Issue 4 Volume 16
with Well-deserved Lifetime Leadership Award
CONTENTS AND COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLISHER MIKE FRYER
CONGRATULATIONS TO LARRY RUVO FOR RECEIVING THE “LIFETIME LEADERSHIP AWARD” FROM WSWA! The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional congratulates a giant in the Las Vegas Beverage Industry who has done so much to help develop Las Vegas into what it is today. In this April issue our Editorial Director, Bob Barnes, has a chance to interview Larry Ruvo in the midst of his ever busy day, and get some heart-felt comments and concerns first hand from the man who has built a beverage empire, created many charitable projects, and won numerous awards for his endeavors.
Wine Talk with Alice Swift has us take a look at the UNLVino class of 2016 at UNLV. UNLVino is yet another charitable event created by Larry Ruvo 42 years ago in order to raise funds to help both needing and deserving Hospitality students at UNLV. The extensive class, which only allows 30 carefully selected students, who are called managers, teaches all aspects of creating a major fundraiser from planning stages through preparation and final execution. Read more of Alice’s column on the UNLVino class and I’m sure you’ll be impressed.
UNLV’s Epicurean Society is reported on here from our journalist Matthew Cairo, who is a Hospitality Management student at UNLV. Matthew gives us an inside look at the workings and events of the Epicurean Society past, present, and future and what is coming up that the public has a chance to try. If you like great food as much as these epicureans do, you’ll want to delve further into Matthew’s column.
CHEERS! MIKE FRYER
Hot Off the Grill!
Human Resources Insights
Behind the Scenes of UNLVino
Page 5 For the Love of the Craft Absolut Elyx Supercool Tour Page 6
Is Everyone’s Concern Page 18 Good for Spooning 81/82 Partner Jason “JRoc” Craig Page 20 COVER FEATURE
Page 33 The Bottom Line Loss Leaders Can Boost Earnings Like No Other
WSWA Honors Larry Ruvo with
Lifetime Leadership Award
Chef Josh Smith Is a Rising Star
Page 34 Nightclub & Bar Show 2016
Page 24 Page 10 West Eats East Soy Sauce, Black or White Page 12 Food for Thought Love the Taste of Spring
Page 35 Book Review
200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes
Catersource Event Solutions 2016 Page 26 What’s Cooking Page 28 Product Spotlight
Page 36 Megan Mack’s Latenight Excursions Page 37 Product Review
at the Table
Bob’s Beer Bits and Sips
Brett’s Vegas View
UNLV Epicurean Society
April 2016 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 3
The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 7442 Grizzly Giant Street Las Vegas, NV 89139 www.lvfnbpro.com
HOT OFF THE GRILL!
April 2016 Mike Fryer
The 6th Annual Universal Whiskey Experience at Encore Casino Resort on March 5 proved once again why it is the world’s most ultimate whiskey tasting event with table after table of high-end and rare selections representing every major distiller of Scotch, Bourbon, and Japanese whiskies, some of which were valued at more than $300 per glass. Here LVFNBPro Editorial Director Bob Barnes congratulates Universal Whiskey Experience Founder Mahesh Patel on yet another extremely successful event.
Thank you for joining us in this issue of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional. For any questions or comments please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Nightclub & Bar Show was a total success this year, according to organizers, and we would agree. New products and services were abundant and a number of returning exhibitors rounded out the show. We were delighted to meet up with our friend Chazz Palminteri who was there to cut the opening ribbon for the entire show. Here Chazz got ahold of one of our past copies with him on the cover and we were able to get it into the photo.
Elaine & Scott Harris Editors at Large email@example.com
Also at the Nightclub & Bar Show were our old friends and fellow USBG (United States Bartenders’ Guild) members working their booth and selling their very successful bartending recipe book. Livio Lauro and Armando Rosario have published The Twelve Cocktails, which as explained, are the twelve essential cocktails everyone needs to know that are the basis for all other cocktails. In The Twelve Cocktails, Livio and Armando give us the tools and foundation for making all cocktails.
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The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional
Journalist Aimee McAffee
Journalist & Photographer Joe Fogarty
Accounting Manager Michelle San Juan
Journalist Brett’s Vegas View Jackie Brett
Journalist Shelley Stepanek
Journalist Food for Thought Les Kincaid
Journalist UNLV Epicurean Society Matthew Cairo
Journalist Mitchell Wilburn
Pre-Press Technician Brandon Yan
Journalist Good for Spooning LeAnne Notabartolo
Journalist East Eats West K. Mike Masuyama Ph.D.
Photographer Audrey Dempsey
Journalist Chef Talk Allen Asch
Journalist Al Mancini
Journalist Heidi Rains
Journalist HR Insights Linda Bernstein
Journalist Green Restaurant Association Michael Oshman
Journalist Wine Talk Alice Swift
Journalist Latenight Megan Nicolson
Journalist The Bottom Line Ben Brown
Photographer Bill Bokelmann
Photographer Joe Urcioli
SoCal Journalist Margie Mancino
Photographer Rose Powell-Carver
4 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
photos courtesy Absolut Elyx and Hudghton Photography
Adam has a true passion for food, wine, beer & spirits. He is a barman at CarneVino, a brand ambassador for Brooklyn Brewery and a long-time cocktailian. Adam strives to learn every day and during his career he’s studied at SDSU, USBG, BarSmarts, International Sommeliers Guild and the Certified Cicerone Program. His mantra with both food & cocktails is, “fresh is best.”
Absolut has been classically innovative for years. With Absolut Elyx they are further demonstrating mastery in the art of making vodka, not by using future technology but by bringing it back to its roots. It is their aim to showcase the best of what vodka and Sweden can be. This single estate, winter wheat vodka, has been turning on bar professionals and patrons alike with its tart, creamy and subtle salinity. It is their aim to be the bartenders’ favorite vodka and have invested in some very memorable events. This March, Absolut Elyx fostered such an event at the newly renovated SWS Academy Room at the Southern Wine & Spirits headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was hosted by the two groundbreaking barmen Simone Caporal and Alex Kratena from the world-acclaimed Artesian Bar in London. Simone and Alex wonderfully illustrated what lies beyond the creative process, breaking down what goes into creating, both subconsciously and analytically; inspiring with personal stories, practical applications, and breathtaking photographs; and best of all, it all happened with a dose of humor. www.lvfnbpro.com
Those in the crowd were all given moments to reflect on the material that was presented. As I looked around, the “ah ha” look could be seen even on the most veteran of barmen. Some legendary people were there, among them Tony Abou-Ganim, J.R. Starkus and Francesco Lafranconi, who all listened very attentively. Including the maestros, the collective talent in the room was astounding, and even more astounding was the ability to excite and inspire those who create what Vegas is. With much food for thought and spirits for our spirits, this barman in particular was very grateful to attend.
This year’s wet and warm winter in the west has brought us a beautiful bounty of citrus selections. From Pixie tangerines, blood oranges to kumquats, the tantalizing tangy time of late winter and spring is here. In order to capitalize on all of this variety, we created the “Nolet’s Spring Fling” which brings in mandarins and Sorrento lemons from the intuitive forager, Kerry Clasby, together with Nolet’s Gin. Classically made by the Nolet’s family in Holland, it is a favorite of many barmen. We also employ a bittersweet rhubarb liquor from Italy called Aperol and a traditional Slovenien wine called Batiç, which is known for its uniquely oxidated style. This is all shaken up and seasoned with a bit of bitters and as a splash of ginger beer. The garnish is both edible and beautiful—a petite citrus called a Calamansi lime, which is a soft skinned kumquat-like morsel along with an edible flower to play off the floral aromatics of the Noel’s. We will see you at the bar! Salute!
Nolet’s Spring Fling Created by Adam Rains
photo by Adam Rains
For the Love of the Craft
By Adam Rains
1 1/4 oz of Nolet’s 1/2 oz Batiç 1/4 oz Aperol 1/2 oz Madarin Sorbeto 1/2 oz Lemon 2 dash’s of Peychauds Bitters Splash of Ginger Beer Served in a Collins Glass Garnished with an edible flower and a Calamansi lime
April 2016 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 5
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 Gayot.com.
Photos by by Joe Urcioli
Bob Barnes and Lagasse’s Stadium’s Chef Scott Pajak
Big Dog’s Brewing’s next quarterly beerfest, its 7th Annual Big Dog’s Peace Love Hoppyness, will be held in the outdoor area of the Draft House at Craig Rd. and Rancho Dr. in Las Vegas on April 30 from 3-9 p.m. As always, more than 40 local, regional and international beers will be poured, including several from the host brewery. This one is a celebration of hoppy beers, so all hopheads will need to mark their calendars.
ON TAP AND IN BOTTLES THROUHOUT SOUTHERN NEVADA LAS VEGAS’ ORIGINAL BREWING COMPANY ww.bigdogsbrews.com
He welcomes your inquiries. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just fresh off being named 2016 Sports Bar Of The Year at the Nightclub & Bar Show, Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo hosted a five-course beer dinner. As usual, Chef Scott Pajak impressed us with how he delivers fine dining in a casual, relaxed setting. Chef had to do double duty, as the Goose Island reps were unable to make it and he did an admirable job describing both the beers and his pairings. We began with organic arugula tossed in roasted apple vinaigrette with warm brie and toasted pecans with Goose Island Sofie, one of my favorite all-time beers that derives complexity from being aged in Chardonnay wine barrels. Truffle prosciutto & boursin cheese crostinis brought a huge truffle oil aroma and was matched with Golden Road Point The Way IPA, of which Chef Scott shared was selected for its hoppiness to cut through the strong flavors of the cheese. Herb crusted salmon on sweet corn, mushroom & wild rice was paired with Goose Island Matilda, which had plenty of malt to cut the fattiness of the salmon. Chili spiced petit filet on creamy polenta and onion ring with batter using Emeril’s Hot Sauce was matched with the very malty Spaten Optimator Doppelbock, which provided a sweet contrast to the dish’s spiciness. We finished with homemade New York-style cheesecake with fresh berries and raspberry coulis with Goose Island Lolita, which contrasted the sweetness and creaminess of the dessert. This beer finale was one that people either loved or hated, as it’s extremely sour and those who had not yet developed a palate for sourness in beer were not quite ready for. But I was, and happy that there was more for me!
