-the-house training, labor scheduling, menu layout and design, recipe costing, or site selection, we need to know when we are not the professional and find one that is. Too many times the entrepreneur attempts to lay all responsibility on their shoulders and the first reaction is to do it yourself versus finding a professional. Step one: Know When to Ask for Help. The timing of when we ask for assistance is one of the most important aspects of our decision making. Too many times we may have a problem that needs to be solved and we let the issue go on and not be addressed for an extended period of time. In this industry, it doesn’t take much to lose a guest. Whether it is with the service levels, quality of food, presentation, or overall financial performance, we cannot allow areas where we are lacking to fester for very long. On financial performance as an example, too many times operators may lose money on a weekly or monthly basis. They know that they need assistance, but in many cases allow the operation to move forward as if it was the normal course of events. The timing of when we ask for assistance may be critical and it should not be delayed for a long period of time. It does not take much for an operation to fail. We need to accept that we cannot be the professional in every aspect of the business and know when the timing is right to ask for assistance. Step two: Vet the Professional. When we are looking for assistance, it is easy just to do a search on the internet. However, we may want to do a little more than just that search to make a decision. It is prudent to vet the professional in a way that you have confidence that you are going to get the proper result to fixing your problem. Too many times we may bring someone to assist that was found through an internet search and not really do much beyond that. You should look at testimonial statements from past clients

Mark Kelnhofer is the President and CEO of Return On Ingredients LLC and has over 20 years in management accounting experience including ten years in restaurant industry. He is an international speaker on recipe costing and menu engineering. He can be reached at (614) 558-2239 and

as well as possibly calling them to ask them more regarding the details. Ask them what their problem was and how it was solved using the professional. Getting multiple customer references would be something to pursue as well. Remember, the problem you have does need resolution and you want to make sure that your time, effort and money are being used to get you there.

Mark Kelnhofer

President & CEO Return On Ingredients P.O. Box 2387, Westerville, Ohio 43086-2387 c 614.558.2239, f 614.340.7946

Step three: Get Involved. When you do bring in a professional, get involved with the process. Don’t just sit back and not get involved with this learning experience. It is always wise to get involved with the process so that you learn as much as you can from them. Any time you have an opportunity to gain knowledge you should participate in the process. You are paying for the expertise, you should learn from it as well.

2014 Presentations & Speaking Events

Step four: Rate Your Experience. When the job is done, it would be a great process to review their work and see if your problem was resolved. Record the overall experience with them as you may be a reference for them one day. Be honest in your review and document it so that you know how to respond if called upon. Word of mouth today for products and services in the restaurant industry is huge. Strong referrals within the industry assist greatly.

02/27 Economic & Community Development Institute Columbus, OH

Going into a new year, as restaurant and foodservice operators, we should be committed to making our operation the most efficient and profitable as possible. Part of this is to acknowledge there is a problem and the other is the commitment to fix it. Bringing in a third party to correct an issue is not a bad thing and in fact can be a very good thing. Getting something corrected early on is generally a lot better than something not fixed or addressed correctly for an extended period of time. These decisions affect our ability to operate at a higher level and can translate into real dollars. We need to make sure that we address any issues we have in a timely and efficient manner so that the business continues to move forward and thrive.

01/28-01/29 Convenience Retailing University Glendale, AZ 01/29 Restaurant Institute Glendale, AZ

03/02-03/04 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show New York, NY 03/18 Restaurant Institute Las Vegas, NV 04/08-04/11 Craft Brewers Conference Denver, CO 04/13-04/14 Northwest Foodservice Show Seattle, WA 06/10 Restaurant Institute Orlando, FL 08/17-08/19 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Show Anaheim, CA 09/07-09/09 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Orlando, FL

February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 5

By Bob Barnes


Photo by Robert Fitzpatrick


Angels Appreciating Beer in Vegas

I had the honor to be a rare male invite to the newly formed Barley Angels club. Our friend Sarah Johnson, Nevada’s first and only female certified cicerone and Food & Beverage Director of Mandalay Bay, started the Las Vegas chapter and invited me to their monthly meeting, which was held at Atomic Liquors. I was informed that the only time those of the male persuasion are permitted to attend is if they are members of the media or presenters. The club was founded in

Bob Barnes is a native Las Vegan, editorial director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional, regional correspondent for Celebrator Beer News and covers the LV restaurant scene for Gayot. com. He welcomes your inquiries. Email:

Portland, Oregon in 2011 by Celebrator Beer News writer and all around “beer goddess” Lisa Morrison, and there are now 32 chapters worldwide in six countries. I quickly surmised that this is not a drinking club, but one with a bent towards education. Sarah gave a tutorial on how to taste beer, going through the three basic steps of observing a beer’s appearance, aroma and taste and led a discussion as the group shared their impressions of each of the three beers we sampled. According to the club bylaws, there is a food component requirement to lay a foundation to the alcohol being imbibed; in this case a cookie buffet was set up, which provided ample proof that cookies do indeed go well with beer. The club meets monthly at rotating hop spots, with a $10 stipend to cover the cost of the beers being sampled. To obtain info on their next meeting, visit barleys.angelslv. The meeting included a Q & A session with Atomic Liquor bar manager Rose Signor, who said, “I like to think of this as more of a beer bar than a cocktail bar. Our taps have a focus on American micros and we serve as many local beers as possible, with usually three on tap at all time. My goal is to have as wide a variety as we can and I want anyone walking in to find a beer that they like.” The taps rotate constantly and Rose plans to build up a repertoire of sour beers. The word appears to have gotten out, as

people are coming in seeking the craft beers, which are the majority of the pub’s beer sales. I give my stamp of approval to the bar’s craft beer list, as during my visit I found Joseph James Citra Rye Pale Ale, Big Dog’s Lake Mead Monster, Tenaya Creek Haulin’ Oats, Joseph James Hopbox IPA, Ommegang Hennepin, Old Rasputin on nitro and Petrus Aged Pale represented among its 20 taps and 19 bottles. Located at 917 Fremont, Atomic Liquors reopened in June and is part of the revitalization of East Fremont. Vegas history buffs will be interested to learn that it is the city’s oldest freestanding bar, having originally opened in 1952 and was granted Las Vegas’s first packaged liquor license. The name refers to the fact that patrons would gather on the rooftop to watch the above ground atomic blasts that took place at the Nevada Test Site back in the 50s. The bar has been filmed in several movies, including Joe Pesci’s infamous pen stabbing scene in Casino, and was frequented during their heyday by the Rat Pack, Smothers Brothers and Barbara Streisand. Atomic is open Mon.-Fri. from 4 p.m. and opens at 11 a.m. on Sat. and Sun. It’s definitely worth checking out (

As always, great beer happens in Vegas!

Photos courtesy Jo Reckling

Beer Tip of the Month: Can You Grow Hops in Vegas? Our tip this month comes from Jo Reckling, a Master Gardener (certification through the UNLV Cooperative Extension) who has had success growing hops here in Las Vegas. Jo and her son Chase are homebrewers and chefs, and have been in the catering business for 17 years and currently own The Buzz Catering, where they combine a love of herbs and vegetables with dedication to cooking and eating well. You can reach them at:, (702) 328-5348. Jo says, “Growing hops in Las Vegas is possible. The most important things are to purchase the right rhizome for this area – I used Cascade as the type recommended by the UNLV Cooperative Extension. Be sure to plant in healthy soil preferably by March 1st and make sure they get plenty of water and some afternoon shade. Be aware that hops grow 15-20’ tall so plant the rhizomes where you can string overhead with wire/twine for them to run up! I planted 5 rhizomes the first week of March, they popped up about 3 weeks later, and I harvested 8 quarts of hops in October. Several local brewers have seen the hops and raved about their quality. We used all of the hops in a batch of homebrew and it was fabulous. It has given me the inspiration to triple my growing area this spring!” Jo is not the only grower of hops in Southern Nevada. The UNLV Cooperative Extension orchard in North Las Vegas has 40 hop plants and they have been selling ALL of their hops to our local breweries. 6 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

March 25-26, 2014 • Las Vegas Convention Center

80-12-26-0 80-12-26-0 100-100-30-21

The Tradeshow 7-0-95-0with hundreds of resources for your business! Find out what’s new in the food & beverage industry at the expansive 2014 Catersource and Event Solutions Conference & Tradeshow and the Las Vegas Restaurant Show. Hundreds of exhibitors display the latest foods, products, equipment and services. Take home valuable resources and shop for show specials as you meet with new vendors face-to-face and take in all the food & beverage industry has to offer.

100-100-30-21 7-0-95-0 36-13-99-0

You’ll also find informative demos, contests and activities on the show floor:

Tradeshow Only Package Registration

Show Intel Stage

The Tradeshow Only Package gives you access to all the Catersource and Event Solutions Tradeshow and the Las Vegas Restaurant Show have to offer! You’ll meet hundreds of vendors with exciting products to help you do your job better, faster and more efficiently. This package also includes access to all Wednesday Conference education sessions at the Paris Hotel all for one low price!

36-13-99-0 0-49-87-0

Sessions that focus on thought-provoking topics important to your success. Learn and be inspired by speakers who have keen insight into how to be successful and profitable.

0-76-33-0 Informational sessions 0-49-87-0 and demos for the restaurant business Restaurant Showcase Stage

operator, presented by the Nevada Restaurant Association.

0-76-33-0 Taste of Technology3-88-8-0

Get your geek on, charge your devices and get connected with vendors who can recharge your business.

Spectacular Sweets Pastry Showcase

3-88-8-0 35-78-0-0

Sweet surprises, molded chocolate ideas, sugar techniques and so much more.

Hands-on Demo Arena


Learn how to set up plating lines, back-of-the-house areas for parties and a dining room quickly. You’ll also learn design tricks for making templates for menu signs and place cards.


Chefs and designers compete for awards and recognition as they show off their best work in the Tablescape Contest, “Diced” Competition and the ACF Las Vegas Culinary Challenge.

Tuesday 3/25 and Wednesday 3/26

Advanced by 2/25/14

per person

After 2/25/14



*No discounts apply

All registration packages include FREE access to the International Pizza Expo and discounted access to Nightclub & Bar taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the show.