At press time Lovelady Brewing Company was gearing up for an April 1opening so chances are it’ll be open by the time you read this. The first ever brewery in Old Henderson, it’s located at 20 S. Water St. about a half hour drive from the Vegas Strip. Veteran award-winning brewer Richard Lovelady is planning on starting out with a sour ale, hoppy lager, double IPA, Belgian red, Belgian tripel and a coffee porter infused with cold-brewed coffee. I promise next issue to give a rundown of the tasting room environs and Richard Lovelady’s brews. The Pizza Expo came to town last month and brought everything you’d ever want to know about pizza, its ingredients, equipment to make it and the best beverage to accompany it…beer! In addition to a craft beer garden, the “Pizza & Craft Beer Pairings” seminar featured Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza and Theo Kalogeracos, owner of Theo + Co Pizzeria in Perth, Australia. Theo made three astounding pizzas that demonstrated why he was a 5-time World Pizza Championship Winner. Up first was roasted pesto with marinated chicken topped with arugula and avocado which Paul paired with Garage Brewing’s 2015 GABF gold medal-winning Golden Helles Lager, which Paul said is a soft sessionable beer, not bitter and at only 10 IBUs. Theo said having sessional beers makes sense for a pizzeria and beer’s high carbonation pairs better with pizza than wine. Pizza #2 was made with white sauce and ricotta topped with fresh thyme, EVOO, and black pepper, which Theo said makes the carbonation of the beer pop. That beer was Evans Brewing
6 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association
Pollen Nation Honey Blonde, another clean, sessionable beer that logged in at 14 IBUs and 5.2% ABV. The finale pizza was made with rich pork belly with caramelized onions topped with mustard, and Paul chose Rogue Ale 6-Hop IPA, an assertively hopped 87 IBU 6.6% ABV beer of which he said its bitterness and higher alcohol lifts the fat off of the palate while the hops help with nasal clearing. In commenting on the relationship between craft beer and pizza, Theo suggested that local pizzerias tap into local craft beers and build relationships, and most breweries will want to come in and do tastings. Regarding general beer pairings, Paul listed Bohemian pilsners, amber lagers and brown ales as good choices for pretty much any pizza; dry stouts and schwarzbier with vegetables; Belgianstyle tripels with cheese; and big flavored lambics and barley wines with desserts.
As always, great beer happens in Vegas! www.lvfnbpro.com
By Chef Allen Asch
Chef Talk Spring Lamb
Feel free to contact Chef Allen with ideas for comments or future articles at email@example.com 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 teaching at UNLV. He earned his Certified Culinary Educator Endorsement from the American Culinary Federation in 2003.
Spring is such a great season for epicureans. There is a bounty of fresh ingredients and with the change-over from heavy cooking like braising to the grill we see an influx of lighter dishes being brought to the table. Besides produce we see items like the spring lamb coming to the table. In both the Jewish and Christian religions lamb is a traditional meal served during the spring holidays. In the Jewish religion the Torah states that there should be a sacrifice of a lamb the night before Passover and the meat should be eaten on the first day of the holiday. In Christianity the lamb is a traditional food served for an Easter feast which is a carryover from the Jewish tradition. The reason that this food is equated to these holidays is the abundance of young sheep during the spring season. Sheep live for at least 10 years, but when they are young they are called lamb. The meat that is eaten off of a sheep that is older than 1 year is called mutton. Sheep are a very important part of the worldwide market, producing wool and milk and meat. This meat is usually tougher than lamb and needs longer cooking times and moisture while cooking to help tenderize it. When the meat is less than a year it is much more tender and fits into the quicker cooking methods used in the warmer months.
The lowest quality meat comes from the New Zealand lamb. These breeds are used to produce wool but the quality and quantity of meat is much less than the other varieties. These breeds are also grass fed rather than grain fed which adds to the “gamey” taste you might experience. This is a very common product used when cost is a bigger factor than quality. This is the youngest of the products brought to market, usually 6-7 months old.
Sheep came to America with Columbus and now there are 40 breeds, out of the 900 worldwide, producing milk, food and wool. An average sheep can produce 8 pounds of wool a year, in its one shearing per year. This amount of wool can make 80 miles of yarn.
Lamb consumption in the United States is on the decline, down to about a pound a year per person. This is a great contrast to Icelanders that consume 55 pounds per year. The Icelandic lamb is only available in the fall and usually in a higher end store. China has the largest amount of the 1 billion sheep in the world, but it is used for wool production more than for a food source.
The three major producers of lamb in the world are Australia, New Zealand and the United States, most notably Colorado. The domestic breeds are the largest of the varieties so if you like large muscles this is the best type to buy. This would be especially so for racks of lamb. Since most American lamb is grain fed this will also have the least gamey flavor. New Zealand produces the smallest and the youngest of the breeds. Australian lamb was traditionally grown for wool production so the meat was less desirable than other countries’ meat. In recent years they have worked hard to create a more desirable product for food and have bred their sheep with American breeds to create a more desirable product for eating. This lamb meat is cheaper than a domestic product. 8 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
If you like the flavor of lamb but do not like the price of it, there are many cuts that you can buy that are cheaper and easy to use. The most tender cut, as with most animals, is the center cuts such as the ribs. These muscles work very little so they are tender. The young lamb, under one year, is tender but some muscles even though they are not used are still tough. The tender cuts are the rack and the loin chop, but a less expensive cut of lamb would be a shoulder chop or a rib. These cuts have excellent flavor but they cannot be cooked on the grill or other dry heat methods. These cuts have great full flavor but should be braised to tenderize the tough cuts of meat. www.lvfnbpro.com
By K. Mike Masuyama Ph.D.
West Eats East
Soy Sauce, Black or White Without soy sauce, no Japanese cuisine exists. Soy sauce is indispensable for sukiyaki, teriyaki, sushi, sashimi, cooked vegetables and many more. Though, all soy sauces are not born equal. Its varieties or variations derive from ingredients, formula, processes, manufactures or localities. Today there are basically two kinds: dark/black and pale/white depending upon ratios of soybean and wheat as major ingredients. More soybeans results in darker color, while more wheat, a paler color; that is a general rule. It is due to a natural reaction of browning with soybeans. In addition, savory taste comes from soybeans for black soy sauce, while it does from wheat for white soy sauce. Currently dark/black soy sauce is dominant in the market, while pale/white soy sauce (not milky white but like white wine) has been around in the shadow of black soy sauce as a fancy, exotic, secret flavoring used by creative chefs. Besides, you may add a category of flavored soy sauces with herbs, spices and other stuff like Tabasco soy sauce. Let’s see the origin and use of this liquid condiment. All liquid condiments originated from the preservation of food, more specifically salting of edible stuffs. In salting food, liquid leaches out by osmotic pressure. The liquid leached tastes not only salty but also somewhat pleasant and tasty. Today’s science explains that peptides or amino acids or flavor compounds are formed through autolysis, fermentation and aging from protein and other constituents. In China, such a liquid was called as “Hishio” or “Ancient Sauce” more than 3,000 years ago, from grain-legumes, vegetables, fish, or game meat. Ancient Romans also used a fish Hishio as Garim or Quamemu. Brillant-Savarin, in his famous gastronomy publication of PHYSIOLOGIE DU GOUT in 1826, mentioned Garim and also Muria from tuna and Soye from India. Soy sauce was brought to Europe from Japan by a Jesuit missionary in 1603. The Dutch, the only trade partner in the isolated Japan then, exported soy sauce, “Schzoya,” in a ceramic container to Europe. A record shows Louis XIV loved soy sauce for cooking his meals. An early Worcestershire sauce contained soy sauce brought via India. Soy sauce was not completely foreign but something very exotic in the old continent.
TRADITIONAL YET NEW Perfect Soy Sauce Flavor without the Color! A golden color white soy sauce No burnt dark soy sauce flavor No darkening color in cooking Remarkable for sea foods, veggies, pasta, fusion and natural foods
www.whitesoysaucefood.com 10 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
Mike Masuyama is a bi-cultural science-technologybusiness 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, sea salt, rice, white soy sauce and other areas both in Japan and the US., and has published several books and dozens of articles. “Ask Doctor Sake” was his last series in this journal.