The Tradeshow is part of the 2014 Catersource and Event Solutions Conference & Tradeshow at the Paris Hotel, March 23-26, which features hundreds of culinary-focused sessions to help you discover more ways to enhance your offerings and sharpen your skills in 2014.

Learn more at 800.932.3632 |

By K. Mike Masuyama Ph.D.


Sake Mathematics: 1 Sake + 1 Sake = 2 Sake Right or Wrong ? One cup of sake + another cup of sake = 2 cups of sake. That is wrong with sake. Two cups of sake makes one much happier, more talkative, more sleepy, more aggressive, occasionally more sexy or more sad than one cup of sake. So 1+1=2 is F for sake drinking. How about one cup of sake X another cup of sake? The answer of sake multiplication is that you may elevate yourself to the highest and the happiest or you may lose yourself to the lowest bottom. You may face a hard time to calculate tips for servings. You had better stop or ask someone to drive home. How about one cup of sake ÷ another cup of something? It will make a mixed drink with a half strength of sake. You need two drinks to stay yourself at one cup sake level. A good or bad thing of such a mixed drink is that you may be able to drink more drinks and get elevated. Division of sake may often end up sake multiplication eventually. Alcohol in beverages does have such a simple but synergistic effect; that is the reason why we enjoy more than one cup or bottle. This is the mathematics in drinking sake.

Mike Masuyama is a bi-cultural science-technology-business consultant. He earned a Ph.D. in Food Science at Cornell University, is involved in teaching, research and business in major-beer, micro-beer, soft drinks, sake and food areas both in Japan and the US., and has published several books and dozens of articles.

How about mathematics in brewing sake? The mathematic rule of addition and subtraction can be generally applied in brewing. Here we talk about how much rice and water is to be used to yield how much sake along with how much anything out as by-products. This sake brewing mathematics deals with not only science and food processing but also economics, food development and waste management. Energy in forms of electricity or steam, processing water and manpower are required in sake brewing; however, the raw materials are only focused here. Let’s start with a Junmai (100% rice) sake with polishing ratio of 60% and an alcohol content of 15%. Brown sake rice goes through a milling or polishing process to remove the outer layer of brown rice, bran, etc. The 60% polishing ratio means that 60% of the original brown rice weight is retained and 40% is removed. For a calculation, let’s take 100 pounds of brown sake rice to start with. After 60% polishing, 60 pounds of polished sake rice is ready to go for brewing. In the next Koji-fermentationfinishing process, 1 portion of the polished rice and a 1.6 portion of brewing water are commonly used. At the end of brewing, fermenting young sake (called “Moromi”) goes through separation of liquid from residue. Residue consists of 30% of rice used on dry basis showing 18 pounds removed. With all things considered, 100 pounds of brown rice and 12 gallons of water make a 17 gallon equivalent in volume of sake (source: The Niigata Sake Book). Anything out of sake making is not wasted. Rice bran or the outer layer materials are sold to local animal husbandries as feed. It contains lots of nutrients like vitamin Bs preventing beriberi symptoms. Sake residue paste (“Sake Kasu”) has usage in food preparations in Japan. It is used for pickling all kinds of vegetables or marinating fish often along with miso (fermented soybean paste). Amazake, a non-alcohol rice drink, is another application. Recently, it has been formulated in cosmetics to keep face skin smooth and white. Such a sake byproduct makes ladies in particular happy and beautiful, whereas sake itself does good for men. A recent TV travel program on PBS referred Chardonnay for anti-aging in a massage cream at resorts throughout wine countries where hot springs also exist like Meadowood or Calistoga in the Napa area. It is interesting to know that humans share similar ideas or creativities all over the land. By the way, people believe sake to be better than hundreds of medicines for inside and also outside of the body in Japan. Kanpai or Cheers for your sake mathematics in drinking. You will find it right or wrong.

8 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

By Adam Rains

Behind the Stick

Adam has a passion for food, wine & spirits. He has completed the BarSmarts program and is a Level 2 Sommelier. A supporter of farmers markets, his mantra with cocktails and food is “fresh is best.” His podcast, “Las Vegas Cocktail Weekly,” can be downloaded for free on iTunes.

The Perks of Prohibition In the past, when talking about Prohibition most words that came to mind were usually not positive. Retched, despicable, idiotic and many other adjectives worthy of the “bronx cheer” are usually some of the first words uttered. Even if you are a fan of Nascar (descended from hot-rodding bootleggers) or a stockholder of one of the many post prohibition homogenized beverage monopolies that were spawned by the temperance movement, your first thoughts have probably been negative; well, until most recently. For a few years now, prohibition has been hot, the “cat’s pajamas” some would say. The nostalgia is everywhere you turn; you see prohibition this, prohibition that, prohibition style… insert brand. The ever-present social pendulum has struck again and this old school “not cool” has turned into the new school “way cool,” and for a very good reason; it was righteous! Yes. I said it! Even if some of the tee-totaling well-intentioned yet short sighted bluenoses went a bit too far, there was absolutely an upside to this Noble Experiment. It’s not just that it worked in reducing the amount of over consumption per capita and some of the ill effects of said consumption (wife beating, job loss, public drunkenness and general family disruption). More importantly, it changed the very bar culture in our country and in the world. It helped to spread the virtues of the American bar to the far corners of the globe. The American bar borrowed heavily from English style taverns and pubs but developed on its own path and was enriched by other European drinking cultures and westward expansion. The American cocktail and American bar was already highly regarded throughout much of the world before prohibition, but when many of our great barmen were forced to move abroad to London, Paris, Venice and beyond, the seeds were then spread throughout the world. To us, it was a huge short term loss, to mixology long term, it was truly transformative.

U.S. pre-prohibition bar culture was rich, but it was a bit one-sided. For the most part “dames” were rarely allowed in bars unless they were “working” (hint: there weren’t very many women bartenders). While Carrie A. Nation probably would have been horrified by it, she had her part in bringing women into mixology. Today we have so many talented women that are true spirit professionals. In Las Vegas alone, we have such a beautiful abundance of women with talent, chops and passion that have contributed much to our new bar-renaissance. There are too many to mention and so many that inspire me: Mariena Mercer, Pricilla Young, Patricia Richards or Wendy Helene Hodges, the list could go on and on. Regarding women and culture as a whole, Prohibition also helped change the dating habits across the country by spawning co-ed communal drinking, which has helped millions to deal with the rigid rituals of courtship. (I doubt I would be married without it!) Next time you are at a bar about to engage in small talk with a member of the opposite sex, please give a little thanks to those that helped and moreover, I decree that we should all raise our glasses in an ironic toast to temperance! Can you imagine a life without Al Capone??? Lucky Luciano? Don Corleone? and Bugsy Siegal???? All gangsters, real or imagined, also owe a great debt to Carrie A. Nation and her wretched hatchet. As we know, Prohibition

funded organized crime like nothing else could have. As is demonstrated in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, loads of money was made and power was acquired. Gangsters from coast to coast, rum runners, bootleggers and bad asses all had a field day. In virtually every city from New York to Kansas City, from Chicago to San Francisco, all of the way to Templeton, Iowa, people were making incredible profits when the government was not. What did some insightful and entrepreneurial gangsters do with this money? Why, they started Vegas!!!!! There would be no “Vegas Baby!” the way that we know it, without the Temperance Movement. Mt. Charleston would still be here, there would be a town of sand and shrubs, and David Cooper and his family would still probably be behind the bar (but it probably wouldn’t be in 4000+ room mega-casino). While on many levels the movement was an utter failure, one could say that we Las Vegans owe our very existence to Prohibition. For our city and the world of mixology as a whole, Prohibition was the major event that shook the world and set the stage for the era we are now in. It’s not just that it helped mature our society, alter dating habits, open up the beloved bar culture to the fairer sex; we all know that necessity is the “mother of all invention,” and the criminalization of alcohol forced the mixologist of the day to create to compensate for lower quality product. It also made those who produced spirits find another way to keep their business and craft viable. While many businesses closed and family secrets were lost, we gained a greater appreciation for foreign products and the rest of the world gained a greater appreciation for us. We were able to start fresh and allowed us to do what we Americans do best, which is to improvise, innovate and create. Today we are still reaping the rewards and finding inspiration in the craft that our forefathers had transformed for us. And what a better place to do so than Las Vegas. Salute!

February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 9


Are There Good

Boxed Wines?

By Les Kincaid Les Kincaid is a food, wine, and golf expert and cookbook author. He hosts a nationally syndicated wine radio show each Thursday from 7 to 8 pm. You can enjoy his website or his broadcast at

It used to be that all boxed wine was not very good. That was easy. Today things are trickier, because a number of producers are actually putting good decent wine - and sometimes exceptional wine - into boxes. It’s actually possible to go out and trade your twenty bucks for a 3 liter (that’s four bottles) box of wine, and end up not only with something you can tolerate, but something you’ll actually enjoy quite well. Actually boxed wine is certainly gaining in stature as an environmental alternative to traditional glass bottles. Though an undulant pouch of vino may seem like the lowest class receptacle, I assure you that the bag and spout solve a problem of oxidation that vintners have been struggling with for millennia. You likely won’t ever see wine in plastic.

ripe, oaky, and luscious. If you like that style, this one’s for you.

We’re not talking yesteryear boxed wines here; instead, high-quality boxes come in a range of varietals, which are environmentally packaged so that their freshness remains for as long as four weeks. The boxes are far lighter than glass, meaning that transport of a truckload of boxed wine leaves a smaller per-glass carbon footprint than bottled wine. And since the economy-minded drinker isn’t likely to have a gourmet kitchen, the box squeezes nicely in cabinets, on bookshelves and in other nooks and crannies.

2008 Powers Cabernet Sauvignon ($24)

NV Pepperwood Grove Big Green Box Chardonnay ($20)

with the taste inside the box.

2008 Würtz Riesling ($22) This is a trocken Riesling, a German term meaning steely, dry, and not-theicky-sweet-stuff-so-don’t-worry. It’s flinty and crisp, and packaged in an all-black box. Might look good in the refrigerator. 2008 Banrock Station Shiraz ($19) Classic Australian “good juice.” A lot of typical blackberry flavor, a little short of tannins, a nip of pepper on the finish. This one’s ideal for cookouts and is best with a medium rare hamburger. Proof, yet again, that Washington State’s Columbia Valley is a great source for inexpensive but surprisingly impressive Cabernet Sauvignon. A jolt of Syrah (about 12 percent) adds some oomph and spice. BBQ here we come, or steaks on the grill are two good choices.