Into our land soy sauce was brought by Japanese migrant workers or immigrants about 150 years ago. The general public noticed the newcomers eating everything with this dark liquid and ridiculed it as bug juice. It came in a wooden keg tightened by bamboo hoops. I have seen an ad copy of Kikkoman in an old ethnic publication. Nothing happened outside the ethnic population until sukiyaki appeared in our eating in the early 1950s. You may know the rest of the story of soy sauce. A common scene at J-restaurants was pouring of soy sauce over rice if you are old enough to recall. I wonder if soy sauce itself or alone was really liked or a blend of soy sauce and sugar that is teriyaki flavor, was favored, or both. Black soy sauce gave an overall pungent, pleasantly roasted and salty note well blended with sweet taste, which must be a major reason for soy sauce being liked here, I suppose. Though, black soy sauce alone might be too overwhelming or too much pressing in some dishes. Think about soy sauce in a tiny plate for dipping sushi. It may be too salty or too overpowering soy sauce flavor, which covers the delicate sushi taste. Despite this, black soy sauce is great to change the taste to exotic, palatable! Never heard of white soy sauce? It is not milky white but pale in color like white wine. Wheat is used predominantly to brew it. Its flavor is pleasant, less pressing than black soy sauce due to broken down components of wheat rather than soybeans. It tastes subtle, mild and savory. Its salt content is almost the same as the black one. It has been minor but used for particular objectives, that is, mellow soy sauce flavor and no darkening color in seasoning or cooking, only being recognized by truly trained, professional culinary persons in Japan. Almost all other J-food people might be brainwashed with black soy sauce knowing not much about it, I diagnose. It is not a Usukuchi soy sauce which is made by diluting black soy sauce with water and salt, or Sirodashi (white stock source) by blending black soy sauce, water, salt and Japanese flavor stocks. White soy sauce appeared in our market not so long ago and was being sold only through deli-specialty food channels. I recall executive chefs at one of the Hard Rock Cafés and also Disney restaurants having loved it. An interest in it has been growing steadily but not drastically due to the unfamiliar nature and higher price than the black one. It is currently used by chefs in Hawaii, Arizona, Seattle, NY and Chicago on a regular or occasional basis. It must be a next generation liquid condiment to diversify our taste and presentation, not only of the Oriental but also fusing natural and harmonized cuisines.
Tasting is believing. Email K. Mike Masuyama Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org for authentic white soy sauce info and a sample of “White Tamari.” More next month. www.lvfnbpro.com
FOOD FOR THOUGHT Love the Taste of Spring at the Table
By Les Kincaid Les Kincaid is a food, wine, and golf expert and cookbook author. He hosts the nationally syndicated wine radio show Wines Du Jour each Thursday from 7 to 8 pm. You can enjoy his website or his broadcast at www.leskincaid.com email@example.com www.facebook.com/leskincaid www.twitter.com/leskincaid
Risotto with Spring Fresh Peas & Zucchini 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth 3 tablespoons sweet butter 1 to 2 large garden fresh zucchini (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes Kosher salt and ground black pepper
What inspires your kitchen as the seasons change? Do you relish the idea of welcoming in new dishes to your table after the long, cold winter? For the last several days, I’ve woken up to the sound of song birds… This is the first exciting sign of spring. Inevitably, with the awakening of the earth from its winter slumber, we typically crave fresh spring meals. My favorite part about spring is being able to shop at the farmers market and using those ingredients to make super simple, fresh recipes. Food that’s light, clean, crisp and colorful. Here the spring produce has started to arrive to our local markets, and farmers markets open up for the new growing season. With all these fresh peas, asparagus, artichokes, radishes, fennel and rhubarb it’s no wonder I like to pair wines with these dishes as well. I love a rich and creamy risotto, which is Italian-style comfort food. Because of its high starch content, imported Arborio rice makes the creamiest risotto, so look for the imported Arborio rice for best results. Here is a favorite to get spring off to a great start.
1/2 cup finely chopped onion 1 1/2 cups imported Arborio rice 1/2 cup dry white wine 1 cup spring fresh peas, (frozen will work) 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the broth and 2 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan over low heat; keep warm. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until zucchini is golden, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove zucchini to a plate. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion; cook until soft, 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium. Add rice; cook, stirring, until translucent around edges, for about 3 minutes. Add the wine; cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, adding 1 cup heated broth at a time (stir until almost all liquid is absorbed before adding more), until rice is tender, likely 25 to 30 minutes total. Add zucchini and peas; cook until peas for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining tablespoon butter and the Parmesan. Serve, topped with more cheese. For a choice wine try a Pinot Grigio and Albariño. Yield: 6 servings
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Jackie Brett Jackie is a freelance public relations specialist and writer specializing in the Las Vegas entertainment and travel scene. Her writings have appeared in magazines and newspapers nationwide and on numerous websites. She is also an instructor covering Special Events at CSN- College of Southern Nevada.
Terry Fator: The VOICE of Entertainment at The Mirage has a five-year extension through 2021 and a new cast member, the very suave Latin Fernando V. Francisco. PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood is getting two new shows. Former Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno opens Under The Influence Wednesday, April 20. NBC’s America’s Got Talent Season 10 winner Paul Zerdin and his sharp-tongued puppet characters debut a headlining residency production Saturday, April 30. John Fogerty will have an encore residency at The Venetian Theatre with his Fortunate Son in Concert Sept. 14-Oct. 1. Steely Dan will tour this summer with special guest Steve Winwood and stop at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Sunday, June 19. Celine Dion will return in May for shows through June 4.
Rock band Boston will celebrate its “40th Anniversary Tour” at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on Friday, July 15 with Styx founding member Dennis DeYoung. Grammy-nominated Goo Goo Dolls, supported by Collective Soul and Tribe Society, will perform there on Friday, Sept. 16. The third Route 91 Harvest will return with country heavyweights Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, and Chris Young at the Las Vegas Village Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Sister-act Heart will headline June 2-4 and Oct. 6-8 in House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. More dates are added later this year for Billy Idol’s first residency there. Supporting music release “BLOW,” Louis Prima Jr. & The Witnesses will stop at the Palms Saturday, April 16. Rockhouse Las Vegas at The Venetian added Bonkerz Comedy Club Wednesday through Saturday. After a five year break, comedian David Cross is returning to touring with Making America Great Again! and stopping at The Joint at Hard Rock Saturday, May 7. Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, a fiveday festival downtown, will run May 26-30.
Recording artist and DJ Kaskade has exclusive 2016 residency dates at Wynn’s Encore Beach Club and XS Nightclub April 9 through Sept. 4. Local country DJ, Damian Kane is back at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country four nights a week. Sunset Station is presenting rock band OTHERWISE with brothers Adrian and Ryan Patrick monthly; next dates April 16 and May 21. Clint Holmes backed by 10-piece Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns headlines M Resort Saturday, April 23.
Former Border Grill dream team, Kent Harman and Chef Mike Minor will open new Latin-Mexican restaurant Bandito Latin Kitchen / Cantina. Kahunaville at Treasure Island closed after 15 years. The annual Las Vegas Epicurean Affair will be held May 26 at The Palazzo pools. PT’s Entertainment Group opened its newest concept PT’s Brewing Company at 3101 N. Tenaya Way. Studio B Buffet at M Resort is offering a prime rib brunch on Fridays. California-based Dog Haus Vegas opened its first Nevada location near the Hard Rock. The Huntridge Shopping Center started Food Truck Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Marriage Can Be Murder at the D started slaying audiences with a Mimosa and Murder Sunday Brunch. Sprinkles Cupcakes at The LINQ, founded by Food Network’s Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson, celebrated its two-year anniversary.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria with five Las Vegas locations is the first family-owned, multilocation upscale pizzeria receiving The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ Five Star Diamond Award. Family-owned Momenti Spirited Ice Creams is launching in Las Vegas the only plant to manufacture spirit-infused super-premium ice cream in the United States.
14 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
Caesars Entertainment Corporation will upgrade around 4,800 hotel rooms this year at four Las Vegas resorts including Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Paris and Harrah’s. Wynn Las Vegas will develop luxury retail complex Wynn Plaza by fall of 2017. The Park on the Strip opened serving as the official gateway to T-Mobile Arena with 16 color-changing shade structures lining the walkway. Graceland Presents: Elvis the Exhibition at the Westgate closed last month. Riviera Boulevard running from the Strip to the Westgate will be renamed Elvis Presley Way.
Dual-level nightlife destination JEWEL Nightclub at ARIA will open Thursday, May 19. Minus5 Ice Bar at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place revealed its bigger frozen ice cave and expanded adjacent Ice Lounge with two private rooms. The new IKEA store will open at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18. The portrait photography exhibit “Yousuf Karsh: Icons of the 20th Century” at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art runs through Sept. 5. The Mob Museum’s temporary display “El Chapo’s Great Escape” is on view for five months. Essence Vegas’ second valley location is the first and only marijuana dispensary on the Strip. REHAB Beach Club after renovations starts at Hard Rock April 23-24 with EDM artists, DJ residencies and returning Crystal Hefner and Pauly D. Kangamoo Indoor Playground opened at 1525 E. Sunset Road with play spaces for kids and adult attractions. Planet Fitness opened its eighth and largest Southern Nevada location in Henderson. www.lvfnbpro.com
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 Learning Design & Development Business Partner for MGM Resorts University. Check out her website at www.aliceswift. com for the dish on wine, technology, or even both! She is happy to take suggestions for article topics or inquiries.