Black Box Brand was established just a couple years ago as was the first Plus, you get the basic box benefits on top of that: the wine stays fresh for brand to offer premium California boxed wine. It now leads the category up to three weeks once you start dispensing it; boxes leave less of a carbon with 250,000 cases annually. Wines include: Black Box 2002 Paso Robles footprint, so your green friends will love you; and there’s no glass involved, Cabernet Sauvignon, $20; 2001 Sonoma Merlot, $20; 2003 Monterey so you can take your box o’ wine to the lake with you. That’s a good thing, Chardonnay, $20. if you like the lake. There are many more choices and I don’t want you to think these are the I’ve tasted through a number of boxed wines so that you wouldn’t have to, only choices. But be aware that there are some choices that you wouldn’t be and sorted the bad (and the really, really bad) from the good. Remember you ashamed to drink or served to guest as well. can pour a single glass at a time and you don’t have to worry about oxidation Visit the boxed wine section at your favorite wine store and discover that with the leftover in the box. Here is a list of the ones I preferred: you can try something new in appearance but will be somewhat delighted A very in your face Chardonnay, in an old-school California way: it’s big, Remember Wine Is Food.

Les Kincaid Les Kincaid hosts his weekly Wines Du Jour Radio/Television show on Thursday evenings. To be an invited guest to a local upscale restaurant to discover wines and food paired together on this national syndicated show email and ask to be added to the opt-in list. Each week invitations are sent with complete information for the following Thursday’s broadcast. The first to RSVP will have a seat, which are limited to the size of the venue. You are expected to arrive at the designated upscale restaurant at about 6:30 p.m. and the program is broadcast “LIVE” from 7 to 8 p.m. There is a minimal cost of just $25.00 per person to help cover communication expenses. Each week a winery (from anywhere around the world) is featured and three of its varietals. The restaurant pairs some of its cuisine to taste with the wines, and the pairing and other information is discussed. There is an invited guest from the winery (such as the owner, winemaker, sommelier or representative) to offer to the audience what they are all about. The restaurant owner, chef or representative also discusses the restaurant and its cuisine, ambiance, etc. A FUN time is had by all. The program has been broadcast each Thursday for well over twelve years and the audience from around the world keeps getting bigger. 10 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

Wine Talk with Alice Swift

By Alice Swift Alice Swift has been a resident of Las Vegas since July, 2011, and is currently an instructor as well as a Ph.D. student at UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. She also works as Senior Learning Design Consultant for MGM Resorts University. Check out her website at for the dish on wine, technology, or even both! She is happy to take suggestions for article topics or inquiries. Email:

The Wine Industry in Asia Happy Chinese New Year! Celebrated for the first 15 days of the year according to the Lunar Calendar, this year’s Chinese New Year begins on January 31st and marks the Year of the Horse. With Asia being the up-and-coming player in the world of wine, why not share some fun facts about wine and Asia?

Fact #1: There are currently four Masters of Wine in Asia. Website: China (Hong Kong): Jeannie Cho Lee and Debra Meiburg Japan: Ned Goodwin Singapore: Lisa Perrotti-Brown and Annette Scarfe Since Hong Kong is a growing region for the wine trade, hosting events like the annual Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair and the 2014 VinExpo Asia-Pacific, it’s no wonder that two Masters of Wine, Jeannie Cho Lee and Debra Meiburg, reside there. Here is an overview of Jeannie Cho Lee (first Asian Master of Wine):

Wine at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Only 25 international trophies are awarded out of over 12,000 entries at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

One of her biggest claims to fame are her books on wine and Asian food pairings. The awardwinning Asian Palate just celebrated its second release, and Mastering Wine for the Asian Palate was her latest release.

Jia Bei Lan, produced by Chateau He Lan Qing Xue winery from the Ning Xia region, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Gernicht, and produced ~20,000 bottles.

Be sure to check out her website, www., where Lee shares her Asian Palate Food and Wine Pairing Wheel, thousands of personal tasting notes, a wine blog of her adventures, a regular newsletter distribution, and much much more.

In addition to the Jia Bei Lan Bordeaux-style wine, Chateau He Lan Qing Xue also won Silver for its 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, and another China-based winery from the Xinjian Uygur region, called Domaine Helan Mountain, won Silver for its Classic Chardonnay 2008 and Bronze for its Premium Collection Riesling.

For more information, go to - http://bit. ly/1cQSV7W

To read more about this monumental event, go to:

Fact #2: Decanter Magazine, a reknowned UK-based wine magazine, released its first Chinese issue and website in the Fall of 2012.

Fact #4: Want an interesting read on the wine-related current events in Asia? Try reading the Grape Wall of China blog!

Website: Decanter UK is world renowned as being one of the top magazines for all things winerelated. In 2012, the first Chinese issue of Decanter Magazine was released, along with the coinciding website. The website is bilingual (English and Simplified Chinese), and is catered to mainland China’s wine consumers.

Website: Beijing-based blogger Jim Boyce writes some very interesting articles, and oftentimes has guest writers and contributors as well, such as winemaker Li Demei, who was the wine consultant for the Chateau He Lan Qing Xue winery (see above).

To read the original article on Decanter Magazine, go to:

The Grape Wall of China also organizes an annual Grape Wall Challenge featuring select Chinese wine professionals and consumers who blind-taste a series of wines flights. The main purposes of this annual event are to evaluate consumer tastes and preferences, educate consumers, examine the value of wine and to have fun!

Photo courtesy

Fact #3: In 2012, Chinese winery Chateau He Lan Qing Xue’s 2009 Jia Bei Lan wine blend won the International Trophy in the Bordeaux-style Grand Reserve over £10 category at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Website: Jeannie Cho Lee is well-known as being the first ethnic Asian Master of Wine, and received this title in 2008. She was born in Korea, but has resided in Hong Kong since 1994, and has held positions such as Contributing Editor for Decanter UK, and Co-Chair of the Decanter Asia Wine Awards. Currently she is a Professor of

This may not seem like an important event in time, since it was only the over £10 category; however, this was the first time that Asia had won such a competition, defeating wines from prestigious wine regions like Grand Cru wines from St. Emilion, Catena Zapata Cabernet Franc, Australia, South Africa, and California.

Photo courtesy

Jeannie Cho Lee

Asia has indeed made a name for itself, bringing more realization that China is an upcoming player in the wine industry, not only as a consumer, but a producer as well. With big names like Domaines Barons de Rothschild (owners of Chateau Lafite) and Moet Hennessy (of LVMH) investing in the prominent areas of China, in the Yunnan and Ningxia regions, it is no longer a surprise to the rest of the world. Be sure to keep an eye out for Asia in the wine industry; this is a region to watch! Until next month, Cheers~! Alice

February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 11

By Bob Barnes Bob Barnes is a native Las Vegan, editorial director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage


Professional, regional correspondent for Celebrator Beer News and covers the LV restaurant scene for He welcomes

Jayde Fuzion’s Chef Seonkyoung Longest

Jayde Fuzion Opens at M Resort Seonkyoung Longest is living a dream. After winning Food Network’s Restaurant Express competition the self-taught chef’s prize was opening her first restaurant, Jayde Fuzion at the M Resort. Her journey actually began in 2009, when she married Air Force Master Sgt. Jacob Longest and moved from South Korea

to Mississippi, where Jacob was stationed. To teach herself English she watched several cooking shows, and at the same time developed a passion for cooking. She also began posting YouTube cooking videos titled “Asian at Home,” ( which developed a large following of fans who find her presentation and personality as addictive as her recipes. The restaurant’s name refers to both its chef and its cuisine; Seonkyoung is Korean for jade and the cuisine is a mix of Japanese, Chinese and Korean small plates with a smattering of Thai and Vietnamese thrown in. Set in the former space of Marinelli’s Italian restaurant, the décor has been transformed to hues of greens, pinks and reds; a 22-foot-wide marble entryway flanked by pink and rose colored flowers; and large-scale murals of koi fish and cherry blossoms. Unchanged is the restaurant’s patio terrace’s stunning view of the M Resort’s pool piazza and the Vegas Valley. What you’ll find on the menu are prices so reasonable (most range from $7-$10) that you’ll want to try several items. And while they are small plates, most are larger samplings than you’d expect for the price. Standouts I tried included the crab salad ($8)—crispy wonton, crab, lime cilantro and red chili sauce; bibimbap ($14)—Korean rice bowl with beef bulgogi, assorted vegetables, poached egg and sweet tangy sauce; and kimchi fried rice ($11)—pork belly, kimchi, green onion, egg and nori; and cashew chicken—wok seared chicken and vegetables, toasted cashews and hoisin-soy glaze. If you want to experience the same dishes Chef created while competing on the show, several versions are on the menu, such as crab

Photo courtesy M Resort

Photo courtesy M Resort

your inquiries.Email:

Jayde Fuzion’s Crab Salad

salad, bibimbap, crispy fried chicken skewers, five spiced duck sliders and Kalbi ribs. Sushi fans will be happy with an 11-seat sushi bar or ordering off the sushi, sashimi and nigiri menu presented on a classy lacquered wooden board. I enjoyed the signature Jayde roll comprised of spicy crab, asparagus, crunchy rice cracker, seared tuna and creamy ponzu. If you’re thinking an Asian restaurant won’t have much variety in desserts, think again. Here you’ll find eight choices, including tapioca mango pudding, white chocolate strawberry yuzu mousse, green tea crème brûlée and chocolate banana egg rolls with almond cream. Chef Seonkyoung’s delightful personality is part of the dining experience, as she is easy to spot in the dining room visiting guests and imparting her love and passion for her cooking. Chef said, “I like making people happy through my cooking and sharing my passion.” Even if you never watched Restaurant Express I wager you’ll become a fan of Seonkyoung within seconds of meeting her, just as I did.