Behind the Scenes of UNLVino: The TCA390 Class at UNLV
Jonathan Yuen, Ariel Larson, and Shawna Pieruschka
This year, UNLVino celebrates the 42nd anniversary of an F&B event that draws thousands of people annually. But, what makes this even unique is the backbone of the operations. Meet the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration UNLVino faculty and students of the TCA390 course. The course description reads “Application of established standards, techniques, and practices of festival and event management. Research, design, planning, coordination and evaluation stages of festival and event management,” but it is so much more! Students go through a rigorous interviewing process in order to be accepted into the class of ~30 students. Each student is considered a “student manager” once admitted, with various roles and responsibilities. The course is co-taught by Professor Todd Uglow, Visiting Assistant Professor, and Chef Mark Sandoval, Executive Chef (pictured left to right in photo above), both with several years of experience from culinary arts to sports marketing and event management. Their desire was to prepare students to work in industry by giving them added responsibilities and decision-making freedom, while guiding them along the way. Sandoval, being the former Executive Chef of the M Resort, wanted the event to focus on the concept of food AND beverage, rather than solely beverage. Students have the freedom to research
and design their own menus. “Action stations” are set up with themes (e.g., dim sum, shellfish, and “street tacos”) to showcase the food and allow students to interact more with the guests. Uglow manages the front of the house team and is responsible for three major areas: fundraising, marketing (social media, PR, advertising, etc.) and vendor relations. The most difficult task for students is fundraising, due to inexperience with contacting businesses and soliciting donations. Knowing this, Uglow ensures students are equipped with the right tools to be successful and represent the college well when reaching out to potential donors. One class session is even dedicated to teaching best practices of fundraising, with a guest speaker who supplies auction software for the event. This year, the goal is to increase the number of male bidders, so be on the lookout for items such as sports memorabilia that will hopefully draw a wider audience. So far more than 85 items have been secured for the silent and live auction! A stand-out item this year is an all-day Baja buggy experience worth ~$1000. Additionally, I had the opportunity to meet this year’s UNLVino class and interviewed three of the student managers: Shawna Pieruschka, Ariel Larson, and Jonathan Yuen (pictured left to right in photo above), each with different reasons for
Photos by Alice Swift
Todd Uglow and Mark Sandoval
taking this course. Yuen had Professor Uglow as an instructor before and wanted another opportunity to learn from him. Pieruschka “loves the stress and chaos [event planning] brings. At the end, you get to see it all come together, and get to be proud [and] get to say ‘I did that!’” Larson patiently waited year after year until she finally met the age requirement to join the UNLVino class… “So I was like ‘Yes!! I [can finally] get credit for it and work it, I get to plan it, and it’s all really exciting to me!’” Not only did they explain how the class helps provide real-world experience for students to help reveal the pros and cons to the hospitality world, the class also helps with self esteem and confidence, being that each student takes on a manager role, leading other people and communicating with vendors. Larson says it best: “Sitting in a class, I don’t get to prove that I’m a leader or do anything like that. Here, I’m the culinary manager. I have to be in charge of others who don’t know what they’re doing, and I have to teach them along the way. I learn better by teaching others.” Students who have taken this capstone course will graduate from UNLVino with the ability to say they now have real-world experience with culinary arts, event planning, marketing and advertising, recruiting, managing teams, fundraising, and so much more! This is such a practical and experiential learning opportunity for students, and I am always so impressed and in awe of the work students put into what is technically a 3-credit course. Take this opportunity to attend UNLVino this year and in future years. Hopefully I will see you there!
Fun Facts! • Chef Mark Sandoval = BaconLover! Bacon, as Sandoval claims, is his first and greatest love. Even the UNLVino menu has an underlying bacon theme, i.e., pancetta in the Oysters Rockefeller and Bacon-Wrapped Dates. • Professor Todd Uglow = Grease Monkey! Uglow’s passion/ hobby is restoring antique cars, having restored more than 10 muscle cars, mostly from the 1960s-70s. His latest masterpiece is a beauty, a red 1970 Chevy Chevelle.
UNLVINO CLASS OF 2016 16 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
Good for Spooning 81/82 Partner Jason “JRoc” Craig
By LeAnne Notabartolo A culinary event coordinator and live cooking demonstrator, this “Edu-tainer” with more than 1000 demos under her belt lives to cook and eat. She works with chefs at events and learns from them and translates info for home cooks. She is the Chick in Charge of Good for Spooning – read her blog here: www.goodforspooning.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
strong flavor can get behind. When asked about food trends he feels, like I do, that “old school” is getting ready to make its voice heard. Going back to basics, getting away from the complicated and keeping it simple, elegant and almost homey in flavors if not in presentation. He cited Carbone as a recent star on the scene that is doing exceptional personalized service with old school flavors that he sees as coming to the forefront.
Jason Craig (JRoc to his friends) and partner Ryan Labbe are taking Las Vegas’ nightlife scene by storm. The duo’s company 81/82 has partnered with Andy Masi and the Clique Hospitality Group. After the recent opening of the Clique Lounge at The Cosmopolitan, they are preparing more new venues with exciting contemporary twists to bring new flavor to Vegas and San Diego nightlife. I sat down with JRoc to learn a little more. JRoc moved to Vegas as a teen and went to UNLV. He spent his youth in athletics, specifically boxing, which is where his nickname came. He continues to box and is a self-proclaimed “gym rat.” After UNLV, JRoc did a tour with the Marine Corps in Iraq. No mean feat there. The military experience provided him with a unique view and mindset about business. He is driven to be the best version of himself. He’s reliable, on time, gets the job done and says, “[After that] I feel I can do anything I put my mind to. I can figure it out on my own or [find the right people to help me].” Immediately upon his return to civilian life, he entered the nightlife industry where he met his now business partner Ryan Labbe. Partners Ryan Labbe and JRoc both are veterans of the Vegas nightlife scene and have worked at top spots throughout the city including the Palms and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. They
have done everything in the industry including event management, talent management and event planning. They make a great team because they have different life experiences and skill sets that complement one another. Ryan is strong on the operations side and JRoc is strong on the marketing side and both have excellent client relations skills to make 81/82 a hot player in the nightlife market. The team has their finger on the pulse of what is on trend and what is going to play to any given market. In addition to their partnership with Clique Hospitality group, JRoc and Ryan also work with 50 Bleu Vodka and ResQwater in marketing and public relations capacities for their launches and cross market promotions. JRoc, independent of 81/82, works with Stitched menswear in marketing. You can find their store at The Cosmopolitan. Having come of age in Vegas, JRoc has seen a lot of changes in the way business is done for the nightlife industry. He worked as a bartender, manager and marketing professional before starting 81/82 with Ryan in 2012. As a nightlife entertainment professional, JRoc has seen the advent of specialty cocktails, hand crafting of house specific ingredients and watched the microbrewery industry explode. We talked about trends, and he cited gin as a big trend in the cocktail world. Clever uses that even someone who doesn’t like gin’s
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Jason Craig “JRoc” and 81/82 partner Ryan Labbe www.lvfnbpro.com
Photos courtesy Fingerprint Communications
Jason Craig - JRoc
Expansion is the goal of 81/82, working with the Clique hospitality group and independently in the future. They are taking it one step and one venue at a time so all of the details are perfect, unique to the venue and exciting for regulars and tourists alike. They know in markets with tourism as a major part of the business, that locals can’t be left out; expect to see seasonal drinks and menu items appear to keep the spaces fresh and inviting for everyone. Near future plans include a nightclub in Vegas with an additional venue in the heart of the Gaslamp District of San Diego. The San Diego location will have a small bites menu like Clique Lounge and plans are to open within 2016. The nightclub will of course be more focused on cocktail and music cultures and current plans are to see an opening next year. With Clique as a barometer of things to come, anything 81/82 does is sure to be a success and a fun venue in which to spend time.
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America Honors Larry Ruvo with Well-deserved Lifetime Leadership Award By Bob Barnes • Photos courtesy Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada
Larry Ruvo has had a storied career and his list of accomplishments span the worlds of business and philanthropy. He has been in the wholesale liquor and wine business for over 40 years, and has directed Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada since 1969, during which time SWS has become Nevada’s largest wholesale liquor, wine and beer importer and distributor. In 1995 he founded the Keep Memory Alive foundation benefiting the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute. After partnering with Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health opened in 2009 and has provided more than 55,000 patient appointments, treated 12,000 unique patients and built one of the largest Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials programs in the country including more than 60 trials with the participation of more than 500 individuals. His list of awards would fill an article alone, and this month the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America is bestowing on Mr. Ruvo a well-deserved Lifetime Leadership Award. We sat down with him to get his take on this prestigious award and the paths his life has taken.