Carrabba’s Introduces Festa Di Carrabba Menu Carrabba’s introduces new items to its menu seasonally and I had the opportunity to sample creations from the Festa di Carrabba Menu, which features three courses starting at $15. The menu includes eight new items, such as

Photo courtesy M Resort

Photo courtesy Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Jayde Fuzion’s Bibimbap

12 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

Carrabba’s Forever Braised Beef Brasato

What’s Cooking? brownie with chocolate mousse, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. I especially appreciated the short rib, which was made all the more enjoyable by the rich risotto it sat upon; and the Parmesan-crusted Chicken, enhanced with a roasted red bell pepper sauce. Carrabba’s invites patrons in for a free menu preview on a rotating basis. To become eligible for an invite, join their Amici Club (free sign up at http://

Spanish Manchego (cheese), Roasted Parsnip & Apple with candied Spanish Marcona almonds; Shrimp & Lobster Cocktail with South of the Border Cocktail Sauce consisting of jalapeno, avocado, cilantro and lime juice; and Vietnamese Sandwich with pork belly, green papaya kimchi and 5-spice bread.

Photo courtesy Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Top of the World Combines Remodel With New Menu Items

Carrabba’s Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

Photo by Juanita Aiello

Arancini—crispy bites of risotto, Italian fennel sausage, red bell peppers and romano cheese; Parmesan-crusted chicken—sautéed chicken breast coated with freshly grated parmesan and breadcrumbs; “Forever Braised” Beef Brasato—boneless beef short rib topped with rich red wine vegetable sauce served over risotto; and Sogno di Cioccolata— rich fudge

Chef Claude Gaty has created some new menu items to go with his Top of the World’s recent remodel—with new furniture, paint and carpet making the revolving restaurant atop the 106th floor of the Stratosphere look like new. Californians stymied by their state’s foie gras ban will want to jump on the Pan Seared Foie Gras with Coco Nib Fleur de Sel on a toasted brioche, which with an apple & cranberry chutney is reminiscent of peanut butter and jelly. Seared California Black Cod with Thai Green Curry Sauce and Roasted Kabocha Squash reflects Chef’s world travels and extreme talent for melding flavors from a variety of international cuisines. Further blending of cuisines is evident in the Australian Wagyu Skirt Steak with Asian Chimichurri and Szechuan green beans with a sweet chili and hoisin sauce; Baby Kale with

Top of the World’s Chef Claude Gaty

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Sin City’s top rated Food tour! Trip Advisor’s #1 ranked food activity in Las Vegas As seen on Good Morning America and CBS. tour routes expanding this year! drop us a note at for more info on how we can add your property to our tour routes!

February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 13

The Downtown Container Park Is a One Stop Delight as Downtown Las Vegas Continues to Evolve

Photos by Scott Harris

of activity ever since. For example, there is Big Ern’s that began as a catering service and now it has a brick and mortar location, or shall we say container location. The park features 43 retail businesses, restaurants, bars, a playground that has a shipping container converted into a 30-foot-tall tree house with three slides, observation tower, and stage that showcases musicians throughout the day and into the evening. What IS a Container Park you are most likely asking by now? Downtown Las Vegas, home to most every celebrity Container Park is about 19,000 square chef you can conjure up both on and off feet, a mix of 30 shipping containers the small screen, is known as a culinary and multifunctional modular cubes destination for its gastronomic delights. forming its boundaries. The cubes Before there was the glitz and glitter are steel-framed and encompass 250 of multinational gaming corporations square feet. building palatial resort casinos on what became the “Strip,” there was The entrance features a pretty famous downtown and Fremont Street where insect. A 55-foot-tall steel praying Las Vegas really began. Sadly, for mantis sculpture built atop a dump many years, its casinos where old truck greets each and every guest. Artists Kirk Jellum and Kristen Ulmer time gamblers spent their last penny made the piece for Burning Man, an art and those that did, found a home in festival held in the Black Rock Desert an alley or under an overpass abiding of Nevada. At night “The Mantis” their last days. Yes, it was a sad place, shoots flames from its antennae to the a tourist haven and even dangerous amazement of all from blocks away. if an unsuspecting, inebriated guest wondered a little too far away from the Keeping in the entrepreneurial spirit, relative safety of the dimming lights the Container Park isn’t intended as of every imaginable color. But then a permanent location for businesses. came entrepreneur billionaire Tony It’s intended to give startups a chance Hsieh who built Zappos, and rode into to thrive and find bigger, permanent the city like a knight on a white horse locations. There are plenty of those to literally save the day, moving his in this one of a kind venue. We highly headquarters and employees right in suggest BIN 702 for the oenophiles. the middle of downtown and creating Enjoy one of the most comprehensive his Downtown Project. This self-made selections of wine on tap in Las Vegas, billionaire is continuing to change the take a prime seat on the patio, and enjoy downtown area building by building, live music from the stage very nearby. block by block and even container by Of course you need mouthwatering bites to enjoy with your wine. Bin 702 container. offers a wide array of artisanal cheese, Recently, The Las Vegas Container meat plates, salads, and paninis. The Park opened on East Fremont Street, word here is sustainable, with dressings a street that just a few short years ago and aiolis made from scratch on-site was home to dilapidated small motels with the best domestic and imported of questionable nature. Today this same ingredients available. area features small locally-owned restaurants, bars, boutiques and coffee If in the mood for a Martini, stop houses supported by Zappos employees into THE BOOZERY. We love this who live in renovated, chic apartments unique cocktail lounge in a shipping that were once uninhabitable. The container. As they say themselves, “No word has gotten out and now Zappos name has ever been more appropriate.” employees, locals and tourists alike Enjoy local spirits and beer inside or drink, sip and dine together just as outside the container on their deck. We mentioned celebrity chefs on the Tony Hsieh in visions on what he calls Strip earlier; why not stop into PORK “collisions.” & BEANS, which is a collaboration of The Container Park was made as a Future Restaurant Group and celebrity place for startup companies to gain chef Kerry Simon. The menu is small some traction. On opening day, there but Chef Nona Sivley plates up fresh was a line outside and it has been a hub Pork & Beans, artisanal sausage and

14 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

By Elaine & Scott Harris

bean dishes as well. In addition to pork, beans, cheese and booze we also recommend SIMPLY PURE. This is a really cool gourmet vegan raw food venue. Enjoy fresh organic ingredients that you will not be disappointed in. The Downtown Container Park is not to be missed. Enjoy an afternoon as it fades into evening for the total experience.

Elaine Harris, sommelier, owner of Vino Las Vegas LLC and Editor-In-Chief of The Cuisineist. Scott Harris, sommelier, President of Vino Las Vegas LLC and a staff journalist for The Cuisineist.

By Ben Vaughn


Ben Vaughn, Papa of four, husband of one, faithful follower, World Food Championships host, Food Network host, Writer, Producer, Southern Boy, Restaurateur and dreamer-upper. In love with all things food and ready to take root in Las Vegas.

It’s a medieval process for curing meat that began as a necessity for storage. The process of preserving food for the long grueling seasons ahead so it won’t spoil its charcuterie is among the least expensive items on the menu to prepare with the highest yield of profit and the most ordered first course item on most restaurant menus. It’s among one the most trendy fashion statements a chef can make and has become somewhat of a calling card, adding the house-cured meats to his or her menu. It shows a sense of skill and technique, a sense of artisan craftsmanship. And today’s restaurantgoers love eating preserved, salted, smoked and

Photos by Justin Fox Burks

It’s the trends in food, fashion, and music that boost sales. Making something old feel new again. We are on repeat. The things that were interesting before are interesting again. It’s everything from clothes, décor, food, the process of procuring ingredients and the music that we tap our feet to. It’s unoriginal, and it’s been done. We loved it the first time, so we brought it back and made the same process or thing feel interesting again. It’s a trend. air-cured proteins. It’s thousands of years old. I own a charcuterie book from 1891, with the same recipes and techniques used today. But to today’s “foodies” it’s like a novel discovery. The “ploughman’s” plate is more than 200 years old; It consisted of a protein, day old bread and cheese–a single plate that would satisfy the hungriest of hungry and quickly get those overworked fellas back to the field. But within the last few years I’ve ordered more “ploughman” plates at neighborhood restaurants than my grandfather pulled from his own lunch pail. Why is the ploughman plate or meat and cheese selection interesting again? ~FLASHBACK~ I saw the cover of my father in-law’s Christmas present, a book called Beatles versus Stones. This may be an argument not really relevant anymore unless you’re sixty years old. I noticed the inside cover and thought, “Are you kidding me with how these guys dressed? Fitted twopiece black suits, slim tie and white shirt with a haircut like a certain famous child star, ten year old a.k.a. The Biebs. These guys are the charcuterie of music and fashion.” After my father left my family, my single mother worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. When Mom was able to afford her own car without Dad’s help, it was a proud moment for her. You could see it in her eyes: independence, freedom and pride. She chose a 72 Volkswagen Beetle and it was as orange as a Florida orange. Beautiful curves, interesting dashboard instruments, the fun trunk in the front and engine in the rear – very cool if you’re eight years old. The car had side steps

that ran the length of the car covered in rubber so you wouldn’t slip when you hopped into the car and amazingly shiny hub caps, like upside down chrome cereal bowls over each of the tire. My point in this vivid description is to remind you of the original. Volkswagen rereleased the “beetle” a few years back that was intended to look a little like the original, but fell short. Maybe the plastic flower in the cup holder is where they went wrong, but then again just last year the new Volkswagen Beetle was released and that joker is straight up old-school beetle cool. Obviously this modern version has different guts, but the exterior makes me recall a memory that is just as fond as the first time I saw it: Mom’s first single girl car. I love it, this method of recycling trends… specifically for me it’s the food I love seeing done again. It’s respect and the desire to recapture a simple time. I’ve talked and written over the topics of simple versus complicated when speaking about food, menus and restaurants. I am excited to see that we are rediscovering that food is simple, and fuel, and that it can taste great without us having to re-invent the wheel. The local pubs, restaurants, and bistros are uncomplicating life and menus by going back to “trends” we know like Beatles and Beetles, air cured pork and floppy haircuts. Creatures of habit remember what they enjoy. The point is, there’s nothing wrong with trends, just stop calling them trends. Like what you like for as long as you like it. Just know it’s already been done, the trend here is that we repeat ourselves.

February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 15

Life is Beautiful

October 24-26, 2014

By Joe Fogarty Photo by Joe Fogarty LIB Founder Rehan Choudhry, Wirtz Craft Portfolio Specialist Michael Shetler, Wirtz New Accounts Manager Katie Prindl, LIB Partner Joey Vanas, LIB Head of Culinary Arts Jolene Mannina & Wirtz Master of Tequila Kevin Vanegas

Last year, Life is Beautiful proved that Las Vegas can support a full-scale, multi-day festival featuring world-renowned music, culinary and art offerings. Now, heading into its second year, the festival is poised to surpass its extremely successful first year in every possible way. When Life is Beautiful was first announced last summer, nobody was really sure what to expect. Most festivals of that size and scope take place on large spaces of open land far away from populated areas. Here was a festival being attempted in the heart of one of the most populous and active cities in the world. The inaugural Life is Beautiful Festival came and went last October not only proving that a large-scale festival could fit into fifteen city blocks, but that it could be massively successful and attract visitors from every corner of the globe.

Life is Beautiful Founder Rehan Choudhry is not a native of Las Vegas, but he’s no stranger to cities known for gaming or to running festivals. Choudhry first came to Vegas to lead The Cosmopolitan’s Lifestyle Entertainment division. Before that, he spent several years heading the Food Network Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival while working for Caesars Entertainment. His past efforts contributed both to the success of Life is Beautiful’s first year and the scope of its non-musical elements.

16 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

It would be easy for Choudhry to rest on his laurels and simply aim for a repeat of last year, but Life is Beautiful’s first year’s success was not due to lack of ambition. “People can look forward to a more enhanced festival experience this year,” says Choudhry. “We also want to focus on the experience being more blended than last year.” Life is Beautiful is distinct from other music festivals in that it aims to be more than just a music festival. Life is Beautiful bills itself as a ‘music, food, art and learning festival,’ striving to have its culinary and other pillars be as strongly represented as its music offerings. Choudhry describes the 2013 festival as being “about 60% music, 30% culinary, and 10% art and learning.” For 2014, he wants to make those percentages closer to being equal. “That doesn’t mean we plan to reduce the amount of music, it just means we want to grow those other areas to match the quantity and quality of the music.”

In order to accomplish that more blended experience, there will be a blurring of the divisions between sections. Last year featured designated areas for culinary and art, which were sometimes far away from the stages and required people to make a choice between experiencing the music or seeing the festival’s other offerings. The plan for this year is a more integrated approach, with culinary demonstrations and art being exhibited in some of the same areas as the music performances. The combination doesn’t mean the areas will be completely merged, however. Last year’s Alchemy Garden was a huge success and there will likely be a very similar area in 2014. The Alchemy Garden was the brainchild of Wirtz Beverage Nevada leadership and its beverage development team. Like Choudhry, the company’s Senior Vice President, Kevin Roberts, says Wirtz Beverage also has big plans for the 2014 festival. “I think

Life is Beautiful • October 24-26, 2014 we proved what we could do last year in terms of creating a truly unique beverage experience. It was the first year and people left the festival feeling excited. Now, even more people want to be a part of it. That will help expand what we are able to do. It’s really exciting to lay that groundwork and involve our partners.”

Photo coutesy FilmMagic

The beverage plans coincide with Choudhry’s goal to blend the different experiences. One idea that Roberts mentioned was using one of the music stages for mixology demonstrations: “We really want to get more of the flair and expertise behind mixology displayed. There is a ton of talent within our company and locally that would be great to showcase.” The focus on mixology would also

Wirtz Craft Portfolio Specialist Kent Bearden

Wirtz Beverage was one of the first companies to take a chance and partner with the then unproven festival. However, as a company with a nearly 40 year history of doing business in the state, its dedication to community and local economy matched that of the festival creators. In addition to sponsorship and planning, Wirtz Beverage shares Choudhry’s vision of an experience that rivals other world-famous festivals like Coachella. According to Roberts, Wirtz Beverage’s main goal is to “…make an impact in the community that matters. One that helps our neighbors and partners. Life is Beautiful has created a lot of jobs and capital. That only makes us a stronger, more competitive community.” Life is Beautiful’s commitment to community was repaid last year by a massive local turnout. According to Choudhry, more than forty percent of last year’s attendees were Las Vegas locals, and that was an important precedent to set. Being in its first year surely had an impact on how many people were willing to travel from out-ofstate for a multi-day festival. Not being able to put up big attendance numbers for acts like The Killers

Photo coutesy FilmMagic

The Alchemy Garden may not be returning for 2014, at least in name, but several expanded beverage areas will be coming to take its place. Choudhry and Roberts both noted the success of the craft beer area last year, and the plan is to grow the number of craft beer offerings while applying a similar approach to other beverages. Roberts offered a sneak peek of what’s to come. “There is definitely going to be an area focused on bourbon, scotch, whiskey and maybe gin.” He also stated that their beverage coordinator had some “cool things planned with tequila.”

lead to a greater diversity in drink offerings, with traditional as well as innovative cocktails being available to festival goers.

and Beck could have meant that the festival’s first year would also be its last. Fortunately, Vegas stepped up and proved that the city is willing to support an event of that scale. Life is Beautiful 2014 looks poised to exceed last year in every way possible and remain an integral part of the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas. Choudhry sees a big future for entertainment marketing and Life is Beautiful works as a perfect proof of concept. “Branded entertainment is still in its infancy, so there is a lot of room for innovation and creativity,” says Choudhry, and the two seem to be the core philosophies behind Las Vegas’ first homegrown festival. A year ago, fitting a full-scale festival into the middle of Downtown Las Vegas seemed unfeasible at best Now, it doesn’t appear to have any major obstacles between where it’s

at and where Choudhry’s dream sees it going, “Space may become an issue at some point,” he jokes, “but for now we’re sticking to Downtown Las Vegas city blocks. “ For its part, Wirtz Beverage is locked in as a long-term festival partner and main sponsor. For other local companies interested in participating in this year’s festival which will take place October 24 – 26, Choudhry says now is the time to inquire. He anticipates their vendor spaces being filled long before the summer announcement of 2014’s line-up, which he promises will be even more impressive than last year. “The question people asked last year was ‘Is it going to work?’ and I think we delivered on that,” says Choudhry. The question going into 2014 seems to be ‘Is there any limit to how successful it can be?’

February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 17

By Chef Allen Asch Chef Allen Asch M. Ed., CCE is a culinary arts instructor that has earned degrees from Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales University and Northern Arizona University. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at UNLV. He earned his Certified Culinary Educator Endorsement from the American Culinary Federation in 2003.

Chef Talk Egg-citing Food I don’t know why, but throughout my career I have had a bit of an obsession with the egg. Not so much cooking it or eating it, but where did it come from. Maybe the attraction comes from one of my first memories from being a student at The Culinary Institute of America. The legendary tale of the how and why are pleats on a chef hat. I remember going to school and the first Chef/Instructor I had told us that the traditional toque had 100 pleats to represent the 100 ways a French chef could prepare eggs. I never understood that. Was it 100 cooking methods for the eggs or 100 dishes? I still do not know as neither answer is sensible to me. As an educator I have dug deep into where the egg comes from and how it gets to us. I have been fortunate that I have had the opportunity

to tour 5 egg farms and sit in on seminars about the process of egg harvesting and the welfare of the animals that produce the eggs. I think I know as much about egg production as anyone should know. I have toured large and small farms in Pennsylvania and Atlanta and toured the massive Eggland’s Best Farm in Denver. Here are some facts about eggs. Brown chickens (mostly Rhode Island Reds) lay brown eggs and white chickens lay white (and other colored) eggs. That is the only difference between them. Nutritionally the eggs are identical but brown eggs cost more because brown chickens eat more than white chickens. Chickens lay eggs approximately every 26 hours when they are the most fertile and in an ideal setting of food and lighting. Chickens start laying eggs when they are 19 or 20 weeks old; by comparison the chickens we eat are around 10 weeks old. They lay for around 40 weeks and then take about 5 weeks off and lay for another 40 weeks. Young chickens lay small eggs, older chickens lay larger eggs. Chickens lay eggs with or without a rooster, but fertilization occurs only with a rooster. There are three main parts to the egg: the shell, the white and the yolk. The shell consists of about 7000 pores. This is the part of the egg that everyone does not think about and throws out, or hopefully composts. The shell and the pores are very important in understanding the egg. If you have ever tried to peel a fresh egg you know that this is hard, while peeling an older egg will always be easier. The reason is that the pores have allowed some of the albumin, the egg whites, to dissipate into the air of the refrigerator. The other huge part of the shell and the pores is

that it allows refrigerator odors to seep into the eggs. Sometimes this is great, if you have ever had truffled eggs, but sometimes this is bad, if you have cut onions near the eggs for a flan. Inside the egg you have the egg white and the yolk. The egg white has no fat while the yolk has a lot of fat. The yolk is connected to the white by the white cords known as the chalazae. These cords are concentrated egg whites produced while the egg is being formed. The egg spins while it is being produced and the chalazae are the concentrated twisted strands of proteins being bundled up like a rubber band being spun. As the egg ages the chalazae unwinds and becomes less visible in the egg. The yolk is about 1/3rd of the egg and a large egg should weigh 2 ounces. The freshest eggs should be used when making fried eggs, due to the stature of the egg yolk, and for this reason the fresh egg should be used in baking, as one of the purposes of the egg is to give structure to baked goods. Older eggs are best for uses when the eggs are cracked, such as omelets and when they are to be hard cooked and peeled such as egg salad, due to the evaporated egg whites making peeling much easier. Both whites and yolks contain sulfur due to the sulfur composites that are needed in the development of feathers, but they are barely detected in fresh eggs. As an egg ages the compounds become more pronounced leading to the bad egg smell that occurs when an egg gets old. Another place that the sulfur compounds come out is if you overheat an egg while hard cooking it. The yolk will turn green from the sulfur and this can be avoided by not boiling eggs, but simmering them.