Like me, you were raised in Las Vegas when it was basically a small town. What are some of the aspects of that small town life that you miss in today’s Las Vegas? Nothing. For those of us who grew up here it’s still a small town. I have a great number of friends who I grew up with, and it’s still a very close-knit town. Also, I like that there are more amenities. Years ago we didn’t have the quality of medicine, restaurants, or quality of schools that we have today. I loved that period of my life when my hometown was small, but I’ve watched Las Vegas evolve into a world class city that retains the old Vegas charm with new world sophistication. Your parents Angelina and Louis Ruvo were the respected and well-liked owners of The Venetian Restaurant in Las Vegas, one of the city’s most successful Italian restaurants of its era. What lessons did you learn from them that helped develop your acumen for running a successful business? It started by watching both my parents taking great care of their customers and employees, and their involvement with donating back to the community. Moreover, I learned attention to detail; without question my mother was fastidious with cleanliness in the restaurant. Everything was spotless and had to be immaculate. 20 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
How has growing up in Las Vegas contributed to your understanding of the unique complexities and demands of the hospitality and gaming business in Las Vegas? I’ve been on all sides of it. I worked as a busboy, front desk employee, waiter, supplied hotels, and I’ve run large clubs and hotels. I’ve grown to understand two things: first, I know the importance of having product continuity. You can’t be running out of product during peak times. Second, the depth of your bench is key, and you make sure you have a deep bench through training. You have to have someone available to fill in whenever your best employees have to be out or on vacation so it’s important to train employees to fill in different roles. Early on in your professional career, you worked at the Sahara Hotel, opened up Caesars Palace and opened up the Frontier then went on to become the youngest manager at the time to run the entire hotel operation on the Las Vegas Strip, excluding the casino. How did these early experiences help shape your managing style? I was fortunate to have a group of friends around me who were seasoned pros like Burton Cohen and Milton Frank. I was never afraid to ask questions or listen to their advice. They were always there to answer my questions, guide and help me. I knew how fortunate I was to be given such an opportunity at a young age, so I didn’t want to blow it; I was smart enough to ask questions, and most important to LISTEN! You spearheaded the establishment of the now legendary UNLVino wine tasting, which is now recognized as America’s largest wine tasting charitable event (www.unlvinocom). How have you seen this event grow and develop over the years? Just this past Saturday night I took my family to dinner at Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill in Downtown Summerlin. One of the chefs, Christian Ephrem, came out and said, “Mr. Ruvo I want to shake your hand. I went to UNLV and received a scholarship and I just wanted to say thank you.” To get that acknowledgement in front of my family put a smile on my face and a bigger smile on my wife Camille’s face and my kids were proud. That’s what UNLVino is all about, to raise money to help academically talented, yet financially dependent young students. As UNLVino gets bigger we’re able to help more students and it’s a way of giving back to a city that depends on hospitality. www.lvfnbpro.com
You are well known as being one of the community’s greatest philanthropists and were honored in 1999 with the Community Leadership Award from the Points of Light Foundation, received Man of the Year awards from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the Food and Beverage Directors Association, and numerous other charitable organizations. To what do you attribute your life of generosity and of wanting to give back to the community? It starts with my mother. I was an only child and growing up we didn’t have much. We lived in a very small two bedroom, one bathroom house. I remember one night hearing a terrible argument going on, and my parents never argued. A new church (St. Anne’s) was being built, and my mother had made a pledge. My father said, “We don’t even have enough for our own house.” My mother said, “God will take care of it,” and that ended the argument. I believe in the old adage ‘the more you give the more you get, and the more you get the more you have to give away.’ I’m proud to be a part of this incredible city we live in. The Lifetime Leadership Award from the WSWA is quite an honor. What awards have you received that you are also proud of? Because of my dear friend George H.W. Bush, I received the Points of Light award and that was quite remarkable. Also, I am passionate about anything that has to with education, so awards given by UNLV and The Meadows School, for example, are quite meaningful. I am very proud to have been part of the growth of both of those institutions. Also, since 1921 the Cleveland Clinic has only bestowed a total of 21 Distinguished Fellows awards, and I was #20 and my wife Camille was #21. You have been the driving force behind the establishment and growth of educational activities at Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada. What advances have you seen made in this area at your company? The education starting with our employees, and not just sales staff, but all our employees, is paramount to making sure we continue to be a leader in the industry. More recently, the evolution of our new Southern Wine and Spirits Training Academy, which I’m very proud of, has allowed us to reach beyond SWS employees, and to reach our customers and allow those individuals that want to get into beverage service to receive guidance to be true experts, whether in sake, wine, spirits or beer. So it’s a great benefit to our customers
and to the individuals taking classes. Many people have come by and said they’ve never seen a facility like this anywhere in the world and I respond that it’s because there isn’t one. And the people teaching the courses are sake experts, a Certified Cicerone, Master Sommelier...the teachers are the equivalent of PhD professors, and every bit as good as the building is beautiful. Sadly your father suffered from the ravaging disease of Alzheimer’s, from which he passed away in 1994. How is the Keep Memory Alive foundation and The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, both of which you founded, helping to eradicate this horrible disease, as well as MS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other brain diseases? The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has become one of the most important brain health centers in terms of caring for patients and their caregivers, and our clinical trial programs are second to none. We have an incredible team of researchers working to hopefully find a cure for these neurodegenerative diseases. What do you see on the horizon for Las Vegas and what challenges do you see facing your hometown in the years to come? Any town’s success is dependent on leadership of the community and state. Because of Governor Sandoval’s commitment to education, Las Vegas will reap the benefits for years to come. At the same time, we need to make sure to support our hotel college that will train the students to be able to run these hotels in a world-class manner. In a town this big, growing as we’ve been fortunate to do, the creativity we’re enjoying takes really qualified people and that’s a challenge we’ll need to meet head on. The new UNLV Hotel College embodies a commitment to excellence and will be really important to what we will need to do to supply the work force for the future. Finally, I would like to see education (beyond just the world of hospitality) and medicine elevated to a new level. That work is beginning, as the state has a newfound focus on education, and the Cleveland Clinic has brought world-class leaders here in neurology, and the Cleveland Clinic has a urology office in Las Vegas as well. And, I can honestly say the quality of chefs is as good as any in the world, shopping is extraordinary and as we reinvent our town we see it becoming a destination with more to offer than ever before.
April 2016 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 21
Chef Josh Smith Executive Chef at Michael Mina’s Bardot in The Aria Resort Is a Rising Star Worth a Visit
By Elaine & Scott Harris Sommeliers and Editor-In-Chief of Nationally Recognized Cuisineist.com and Vino Las Vegas LLC. They are the Las Vegas City Editors for TheDailyMeal in New York City. Cuisinist@Gmail.com • www.Cuisineist.com www.VinoLasVegas.Blogspot.com www.LasVegasDiningTours.com Facebook:ElaineScottHarris Twitter:TheCuisineist.com Twitter: VinoLasVegas • Instagram : Cuisineist
It is not often we meet a young chef that is a true rising star with a passion for cuisine as Chef Josh Smith. He has accomplished much in his 36 years and from what we have experienced on the plate of Bardot he has a huge career in front of him. Recently we spoke with Chef Josh about his experience, his plans and the man himself.
What trends do you see going away? Everything has its place. At 36 I think I have been around enough to see things come full circle. Large garnishes has pretty much gone away. Foams, molecular gastronomy are going away too but some people do it well. I am not a fan of micro-greens as a garnish. If you are going to use them, use them so that they have some benefit to the dish. A lot of times chefs don’t want to take the extra time and would rather buy a clam shell. At the end of the day it’s about feeding people and making them happy. What new projects are you working on? It takes a mature team to do this right. We are constantly working to do what we do better. We have dishes that stay on the menu all year because our guests return for them year after year. They may see subtle differences because we are always looking for new purveyors and fine tuning our recipes. When you are at home what type of dishes do you like to cook? I am always trying to eat healthy. Opening a restaurant is probably the unhealthiest thing you can do to your body. I cook in a crock pot all the time and make food for a week. I made a spicy lamb stew with coconut milk, sweet
potatoes, fresh cilantro and lime. I cook for my grandma every week. She is 93 and we meal prep for her so that she eats well. If you could have dinner with anyone past or present who would be at your table? Cooking the dinner would be Chef Jean-Louis Palladin. His cuisine is sorely missed in Las Vegas and the world. It would be a group of family, chefs and musicians. Duane & Gregg Allman would be there. Chefs Mike and Wendy Jordan from Rosemary’s. They got me off on the right start. I owe everything to them and wonder if I would still be a chef today without them. They inspired me to keep going. My grandpa, and Chef Andre as well. What advice would you give to an inspiring chef in culinary school or someone who is thinking about becoming a chef? I can only come from my perspective. I never went to culinary school. I have been mentoring chefs for quite some time. I was lucky enough that Chefs Mike and Wendy Jordan took me under their wing. Volunteer any way you can to get your hands dirty. Read as much as you can. When I was starting out I went to the bookstore and flipped through the books and put them back on the shelf. I would take notes and pictures the whole time. I did cooking demos at Wild Oats for 9-15 housewives. It was there I learned to talk about what I was doing as I was doing it. It was a very difficult task. I made myself nervous by putting myself in uncomfortable positions to make myself better. Taste as much as possible. It must be your passion. For me cooking is my life, hobby and profession. I have a happy life doing what I love.
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Everyone has a guilty pleasure. What is yours? Candy, sweet and sour…I can’t resist them. Mother’s Cookies. They are little sandwich cookies my mom used to mail to me. Street tacos late at night and there is something to be said about the almighty greasy cheeseburger. What can’t you do without in and out of the kitchen? In our kitchen everyone has a ruler for knife work sizes and consistency. Gram scales is our life blood. Everything is weighed. Tweezers help keep a gentle hand. A Thermos Works fast read thermometer. It can read temps in 4 seconds. This is very important in a bust kitchen. Out of the kitchen, my puppy! He is a 6-month-old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. He is my everything. I spend all my money at Petsmart; he has everything you can think of. Also my 1992 Sportster motorcycle. I spend a lot of money on that too. My family. I have family all over the valley. Every weekend I see all of them.
photos by Scott Harris
What new trends do you see in the industry that you like and think will stay for a while? I think basic cuisine is making a comeback. Italian, Rustic French cuisine. I like the term “dirty French.” This type of cuisine is comfortable, you don’t have to reinvent it or be afraid of it. When you read a menu it should sound delicious. I like the return of sauces. We use 2-3 oz portions served with everything here.
By LeAnne Notabartolo
Catersource Event Solutions 2016
A culinary event coordinator and live cooking demonstrator, this “Edu-tainer” with more than 1000 demos under her belt lives to cook and eat. She works with chefs at events and learns from them and translates info for home cooks. She is the Chick in Charge of Good for Spooning – read her blog here: www.goodforspooning.com email@example.com.
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Another hit topic was new applications and software to assist in event planning like All Seated. Collaborative and free, All Seated assists event planners by creating 3D representations of venues (with users’ data input) so they can make real world seating charts, guests lists and timelines for each event. Users upload blueprints, architecture info and stats and All Seated creates the floor plan digitally so the user can see all of the columns, pillars, entries and exits to manage guest and server flow. For event managers and planners that do offsite events, this is a time saver and brilliant addition to their arsenal of tools. If you are in the catering or event managing arena, Catersource is a must attend event. Next year’s conference will be in New Orleans.
Sam Marvin (r) with his head butcher from Echo and Rig
Leticia Mitchell of Leticia’s Mexican Cocina
photos by LeAnne Notabartolo • goodforspooning.com
Thousands of caterers, event planners, wedding planners and associates in the industry all gathered in Las Vegas March 13-16. Workshops were held at The Mirage and the tradeshow floor was at the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The workshops were packed with excellent content and the tradeshow was brimming with new innovations and trends. Of course, networking with other professionals in the field was integral to the success of this event. Content of the workshops ranged from food photography to technology applications and how to use them to trends and how to apply them successfully. It doesn’t matter what your role in the industry is, there were workshops to meet your needs. When talking with the attendees their biggest complaint was there were so many good workshops it was hard to choose which ones to attend. For smaller companies that was a big challenge. A few larger companies brought several team members to the conference and each of them went to a different workshop and they shared information. As a journalist I had difficulty choosing which workshops to check out because many of them covered topics of personal interest. The tradeshow offered so much more than booths handing out literature and samples. It too was content packed with a “Tasting Bar,” a culinary competition, book signings by celebrity chefs, demos by local and national favorites and of course the ever popular giveaways. New this year was “My Favorite Things,” hosted by Emily Ellyn (“Retro Rad” Chef from Orlando of Food Network fame), Jack Milan (chef, entrepreneur and caterer) and Sasha Souza (celebrity event planner). The trio dished on their favorite products offered by the sponsors and lucky attendees were given swag to take home. All attendees were entered into a raffle and they gave away more than $15,000 in prizes from the sponsors. The Headliner Stage showcased demos by local and national personalities. Sam Marvin of Echo & Rig, together with his head butcher, did a live butchery demo, which was loaded with tips and tricks, with handouts of their recipe for porchetta which they also demonstrated. Leticia Mitchell of locals favorite Leticia’s Mexican Cocina gave a full on presentation of catering trends in Mexican cuisine and tips with Mexican flavors. For those in the audience without deep knowledge of Mexican cuisine, this was an eye opener on how to bring those ideas to their repertoire. Simon Majumdar, globally known for his inspired Indian food, teamed up with local favorite and US Foods Executive Chef Vic Vegas to demonstrate Indian style street food and southern comfort food and how to incorporate those flavors into events. And finally, Too Hot Tamales and owners of Border Grill, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, gave a fun filled demonstration on catering events large and small with their signature style and flair. They also talked about how they continue to use their food truck for catering events because it does double duty at a venue, offering cooking space and logo identification. In addition to all the star power that was present at the convention, the trends displayed on the tradeshow floor and talked about during workshops were stunning. My favorite trend was “Going Green.” Displayed throughout the tradeshow floor were palm leaves, bamboo and other composite materials that are compostable, used as elegant serving pieces. There were plastic cups made from post-consumer recycled materials, some of which were recyclable and others that were compostable. This was a trend throughout the show, including workshops where waste reduction was mentioned. It’s not only a priority for the environment, but in some cases a requirement at certain venues and can reduce clean up and pack out time too. Top of the food chain, so to speak, was Edibles by Jack featuring edible Asian style spoons to serve bite sized hors d’oeuvres. Because they are edible, there is no waste at all!
Vic Vegas and Simon Majumdar
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 Gayot.com. He welcomes your inquiries. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
blue cheese; Braised Short Rib slow roasted and braised in red wine; and Chicken Satays marinated in a citrus blend served with a red pepper curry drizzle. Five pizzas are offered: BBQ Pork Chicken & Artichoke, Mega Meat, Spicy Salami and Cheese Head. Mahi Tacos come in an order of three and are stuffed full of seasoned and grilled mahi mahi, citrus mayo, cabbage and pico de gallo. Cheesy Artichoke Bake appetizer is a generous sharable portion made with spinach and three-cheese artichoke dip and comes with a mound of seasoned pita chips. Most items are priced between $8-$12, providing excellent quality at a reasonable price. Hi Scores is filling a void for gamers, beer fans and food lovers, providing a fun and inviting hangout haven. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself returning night after night, which might not be a bad thing at all. Hi Scores is open 24/7 on the gaming side and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on the arcade side.
Jennifer “JD” Oliva with JD Photography
Want a reason to get out of the house? How about free play on an assortment of video games and pinball machines, more than 50 craft beers or a gastropub food menu? Hi Scores offers all of these amenities and now with a second location open at Blue Diamond Road is attracting a wide variety of clientele, from the gamer enthusiasts to the craft beer aficionados and basically anyone who appreciates great food. The stand alone building at 4785 Blue Diamond just east of Decatur is located in the former space of Home Plate. The building was completely gutted and the transition has been anxiously awaited for several months. The building is hard to miss, with bright neon green and red paint on its exterior, which matches the original Henderson location. As for the interior, there is a very creative décor and a mishmash of themes. On the arcade side is a more subdued smoke- and gamblingfree environment with walls festooned with artwork of brightly colored video game characters, and a chalk board displaying the 32 tap choices and hanging lights built into beer kegs contributing to a beery theme. On the gaming side of the building one wall is covered with a vintage black and white photo of the Golden Nugget and Horseshoe in Downtown Vegas’s Fremont Street and a wraparound bar with real money video poker is framed by a bright red wall. Throughout both environments are large flat screen TVs tuned to sports programming and several Incredible Technologies games (such as Golden Tee Gold and Silver Strike Bowling) invented by Proprietor Richard Ditton, which in the arcade side are free to play. A third option is an outdoor patio area complete with more games and TVs. According to Ditton, supporting local beer is a priority and the proof is in the tap handles. On opening day I found Tenaya Creek Bonanza Brown, Joseph James Citra Rye, Big Dog’s Lake Mead Monster and Crafthaus’s Black IPA and Quad. There are also some rare beers to be found, like the excellent sour beer—New Belgium The Lone Blackberry Felix. The scratch kitchen is headed by Executive Chef Clarence Grice. The expansive menu is several steps above the average bar offerings. Case in point are Fig Bison Burger composed of 100% bison, fig jam, bacon and
photo by Matt Paddock mp productions LLC
Hi Scores Bar-Arcade Opens Second Location on Blue Diamond Road
As promised in the last issue, here is my rundown of the new PT’s Brewing Company’s food menu, now open at 3101 N. Tenaya Way near Cheyenne and the 95 Freeway. The kitchen offers a menu completely different from the other PT’s locations and is the creation of Golden Entertainment Corporate Vice President of Food & Beverage Joe Romano, a CIAHyde Park graduate who trained with Charlie Palmer and was his first chef at Aureole. The menu is executed by Chef Kendrick Ganaway and everything is made in-house. I enjoyed the Ultimate Grilled Cheese, well named, as it was the best I’ve ever tried, made with cheddar, provolone, Monterey Jack, American, Parmesan and smoked bacon; spicy Calamari with jalapenos, citrus and spiced salsa; Greek Salad enhanced with cucumbers, pepperoncini and kalamata olives; and a healthier version Chili, which is a mix of half beef and chicken. The décor was redesigned to give a rustic, yet contemporary feel with Edison lights, reclaimed wood, railroad ties, a wraparound outdoor patio, new hardwood flooring and modern touches like USB ports built into the tables and bar and 18 TVs situated throughout the space. The tasting room pours 20 taps, including Brewmaster Dave Otto’s six house brews: Horizon Ale (cream ale), Sahara Pale Ale, Sunset Wit (brewed with grapefruit zest); Sean Patrick’s Irish Red, Boulder Stout on nitro and Hualapai IPA. PT’s Brewing Company is open 24/7. 26 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
Photo by by Joe Urcioli
PT’s Brewing Company’s Kitchen Providing an Upscale Menu
Aces & Ales co-owner Keri Kelli, Bob Barnes and PT’s Brewing Company Brewmaster Dave Otto www.lvfnbpro.com
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Bob’s Beer Bits and Sips By Bob Barnes Feel the Burn! Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout Beer No, this is not a political advertisement for Bernie Sanders, but you’ll feel the burn for sure in this 5.7% stout. The bright red bottle is sure to catch your eye and each sip will notify your throat that there is indeed hot sauce in this beer. Rogue is known for using non-traditional ingredients in its beers, such as maple doughnuts and yeast cultivated from their brewmaster’s beard, so this one might be one of its tamer creations. The special ingredient in this brew is Huy Fong original hot chili sauce, and this is the only beer sanctioned by the creators of the original Sriracha Hot Sauce. My experience with Sriracha had me expecting to find sweetness in this beer, but rather I found only a smooth drinking stout that left a burn in the back of my throat after each swallow. Although a bit disappointed in the lack of other flavors, I can still recommend it to those who like myself crave heat and spice. Others like it as well, as this beer received a 92 point rating on Ratebeer.com and a gold medal at the 2015 World Beer Championships.
Embrace the Sour Lambickx Sour beer is rising rapidly in popularity. Made in extremely limited quantities, this 5.75% ABV rare proprietary traditional hand selected blend of lambics is bottled by Brouwerij Strubbe in Ichtegem, Belgium. The sour must be embraced and once you do, it’s not overwhelming, but a delicious and intriguing taste and aromatic experience. Be sure to take note of the label, which lists the brew year (2013), bottle year (2015), region (Zenne Valley), barrel type (600 liter French Oak) and number of bottles produced (5579). This is a beer worth trying year to year, for like a fine wine, each year’s brewing season is different, and each barrel imparts its own unique character that can never be replicated.