The Commissary/Downtown Grand Welcome Party

Photos by Juanita Aiello

18 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 19

Brett’s BY


The Chinese production “PANDA!” premiered at The Venetian-Palazzo with high-flying acrobatics, martial arts, music and dance. “Pawn Shop Live!,” a Broadway-style parody about History Channel’s reality hit “Pawn Stars,” opened at the Golden Nugget. Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban will headline the Academy of Country Music’s second ACM Party for a Cause Festival April 4 and 5 at The LINQ with Joe Nichols, Jerrod Niemann, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young, The Cadillac Three, plus more. “Raiding the Rock Vault” featuring an all-star super group of rock musicians will continue through 2014 at the LVH. RockTellz & CockTails will present The Jacksons at Planet Hollywood with Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon performing 40 shows from Feb. 20 to April 27, and Meat Loaf will return for 24 dates beginning Feb. 13. Luxor headliner Criss Angel has a new show, “CRISS ANGEL MAGICjam,” for February and March while he rehabilitates from shoulder surgery. Angel is spotlighting the “magic!ans” and specialty acts. The Tenors will join ONE DROP’s second global philanthropy event “One Night for ONE DROP” Friday, March 21 at Mandalay Bay performing alongside artists from all eight Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil shows. Rita Rudner will return throughout 2014 to headline limited engagements in the Sands Showroom at The Venetian. “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks has additional dates at Napoleon’s at Paris running through Feb. 28. “Jubilee!” at Bally’s is closed and undergoing a major transformation.

Jimmy Hopper is back in town appearing every Friday and Saturday nights at The Bootlegger Bistro with 9 p.m. dinner and 11 p.m. cocktail shows.

Boyz II Men will perform at The Mirage on select weekend dates through 2014. DJ/producer/songwriter Zedd has an exclusive 2014 residency with Wynn Las Vegas daylife-nightlife venues Encore Beach Club, Surrender and XS. Comedy magician and former “America’s Got Talent” contestant Spencer Horsman is guest starring in “ILLUSIONS” at the Riviera through Feb. 24. Bonkerz Comedy Club has debuted in the Edge Lounge at JW Marriott and Rampart Casino every Thursday at 7 p.m. The Mirage will host the sixth annual “Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops” Wednesday, Feb. 19 with Gabriel Iglesias, Kathleen Madigan, Josh Blue and Roy Wood, Jr. It will be recorded and later air on Country Music Television. Vinyl at the Hard Rock is extending comedian Andrew Dice Clay’s residency with 15 additional shows through March 2014. Dennis Bono has a one-year extension for his free weekly national variety radio show recorded before a live audience every Thursday at 2 p.m. at South Point.


Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is celebrating the Year of the Horse for Chinese New Year through March 1 with the Beijing Trio performing 5–6 p.m. nightly. On Saturday, March 15, the 13th annual “Run Away with Cirque du Soleil” 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Walk at Springs Preserve will kick-off ONE DROP World Water Week, March 15-22. The official Britney Spears boutique, Britney: U Wanna Piece of Me?, has opened in the

20 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

Miracle Mile Shops to coincide with her new Planet Hollywood show.

“Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion” exhibiting 40 touchable life-size machines is running at Springs Preserve through May 4. Irish painter Graham Knuttel is collaborating with Las Vegas Academy of the Arts students to design two art murals for Neonopolis. Knuttel opened a gallery featuring his work at The Venetian-Palazzo Resort. Jerry’s Nugget Casino, family-owned and operated since 1964 in North Las Vegas, celebrated its 50-year anniversary. The M Resort introduced new M Experience Rooms with 14 added amenities including Vitamin C infused shower water.


Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar opened at The LINQ with a DJ, ground and upper-level patios and mechanical bull. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar opened a new restaurant with a large wraparound patio in Town Square for lunch and dinner. SLS Las Vegas, under construction, announced that Hollywood’s Cleo will join the resort’s other upcoming culinary offerings The Bazaar by José Andrés, Katsuya, Umami Burger, 800 Degrees and The Griddle Café. Hash House A Go Go closed its M Resort location. Border Grill will open a second Las Vegas location this summer inside The Forum Shops at Caesars. TREVI Italian Restaurant is offering cocktails in 32-ounce Las Vegas sign souvenir cups at the walk-up gelato bar inside The Forum Shops at Caesars.

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Is The LINQ Open Yet? Why you should go to Vegas’s newest outdoor playground right now. By Rob Kachelriess

Photo by Denise Truscello

Caesars Entertainment had this grand idea to make an alleyway between two casinos an open-air hotspot for booze, food, fun and shopping. I guess they found another place to store the dumpsters. The project is nestled between the Flamingo and The Quad and called The LINQ. As in “link”… not “linx”… so don’t mess it up. Its main attraction is a 550 foot high ferris observation wheel called the High Roller. It’s built but won’t welcome passengers for a few more months. So that leaves the shops and restaurants to check out. The bad news: only six are open so far. The good news: They’re worth a look. Here you go. Fortunately, they didn’t totally jack up the prices like you might expect in a tourist spot and the comfy couches are pretty nice. The real Fresh ingredients are emphasized over the usual question is how long it will take to build another slop that you might find inside the burritos Starbucks directly across from it on the other and tacos at other Mexican joints. It also has side of the alley. what’s being described as the “Sexiest Bull Ride in Vegas,” which is based on keeping Purple Zebra hot girls on the mechanical bull as long as Slush bars are nothing new on the Strip. The possible. Example here. ( twist here is you pay for your own “novelty com/watch?v=gh3G8R5K4_8) Order up the vessel” ranging in size from 16 to 100 ounces in tacos with Maine lobster and chipotle mayo or goofy shapes like a saxophone or a woman’s leg. the “Del Mar” selection of seasonal seafood. Fill it up with a daiquiri or some other frozen There’s also a “drunk menu” for those on the concoction and bring it back for 30% off refills. prowl late at night. You know who you are.

mouth. Yes, drinkers are a big part of the target demographic here. So what else is there?...


The High Roller Observation Wheel

Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar

The interactive maps These are so cool, they deserve their own entry. Forget the maps with the big sticker that says “you are here.” Instead, you have an interactive touch screen that fills you in on everything nearby and allows you to search venues by keywords. It will also act like a giant camera and snap your photo – which then gets sent to your email address. It’s something fun to do on a date and way more impressive than taking a selfie.


Mustard and relish is okay. But did you ever think your hot dog was missing some foie gras on top? Order up the Billionaire Dog or if arugula and smoked bacon is more your thing, take a bite out of the Gold Standard. These aren’t your typical fast food franks. Think of them as hot dogs for food snobs.

Trinkets, gag gifts and the kind of stuff you might find in a SkyMall catalog. So now you don’t have to book a flight if you’re interested in finding knick knacks such as umbrellas shaped like samurai swords and a kit to build Starbucks your own ice luge. It allows you to pour your Of course, The LINQ has a Starbucks. And favorite booze down a shaft within a block of I’m pretty sure you know what these guys do. ice where it will then drip off into your buddy’s 22 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

Photo by Denise Truscello

The Haute Doggery

Photo by Rob Kachelriess

This longtime locals favorite was shut down about two years ago so Caesars could blow up a parking lot and help transform the Imperial Palace into The Quad. It’s now back open as the main bar at The LINQ with live music, beer pong, foosball and more draft beer than your party of four hundred can handle. It could get some competition when the Yard House opens up a few doors down in just a few months.

Ok, so it’s not open yet… but it’s right there in front of you. And it just looks badass. So while respecting the current “look but you can’t touch” policy, just be happy you’ve got this latest marvel of engineering in the background for all the photos you’re taking.

Big Dog’s Winterfest

Photos by Juanita Aiello

Brooklyn Brewery Launch

Photos by Juanita Aiello

Aces & Ales Winter Beer Fest



Photos by Juanita Aiello

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Membership includes $20 off up to five rides per month an additional $100 savings!

Call to sign up Use promo code XX2376MG February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 23


Personal Appearance:

By Linda Westcott-Bernstein

What About Those Tattoos and Body Piercings?

Linda Bernstein has provided sound human resources advice and guidance to Fortune 500 companies and others for over 25 years. She has helped these organizations review procedures and implement solutions that are designed to reduce liabilities and increase their profits. She also assists with the development of human capital through focused employee retention and training programs designed for all levels of employees. Linda has written a self-help book entitled “It All Comes Down to WE!” which offers guidelines for building a solid and enduring personal work ethic. You can find her book on the website (below) or on Amazon or Google books. Phone:


Email: Booksite:

How does that lip piercing look to you as you stare up at the face of your dental hygienist? Do the “sleeves” on the arms of the guy taking your order at the counter of your local fast food joint look messy? Does the nervous fidgeting of your food server with their gauged ears while taking your order make you want to run from the table? You are not alone. Some “expressions of personal freedom” make an impression on us that is not a positive one.

against a person’s race, color, religion, age, national

So, are tattoos and body piercings really a distraction in the workplace? That depends on a few factors. If the piercing is in an area, such as the face, where continual eye contact is made, a piercing can not only be inappropriate but downright uncomfortable for your customers. Additionally, employees that have unsuitable subject matter, large or offensive tattoos could offend your clientele. Many companies feel that they need personal appearance policies in place in order to protect the public image of their business.

restaurant, any leniency for the tattoos that he had on his

Legal issues surrounding the hiring of employees with tattoos and body piercings can be avoided by implementing a well written, non-discriminatory company policy. The policy should include information on the hiring of individuals and how their body art is to be concealed. There is no law governing how an employee looks, but if your expectations are included in the policy and employee handbook, the company is protected by it. Once your organization provides employees with a well-written policy, you draw the line in the sand as to what is expected at work.

Orlando and Wal-Mart have written policies that apply to

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The most important factor of having a policy that prohibits tattoos and piercings is the consistency of enforcing it. Once the hiring process begins, it is important for a document to be signed that outlines the details of your expectations regarding tattoos and piercings. According to the EEOC, employers can impose dress codes and appearance policies as long as they don’t discriminate


Question of the Month

24 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

origin or gender. Managers need to be well versed in their company’s policy in order to avoid the possibility of employment discrimination. One case that outlines the importance of a well-written policy is the case in which the U.S. EEOC claimed Red Robin refused Edward Rangel, a server employed at the wrists, acquired as a rite of passage for his religion, an ancient Egyptian faith. Rangel worked for the company for six months, with no complaints from fellow employees, supervisors or customers. Once a new manager was hired, Rangel was fired. Because the tattoos were religious in nature, Rangel was rewarded with $150,000 in damages, according to (2005). Some companies like Walt Disney World, SeaWorld visible tattoos. Tattoos don’t become an employment issue unless they are visible. Many workers realize this and limit body art to their torsos, arms, ankles or necks where they can cover their exposed tattoos with long pants, longsleeved shirts and other work-appropriate clothing. Disney doesn’t allow its employees to use bandages to cover their tattoos, but they can use opaque makeup. SeaWorld specifies that tattoos will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Wal-Mart says that tattoos “that are offensive or distractive are to be covered by clothing or other means.” Tattoos and body piercings have become commonplace for professionals in their 20s and 30s. According to statistics, 23% of 25-29 year olds have the highest occurrence of tattoos in the workplace. While society is changing, work place rules and regulations are still lagging behind what is hip and popular with the personal trends of the day. To protect a company from having legal issues and the nondiscriminating hiring of employees with body piercings and tattoos, once you have a policy in place, it is important that human resources and management stand sternly by it.

Next month’s topic: Are “Sick Days” a Thing of the Past? Does you company allow sick time when employees are ill due to their own or a family member’s short-term illness? Share your comments on this topic or a situation. Send to Responses for next month’s column earn a copy of my book (see above, left). Be sure to include your mailing address when sending useful responses.

Valentine’s Day Spots to

By Shelley Stepanek

Stay in Love

Buzios always has a special Valentine’s Day menu, with plenty of Ceviche, Lump Crab Cakes, and fabulous dishes such as the Petite Filet Mignon, Lobster and Rock Shrimp, or the Poached Chilean Sea Bass. The Rio’s excellent restaurant is modestly priced. Open from 5-11 p.m. 702-777-7697.

You might ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris and get a panoramic view of the Bellagio fountains and the rest of the city. $10 until 7:15, $15 thereafter.

The fountains of Bellagio, a free show that occurs every 15-30 minutes, is a great way to finish off the evening. Even if you have seen it a dozen times, it will still continue to dazzle you, and is a romantic spot for all.

The Stratosphere offers another spectacular view of the entire city, and is $10 for the ride up.

N9NE Steakhouse - the Palms

Photo courtesy Buzios

N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms has a special menu that day. The huge Veal Chop served with mushrooms, roasted peppers, onions and marsala sauce or the Seared Fin Ahi Tuna with crispy noodles and seaweed salad are fabulous choices. There are plenty of great options with the new menu, for couples who would like to share the 48 oz. Prime Rib Eye Tomahawk for two. For reservations call 702-933-9900.

Photo courtesy N9NE Steakhouse

TENDER Steak & Seafood in the Luxor is offering a 3-course prix fixe meal on Friday. Starting with Lobster Ravioli & Artichoke Crab Ragout, it is served with a Maso Canali Pinot Grigio Trentino. The 2nd course is crisp Garden Greens with Persian Cucumber, Fennel & Radish Black Currant Balsamic Vinaigrette, accompanied by MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast. You have your choice of Black Angus Beef Tenderloin Medallions or Canadian Skuna Bay Salmon, both served with a wonderful wine, and finishing up with a Dessert Tasting Trio of Vanilla Bean Crème Brule, Cherry Red Velvet Shortcake and a Chocolate Soufflé Cake. Chef KC Fazel has worked on this menu to dazzle your Valentine. Call 702-2624852 for reservations.

Buzios - the Rio

Why Join JCCNV? Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Nevada works in conjunction with local citizens, businesses,

educational and governmental partners to support a vibrant international business environment, and to improve and nurture business relations between Nevada and Japan. You are welcome to attend our many exciting events, and you are encouraged to bring lots of business cards!! We also welcome you to join a committee, check our website, and support your fellow JCCNV members. Please contact us via e-mail, if you have any questions or comments. Annual Membership Fee Individual Membership Fee - $20 Corporate Membership Fee - $200 (includes 5 membership cards) (702) 428-0555

(We speak in English and in Japanese!)


By Mitchell Wilburn Mitchell Wilburn is a food and drink writer living in Las Vegas. You can view his restaurant, beer, spirits, and event articles at, or follow him on Facebook at mitchellwilburnofficial.

Michael Mina

Photo courtesy Michael Mina

Chef Michael Mina is a chef that needs no introduction, for the profound impact he’s had on the Las Vegas dining culture. With 19 restaurants currently under his belt, an eye to the future and a knack for amazing, approachable food has cemented him in the pantheon of great American chefs. I was fortunate enough to sit down with the famous chef, to speak on his latest Vegas concept, mixology, and finding excellent executive chefs. Your latest concept is Pub 1842 in the MGM. What was your motivation behind opening a pub? A lot of times when we’re doing projects, and I’ve been in partnership with MGM for many years now, we’re doing them based around who’s in the building. We kind of look at them as little cities. I had Seablue there for about twelve years, and MGM was gracious enough to say, “We want to do another project with you.” We all took a look at the situation and thought a gastropub would be great. I’m a person who really enjoys a challenge, and I’d want to open a restaurant I would take my family and friends to eat at. We had a lot of fun with their menu and the beverage program. Mixology is becoming such a big part of any restaurant; do you think the importance of a very robust beverage program is here to stay? I think one thing we’ve seen in food over the last fifteen years is the progression of everything. Everything that touches your palate is being taken much more seriously. The way I look at it, honestly, is that most cocktails you see on a restaurant’s menu are at about the same pricepoint as a classic martini. As you start elevating things and stay within that price point, you’ll get an audience. People are much more experimental with food than they’ve ever been. As long as it’s good, balanced—which is very similar to food—with acid and sugar levels. If it’s out of balance, you’re not going to get more than one down! There are drinks on that menu that appeal to the “Mixology Nerds,” who love seeing things that use unusual ingredients, like port or mescal. There are people that will want to try something because it sounds nice and it’s from a reputable place, and there are people that will want to geek out on every detail in it. The trick to making a good drink menu is appealing to both. A pub is a good way to make both happy.

You’ve seen the Vegas scene evolve for some time now. Where do you think we are going as a “food city”? What you see in Las Vegas is a lot of ‘reinventing.’ Past the 10 year threshold of being here, you start to see things run a cycle. Steakhouses will survive much longer than that, of course, but the idea of how long a Japanese or Italian restaurant versus a fine dining French survives is interesting. It’s not all that dissimilar to the country as a whole. There has been a big movement for neighborhood restaurants, cozy personal restaurants, and it will be interesting to see if that comes here. You look at these casinos, like a small city with their own demographic and population, so all the restaurants have to be really huge. Smaller restaurants are generally looked at as more upscale here. A kind of homegrown trend for Vegas is the very classic menu items, Lobster Thermidore and Rabbit Fricassee. Is that an example of Vegas having its own original food culture? I wouldn’t say Las Vegas has ever been ‘behind.’ There are restaurants here that are way ahead of the curve for food, and especially ahead of the curve as far as design. There is nowhere else you can get educated as quickly in the design of a restaurant. I feel Vegas has plenty for progressive, interesting food, comparable to New York or San Francisco. To answer your question, I don’t know if we’ve seen enough of that to know it’s a Vegas-original trend, but it will be interesting to see. What are some upcoming projects for Michael Mina? We are doing a couple new things in the Bay Area. There’s a Japanese concept with a really cool ramen noodle shop connected to it. The other is a huge project at the new 49ers stadium. It’s going to be a very different project. One third of it is a bourbon/steak/pub concept, open every day. On game days, the other two thirds

26 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

of the space will hold one thousand people; that is going to be a “Michael Mina Tailgate Party.” We’ve got massive equipment, like a rotisserie you can cook a whole ox on, things you can poach two hundred lobsters at once in. It’s all year long memberships, so we can go as crazy as you want to go. It’s two of my biggest passions, food and football. One amazing thing your restaurant American Fish is doing is popularizing eating an invasive species, Lion Fish. It’s good for the environment, and it’s a really good fish. You can do it in so many ways, and it’s so tasty. It’s a predator fish, and it’s hurting our reefs and our ecosystems, so eating it is really the only way to help that. The new executive chef of Stripsteak is Gerald Chin; how has he been working out? What has his impact been on the restaurant? It takes a while to take over a kitchen, and to get your team in place. You’ve seen him doing a ton of really amazing specials and great food, and with the spring menu his experimentation will be coming to the menu. Things like his “two minute bacon,” which is smoked at the table, are delicious. I had that and I knew it had to be on the menu. The goal with bringing in someone like Gerald was to take Stripsteak to the next level. We are keeping the basic techniques, like poaching the steaks in butter, but Gerald is taking everything to the next level. People ask me what I think about social media, and I think it’s the greatest thing because people are getting credit for what they do. It’s hard to get a writer to sit down and talk about the people behind the scenes actually coming up with specials and dishes. We love to show what our great chefs are doing, and I’ll follow what other companies’ chefs are doing just to enjoy their talent.

By Victoria Pindrik Victoria Pindrik has a passion for the hospitality industry and is

Epicurean Corner

currently a senior at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, pursuing a degree in Hotel Administration. She holds the position of Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for UNLV Epicurean Society.

As soon as our fall semester ended, the Epicurean Board members left campus for a well deserved break. The ensuing lull in activities allowed us time to reflect on what was a very busy and productive semester. Our on-campus events started with a creative pizza topping contest that saw some very “interesting” combinations (none of the creative toppings unfortunately were adopted onto anyone’s local pizza menu). For Halloween we made our own candied apples, dressed in costume and sold a bunch of them on the campus quad in order to raise some funds for our “kitty.” Teaming with the student Beverage Club we prepared and served appetizers for their Sake Night and cooked a five-course meal for a food and craft beer pairing dinner allowing our student/ chefs an opportunity to don their whites and gain some valuable culinary experience. One of our charity events occurred the day before Thanksgiving when a turkey dinner with “all the trimmings” was prepared and served to the campus students who were not able to join their families for the holiday. Dining off campus allowed us to not only enjoy some

very delicious meals but added to our industry knowledge as either the owner or chef at each location shared insights on how to operate a successful restaurant. Our thanks are extended to Le Thai on Fremont St, Carmine’s Pizza Kitchen (the original Carmine’s on Maryland Parkway), Marinelli’s at the M Resort, Forte Tapas on Rainbow and we concluded this eatathon with a fun night at the Sugar Factory. We also want to thank Out West Meats for giving our members a guided tour of their meat processing facility. But that was last fall, and now as we gather to begin our spring classes I would like to introduce you to this semester’s officers, some of whom are returning and others who have stepped forward to volunteer their efforts. First, our returning President, Ada Ma and Vice President, Matt Fischer. Joyce Ng is the new Treasurer while Ricarda Santos will serve as Secretary. Our new Historian Victoria Pindrik is also serving as the Public Relations Coordinator; BOH Director & Coordinator: Ah Lik Lam & Jonathan Osborne; Executive Chef: Hamilton Tran; Marketing Director: Thomas

Noonan; Event Managers: Emily Leavitt & Joyce Ng; Restaurant Coordinators: Penny Philippou, Carla Tan, Jenny Vo; and lastly our Beverage Club Liason: Kyle Briski. Once again we are fortunate to have two faculty advisers, Professors Al Izzolo and Jean Hertzman, to guide us. Currently we have 20 students serving on our board and an additional 800 members listed on our website. If any organization has an idea that we might be able to use for either an on or off campus activity please feel free to contact me at (818) 857-0750. I would be glad to add it to our weekly agenda. We encourage any purveyor who wishes to introduce a current or new product that might appeal to a college age demographic to consider showcasing it through one of our venues. Now that the spring semester has started so have we. At our first board meeting we decided that we will “Sweeten our Sweeties” on Valentine’s Day with chocolate coated strawberries and heart shaped cookies. More to come...