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As Usual, Dogfish Head Brings a Twist to Popular Beer Styles Beer To Drink Music To & Romantic Chemistry IPA Two new releases from Dogfish Head have catchy titles sure to get your attention and ingredients that are also sure to pique your interest. Beer To Drink Music To is a Belgian-style 9% ABV Tripel spiced with sweet orange peel, green cardamom, peppercorns and vanilla. This blend of spices really comes through, especially the pepper, and especially as the beer warms; so do yourself a favor and allow it to warm as you sip, as the flavors will blossom and intensify. The brewery suggests it’s the perfect beer to drink music to and it happens to be the Official Beer of Record Store Day (yes, there’s a day for everything). Nowadays we are overrun with IPAs, which currently are the number one selling craft beer style in the US. Like most all of Dogfish’s beers, the brewers add a twist to the 7.2% ABV Romantic Chemistry IPA by adding mango, apricots and ginger to bring forth a sweetness counterbalanced with the bitter citrus hop flavor that American IPAs are known for. Part of Dogfish Head’s Seasonal Art Series, you’ll like the whimsical label with a cartoon-like mango and apricot being hugged by a hop flower with hearts in its eyes.
Explosion of Richness Avery Brewing Company Uncle Jacob’s Stout Batch No. 5 Although winter has come and gone my taste for strong dark beer remains. Weighing in at a hefty 17.1% ABV you don’t get much more potent and robust than this Imperial Stout. Named for Jacob Spears, who built his distillery in Bourbon County, KT in 1790 and was the first distiller to label his whiskey bourbon, ageing the beer for six months in bourbon barrels adds to its complexity and silky smooth richness. All I can say is, if you want the ultimate in rich chocolaty goodness, and sticky sweetness (in a good way), splurge and buy this beer.
UNLV Epicurean Society
Matthew Cairo, a Hospitality Management student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, represents the Epicurean Society, a collective of food and restaurant enthusiastic students, where he is on the leadership staff. Originally from San Diego, he moved to Las Vegas to feed his desire to learn all that he can about restaurants, food, and the tourist industry.
was made of three chocolates from Oaxaca, Puebla and Guadalajara. The end result was a deliciously spicy drink with the burn element from cinnamon, as well as from chiles, while still having a much thinner viscosity than the Lindt’s drink. A palate cleanser was provided: ponche, which I have coined Mexico’s better version of apple cider. It is made from the rinds of bitter apples, pineapple rind and core, orange peels, piloncillo-a very unrefined type of sugar-and a handful of star anise and cinnamon sticks. Similar to the apple cider, it has a “spirited” version replacing the rum with tequila. We enjoyed the non-alcoholic version which was a nice balance of bitter and sweet. It was perfect at cutting through the coating effect of the hot chocolate. Before our spring break, the club got together to have a membership cook-off. Teams were given some cash and a portion of a meal to prepare: appetizer, entree, or dessert. Our appetizers were prepared by Megan (our club President and host of the event) and Tessie. One of the appetizers was homemade guacamole and chips to go with the tacos, the other was a crostini with provolone cheese, horseradish cream, roast beef and fresh tomatoes. The primary entree, prepared by Jacob, was beef tongue tacos with the choice of either a homemade verde or chipotle sauce. The tongue was boiled in water and lime alongside spices and onions for 3 hours. He sautéed it and braised the sautéed cubes in the concentrated stock formed from the lime and onion bath from earlier. This was placed on fried corn tortillas, topped with diced onion, shredded cilantro and finally drizzled with sauce. Jonah helped me prepare the accompanying entree, margarita pizza on a cauliflower crust. This was the first time I had ever heard of, let alone made, a cauliflower crust but I have to say it was delicious! I am now considering how I could make it more dense to create a
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deep dish pizza crust. Perhaps drying out the cauliflower after steaming it by broiling it for a few seconds? For dessert, Kayla and Noel made a bed of roasted nut and cookie crumble topped with warm strawberries, flavored syrup and vanilla ice cream. This was a great bonding activity as well as a chance to give the members a chance to show off their skills in the kitchen. In the upcoming month UNLV’s Epicurean Society is hosting its first savory sale. We will be preparing a gazpacho trio: one classic tomato, one made of grapes and lastly a watermelon gazpacho, to combat the rising Las Vegas temperatures. I look forward to seeing some of you at this event to help support the wonderful foodies at UNLV.
photos by Noelito Aquino
This last month has been busy for UNLV’s Epicurean Society. Some highlights include a trip to Maison De Maggie to meet with Mr. Bonito Sahagun, a hot chocolate and ponche tasting and a member cookout. The trip to Maison De Maggie was as informative as it was delicious. I have not had the pleasure of a good crepe since before I left for college. No longer having the pleasure of my parents making breakfast crepes, I was quite excited to go with our group. In Maison De Maggie, each crepe recipe is named after a family member or friend of the owner from her home in France. I ordered a dessert crepe to start with but came back for seconds, with of course, the “Matt” Crepe. Despite my general dislike for mushrooms, I greatly enjoyed their use in said crepe. After we received our food, Mr. Sahagun, a business advisor, spoke to us about the process for starting a business. He pointed out that even a group of college students such as ourselves, who spend what little disposable income that we have on food, could start a small business if we pooled our resources. Despite many of us planning to start our own businesses in the future, I doubt any of us have yet entertained the idea of starting a business while still in school. Jonah and Jacob, leaders within our culinary education team, did a tasting of the differences in flavor, texture and aroma of hot chocolate made with cocoa from different countries. The varieties of cocoa, a donation from a fellow club member, were distinct from each other in each of those areas. One hot chocolate was prepared with Lindt, a Swiss chocolate. I found the taste desirable but the drink too heavy. I could not picture myself ever enjoying more than a sip or two. However, that might have been because I prefer my hot chocolate with a contrast of senses. The other hot chocolates filled that order. The second type
By Matthew Cairo
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Linda Westcott-Bernstein has provided sound human resources advice and guidance to Fortune 500 companies and others for over 25 years. Linda has recently re-published her self-help book entitled It All Comes Down to WE! This book offers guidelines for building a solid and enduring personal work ethic. You can find her book on Amazon or Google Books. Phone: 702-326-4040 Email: Vegaslinda89129@yahoo.com
Is Everyone’s Concern
Below are a few signs to watch for. Please keep in mind that not all signs must be present for concerns to be raised. Additionally, a single sign does not mean that someone is a risk for becoming violent. However, those who exhibit sudden, unexplained or severe changes in mood or behavior could be a sign of a problem and it would be wise to have a trained professional investigate that situation/person. Signs to watch for… • Fascination with weapons – the individual talks about almost nothing else. • Substance abuse – coupled with other concerns, this can add fuel to the fire. • Severe stress – as a result of unexpected or unpleasant life changes, such as divorce, financial, job crisis/change, etc. • Violent history – the person has a history of previous violent behaviors.
Our safety in our daily lives has become a bigger issue than was ever thought possible. Individuals are acting out in ways that are frightening and worrisome. It has become more important than ever that each and every one of us watch for signs and symptoms, and then report them when they spark a concern. The scary fact about violence is that we may never be able to see it coming. Neighbors, friends, co-workers, customers and young/old alike, may suddenly and violently act out in ways that can have a devastating effect on the lives of those around them, with what seems like little or no notice or remorse. I want to be clear here. We should not all become accusatory of our neighbor when we decide that a behavior is suspicious or uncommon. However, repeated and ongoing aggressive actions toward others may be a sign of concern and a reason to contact the authorities. Never
take actions into your own hands, leave it to a professional. With the various economic and life-changing pressures taking their toll on us and those around us, it is important that we consider the consequences of overlooking behaviors which we could have/should have seen. Caring about others includes keeping our hearts, minds and perspective open to the possibility that workplace violence is a current concern and lack of attention to the consequences can have devastating effects on those we love, work with and care about.
• Poor psychological function – unstable mental or emotional state of mind. • Decreased or inconsistent productivity – work effort is good some days and poor others. • Social isolation – loner, the person does not associate comfortably with others. • Poor personal hygiene – ongoing and noticeable changes in hygiene or cleanliness. • Drastic changes in personality – going from cheerful to always angry, short fuse, etc. • Bullying – seems to be angry and gets into conflicts easily, acts aggressively toward others.
HR Question of the month: Please send your HR questions and concerns, or share your thoughts on your human resources challenges via email to the following address. Send input to email@example.com. Your comments, questions or concerns will help determine the direction for my next month’s column and earn you a copy of my book. Include your mailing address when sending your responses. 32 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
The Bottom Line Lessons on Branding from the Founder of KIN White Whiskey
By Ben Brown Ben is an MBA candidate at USC’s Marshall School of Business, specializing in hospitality marketing and analytics. He has served as a food & beverage strategist with MGM Resorts, as well as reviewed more than 200 Las Vegas restaurants with CBS Local and Examiner. com. Contact him at Ben@lvfnb.com.