Save the Date - Chef Artist To Our Friends & Generous Supporters, This is a save the date for our Tuesday, February 25 Banfi Wine Reception and Presentation, and Tuesday March 25 and April 29 Chef Artist Dinners at the Stan Fulton Building showcasing the cuisines of two outstanding chefs. On Tuesday, February 25th, our guest host will be Bill Whiting, director of Wine and Education for Banfi, who is also the nephew of the founder John Mariani Sr. Castello Banfi is a family owned winery located in Tuscany, Italy. They are a major sponsor of hospitality education and donor to the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. The event will start with an opening reception featuring a selected wine and Tuscan foods followed by an educational wine tasting by Bill Whiting. On Tuesday, March 25th, our guest host will be Beth Pokorny, owner of Lola’s, A Louisiana Kitchen, located in downtown Las Vegas. The restaurant features authentic Louisiana Cajun food. Lola’s was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and in many publications in Las Vegas, including The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional. This casual event with action stations will be a great opportunity to get to know our local “Chef Artist.”

On Tuesday, April 29th, our hosts will be Chef Wes and Laurie Kendrick, the brother-sister collaboration from Table 34, a “New American Cuisine” restaurant, known for their fresh, gourmet and comfort food offerings. Las Vegas Review Journal rated this restaurant an “A” for its food, atmosphere and service. This will be a four course dinner that will feature a variety of contemporary foods. This promises to be an evening to remember. Single tickets: Banfi $15, Lola’s and Table 34, $100 each. Purchase tickets for both dinners before Feb. 19 and you will receive the discounted price of $150 and it will include a seat at the Banfi tasting for no additional charge. A reception for each event will begin at 6:00 pm. Menu information will be sent out soon. For reservations please call Adrianna Oliva at 562-3654504 or email We want these events to be on your calendars - in ink (no penciling us in for these sell-out events). We look forward to seeing you at our event! The Chef Artist Management Class of Spring 2014 February 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 27

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Spawned by a mistake in a glassblowing class, who could know that only a few years later, the NEAT glass would have been the glassware of choice for many of the larger spirits judging events in the country. NEAT, which stands for naturally engineered aroma technology, re-engineered the approach to evaluating and enjoying spirits with simple physical science. By forcing evaporated vapors through a smaller opening, the alcohol vapors accelerate and disappear over the rim before they can numb your nose, leaving behind the remaining aromas, allowing spirits drinkers to taste and smell exactly what is in their favorite distillation. NEAT works well for all spirits including whiskey, rum, tequila, cognac, gin, vodka, port, and after dinner liqueurs, displaying all characteristics of the spirit and enabling the drinker to make wiser purchasing decisions. NEAT is a favorite of chefs because it enhances food pairings, is preferred by cigar and pipe smokers, and is used by the distilleries as a quality control and diagnostic tool. George Manska and Christine Crnek, both residents of Las Vegas, designed and patented the glass, and the UNLV Chemistry Department aided in the product development with GCMS testing to validate the final design. NEAT is living up to its motto, “Changing the way the world drinks,” and the most common expression from those who take the NEAT glass challenge is “WOW.” Las Vegas-based Arsilica, Inc is the inventor and patent holder, and NEAT is available on Amazon, at Total Wine, through Wine Enthusiast, Unicahome, and Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits in Las Vegas. Distributors wanted. For more information visit the website at, check out the NEAT glass Facebook page, and twitter @ theneatglass.

28 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I February 2014

Soy sauce is not born equal but created differently. White soy sauce is a unique liquid condiment, traditional yet new to the western culinary world. It is not milky white but pale in color just like “white” for transparent-pale color wine. It is made mostly from wheat with a little soybeans, while vice versa for regular dark soy sauce. The more wheat used, the less dark is the result. It plays a unique role in seasoning and cooking with respectable characters in Japanese culinary. Currently regular dark soy sauce dominates tasting buds in Japan and also in the western culinary arena. Today soy sauce goes beyond sushi or sashimi into fusion or even western cooking. It brings a plant origin savory tastediversifying flavor spectra in many foods. It is particularly excellent for grilled or fried foods. But how about for vegetables, salad or seafood? Such dominant characters of regular soy sauce as a burnt note and black color bring pressing pungent flavor and dark color, likely impressing over-cooked or darkening of original appearance. White soy sauce can alter it to a more natural way of seasoning or cooking of these delicate flavored foods. The savory taste of white soy sauce comes from wheat, not soybeans. It gives subtle flavor for enhancing and harmonizing taste congenitally with other ingredients. It gives no overpowering pungent burnt flavor. It also functions to suppress unpleasant odors like fishy smell in a short soaking. The most noticeable effect is no darkening color. You may be able to present your culinary outcomes in a natural manner with respects to appearance and taste. You may need no flavor enhancer like MSG or nucleotide products. It is applicable in gravy, sauce, soup or salad dressing. Our white soy sauce, “White Tamari,” has been used in natural or fusion restaurants in Hawaii, California, Arizona and the east coast as well as in Asian cooking in the Midwest. However, it spreads slowly. Creative chefs may not be willing to share it as a secret. It is not mass-produced but made traditionally in Japan. Our White Tamari is for those who seek something creative or different from others and prefer food preparation-presentation in a more natural manner. You may create your own with White Tamari. White Soy Sauce Food Co. 1015 E. Howard Ct., Visalia, CA 93292 559-739-1963 FAX 559-739-1972 or

CUSTOM BLENDED HERBS and SPICES MADE LOCALLY IN LAS VEGAS Al Dentes’ Provisions is a wholesale distributor of exceptional quality dried spices and specialty foods to the finest hotels and restaurants in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Al Dentes’ Provisions is owned and operated by a former chef with over 20 years of experience. Wherever he worked around the country he was never satisfied with the dried spices available to him so he started his own company where we control all aspects of purchasing, packing and distribution. We pack our spices to be sold and distributed not warehoused for years. We believe this enables us to provide the finest and freshest product available to the foodservice industry. We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell:

• Custom packed Herbs and Spices • Custom Spice Blends • Private labeling • Now Certified Kosher

Check us out online!

Website: Online Retail Store:

now open!

S, N V





Al Dentes’ Provisions 6960 W Warm Springs Road, Suite 130 • Las Vegas, Nevada 89113 702-642-1100 • 702-617-5686 fax •



retail store







March 16-20 Exhibitors Expo Mandalay Bay CC exhibitorshow/2014/index.asp

February 7-9 Chinese New Year

March 23-26 Catersource Show Paris Las Vegas

February 8 Splendor in the Glass February 9-12 NGA-National Grocers Association Expo

March 23-26 Event Solutions Show Paris Las Vegas March 25-26 International Restaurant Show-LVCC

February 25 ACF Chefs Las Vegas Dinner/Meeting

March 24-26 NCB-Nightclub & Bar Show-LVCC


March 24-27 Pizza Expo-LVCC

March 2-5 ACF Western Regional Convention Oakland, CA March 6-9 Natural Products-West Anaheim, CA March 8 Annual Taste of ExcellenceWorld Market Center

March 25 ACF Chefs Dinner/Meeting-Gold Coast March 26-30 Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association Indian Wells, CA March 29 Chefs for Kids-Dinner & Auction Paris Hotel

March 7-14 Las Vegas Restaurant Week by Three Square-Various Venues

To see more events, visit calendar.htm

Aces & Ales 702-638-2337

page 8

JCCNV 702-428-0555

page 25

Al Dentes’ Provisions 702-642-1100

page 30

Major Products 702-838-4698

page 29

Big Dog’s Brewing Company 702-368-3715

page 25

Neat Glass 702-332-7163

page 2

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse page 31 702-851-8050

Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show

page 32

Catersource Conference & Tradeshow 800-932-3632

Nosh Las Vegas

page 13

Visstun Visually Stunning Cups 800-401-2910

page 21

White Soy Sauce

page 24

Wirtz Beverage/ Oskar Blues

page 19

page 7

Designated Drivers, Inc. Las Vegas 702-456-7433(RIDE)

page 23

Jay’s Sharpening 702-645-0049

page 10

Don’t See Your Event Listed Here? Email Your F&B Events to

Let’s Get Together at BJ’s! Weekday Lunch Specials • Snacks and Small Bites • Fresh Salads • ENLIGHTENED ENTREES® Signature Deep Dish Pizzas • Culinary Creations • Pizookie® Desserts • Award-Winning Handcrafted Beers CALL AHEAD WAITING LIST | ONLINE ORDERING | CURBSIDE TAKE OUT

CENTENNIAL | 702-851-8050


SUMMERLIN | 702-853-2300


HENDERSON | 702-473-2980

join us for HAPPY HOUR Mon.– Fri. 3–7PM | LATE NIGHT Sun.–Thurs. 10PM–Close W W W. B J S R E S TA U R A N T S . C O M | AD_GenHHR_Centenn_BJ5279_r2.indd 1

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February 2014  

Trade publication for food & beverage professionals in the the Las Vegas area

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