Bernard Lax is riding a big change in the spirits world. The founder of KIN White Whiskey, Lax revamped your typical ‘moonshine’ into a refined and adventurous product— helping reshape the category in the process. Claiming to be “interchangeable with vodka, gin and rum,” KIN packs all the punch of your standard 80-proof alcohol without the bite of its predecessors. KIN’s new-age taste and old-school rebellious culture is making its way across Southern California restaurants and retailers. KIN also exemplifies the significant role that branding plays in the food & beverage world. While Lax has created a heck of a product, he doesn’t come from a distilling background. He comes from a marketing background, and that’s exactly how he discovered the niche for KIN to establish itself as an industry leader. I had the opportunity to speak with Lax about the past, present and future for KIN White Whiskey. His insights make for an excellent case study on how to crack into such a competitive market. How did you develop the idea for KIN? It started with a friend based in Cartersville, Georgia, who used to bring in some ‘less than legal’ whiskey that came from down south. Most people had made [commercial moonshine] on more of a kitschy type of situation, and we thought there was a market to make a premium version of the product. We’re taking a legacy element of the US and turning it into a premium product. One of the issues with most white whiskeys is that they’re pretty harsh, so we made it more drinkable and easier to be mixed. It’s how it should taste. We fought for two years with the TTB* to call it white whiskey rather than moonshine. We’re definitely not the first moonshine, but as soon as we got white whiskey approved, a bunch of people jumped on the bandwagon. Who is your target consumer? Our demographic is the 21 to 40-year-old risk taker and innovator. Spanning across sexes, they live an alternative lifestyle...more of a Kurt Cobain type, someone who sees the world differently. Everyone pretends they’re a nonconformist until they walk up to a bar and order vodka. We’re after someone who likes to discover, someone who takes a chance. We want people to ‘discover’ [KIN]. We want the people who ‘get it,’ someone who wants to try something else. www.lvfnbpro.com
What inspired KIN’s “proud to be immature” brand culture? White whiskey was derived from people who don’t follow the rules. It’s the whole aspect of not following the rules, of being different. Marketing a product that doesn’t easily fit into a category is what we’re all about. Where can we find KIN right now? We’ve targeted very specific locations in LA and San Diego. We’re preparing a sales performance outlook to present to distributors. We started in California because we knew we needed to prove there was a market, and many core customers live here. Liquor stores are our weakness. They’re more ‘service by distributors,’ but those who carry [KIN] sell a lot of it. We’ll also be online soon.
possible. We want to be the product where [restaurants] go through a case every week. We’re doing that in restaurants right now. I don’t see our product as being on the shelf. I see it as what people reach for when they’re making a martini. [KIN is] something fun to mix, shoot...more versatility than other product. The people we compete against, you can’t use their stuff in a mixed drink.
KIN is currently served at The Churchill, Hutchinson, Barrel & Ashes, Sonny’s Hideaway Highland Park, Standard Rooftop Bar, Porta Via, Justice Urban Tavern, Public School 213, Sixth Street Tavern, Kitchen24 and Cliff’s Edge. Retailers include Almor Wine and Spirits, Keg ‘N Bottle and MiniBar Delivery. Where do you see KIN going from here? We see ourselves with distributors in every state eventually. Our goal is to get a 6-pack case in as many places as we can so that we can build ourselves in as many markets as
*The TTB is the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which oversees labeling and classification [among other items].
April 2016 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 33
Nightclub & Bar Show 2016 By Bob Barnes
The Nightclub & Bar Show made its annual stop in Las Vegas and brought more than 39,000 nightclub, bar, beverage and hospitality professionals to the LVCC. One of the largest industry conventions in the world, and one of the larger shows in Las Vegas, more than 200,000 establishments were represented. Quite a bit of the fun could be found at the Trade Show and I was on the lookout for some beverage related innovations that would pique my interest. I was not disappointed. Being a lover of all things spicy, I was happily surprised to find a wine spiked with pepper. Made by Potter Wines in Boise, ID, not only is Jalapeno Wine useful as an ingredient for margaritas and dishes such as chipotle garlic with sautéed mushrooms, but tasting it by itself I found it to be a delightful unique tasting sensation that delivered plenty of heat. Also available is Jalapeno Wine Lemonade, which is a slightly toned down version of heat. www.jalapenowine.com We’re all familiar with aged whisky and bourbon, but aged rum is not on everyone’s radar. In addition, Angostura is well known for its ubiquitous bitters, but not as well for its rum. I was impressed with the smooth quality of the Angostura 1919 (a blend of award-winning rums) and Angostura 1824 (aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of 12 years and then hand blended and re-casked). www.angosturarum.com Lovers of fine whiskey and bourbon who don’t love to spend the big bucks to buy them should be interested in Whiskey Elements. Manufactured in Portland, OR, this device when placed in whiskey for 24-72 hours develops a smoother fuller flavor. Made of laser cut cured oak, its use removes toxins, accelerates aging and draw existing flavor characteristics and rich caramel color from natural sugars within the oak, which also bring subtle notes of maple and vanilla that occur naturally during the barrel-aging process. I tried the experiment myself and can attest I found noticeable results as advertised. www.timeandoak.com
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If you like Irish Cream you’ll probably be interested in Almondaire. The first dairy-free almond crème liqueur, it’s vegan, 13.9% ABV, made with glutenfree corn based neutral grain spirits and has only 83 calories and 1.2 grams of fat per 1.5 oz serving. It is a blend of chocolate and vanilla flavors with a subtle nuttiness and hint of whiskey character in the finish and it happens to be delicious. www.almondaire.com The iconic Guinness Stout is one of the most recognizable brands on the planet, but I discovered some of its lesser known products. Guinness is now importing to the US some blasts from the distant past. Its West Indies Porter is a 6% porter with a toffee sweetness, inspired by “an 1801 diary entry for the first Guinness purposely brewed to maintain its freshness from one end of the world to another,” devised by Guinness brewers back in 1801; Dublin Porter was created from a recipe found “in a 1796 entry in Guinness brewers’ diaries” that is sweet and smooth, with malt and dark caramel notes; and Nitro IPA—a balanced Englishstyle IPA that unlike American IPAs is much lighter in the hops and a truer representative of how IPAs were made back in the 18th century. It’s worth noting that Guinness has always made multiple beers, but in recent years has decided to share more of them with their US friends. www.guinness.com
200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes By Bob Barnes
Fresh off the press with an April 2016 release is 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes. Smoothie bowls are hugely popular right now and many home chefs and restaurateurs are finding them a perfect option for adding fresh fruits, superfoods and protein to their diet or menus. The 240-page book contains sections on Breakfast, Green Creations, Kid-Friendly, Coffee and Tea, Desserts and Toppings; 16 pages of color photography; and an introduction covering health benefits, tips on choosing a blender, key ingredients and smoothie troubleshooting. The recipes are easy to follow, with easy to find ingredients and helpful tips. Each recipe features suggested topping options and variations for added color, texture and crunch, taking your dish to a whole new level. Recipes include interesting creations such as Frosty French Toast, Kiwi Kale Bowl, Pumpkin Ginger Bowl and Antioxidant Smoothie Bowl. The author, Alison Lewis, is a renowned recipe developer and food and travel journalist and photographer who has also authored the 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and 400 Best Sandwich Recipes. 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes is published by Robert Rose Inc. For more info visit: www.robertrose.ca/press/200-best-smoothie-bowl-recipes-spring-2016.
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April 2016 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 35
By Megan Nicolson Megan Nicolson was raised in Las Vegas, where she has resided for the past 21 years, and has been involved in the nightlife industry for 10 years. She attended UNR and graduated with a BS of Animal Science and Pre Vet Med.
Megan Mack’s Latenight Excursions
photos by Megan Nicolson
One of the many perks of writing for a magazine is being invited to all the new openings, even when the place has already existed for years. Confused? Don’t be, it’s very normal for existing places to get facelifts from time to time; I mean it is Vegas, the vainest city, after all. Whether it’s a new name, new décor or just new management, places are ever changing to keep the clientele wanting more. Minus 5 Ice Experience recently partook in this common occurrence, which is something I have always wanted to check out as a Vegas local. Minus 5 has a few locations in the Las Vegas Valley, but the grand reopening happened at the Mandalay Bay location. They revamped the whole bar area, menu and experience. They offer different packages depending on each customer’s needs, party size or budget, but once adorned in parkas, faux fur coats, and gloves, you are directed into a world of ice. The seats, statues, bars, chandeliers and even the cups are all made of ice. Rhythmic music with coordinating lights bounce off the glistening ice, all playing to the senses of the invited guest. Iconic Vegas images are carved into the ice, as well as snow covered mountaintops and marching penguins. The oversized ice thrown in makes a picture-worthy moment. This gives every guest the chance to become the ice queen
or king they always imagined they could be as a child. Narnia… should I say more? A variety of cocktails are served, but you must be careful to hold them with two hands or they will slip away from you. Once you exit the ice lounge, another bar awaits you offering a variety of specialty cocktails, beer and wine. For this event, they made mini tasters of the most popular drinks and the production value was quite stunning. Some came with dry ice or flaming lime, but they were all delicious and warming. My favorite was the Penguin on the Beach, which consisted of Don Q Coconut Rum, X-Rated Fusion Tropical Liqueur, Grapefruit Syrup, Fentimans Ginger Beer, and a dash of whiskey barrel bitters strained over dry ice and garnished with a lime wheel and a dehydrated
grapefruit slice. This cocktail will warm up those fingers immediately. The price points are very reasonable for being a bar on the Strip and the staff is very welcoming. They welcome large parties and business events, boasting event options such as personalized sculptures of company logos or product placement frozen inside the ice. That would leave a lasting impression on anyone and for any company. For years I have wanted to experience one of these ice bars and I have to say I was very pleased and surprised with the overall atmosphere. The ice lounge itself was amazing and so unique, while the outside bar had the craft cocktail feel without the cheesy gimmicks. I would highly recommend checking it out and splurging on the extra cocktails and faux fur coat.
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36 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I April 2016
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Product Review By Bob Barnes
Royal Brackla Single Malt Scotch Whiskey 12-Year Craigellachie Single Malt Scotch Whiskey-13 Year My attendance at the Universal Whiskey Experience at Encore Las Vegas last month gave me the opportunity to drink like a king. Case in point was the Royal Brackla Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Located in the Scottish Highlands and founded in 1812 by Captain William Fraser, the distillery’s nickname of ‘The King’s Own Whisky’ stems from its distinction as the first single malt to be granted a royal warrant, which was given by King William IV in 1835. Its whisky was also a favorite of Queen Victoria, who when she ascended to the throne a few years later extended the warrant. Made from high-grade barley and water from the Cawdor Burn, it’s slow distilled and matured in first-fill oloroso sherry casks, which enriches it with notes of muscovado sweetness, dates and walnuts. I sampled the 40% ABV Single Malt 12-year, which had a pale gold hue and aroma of vanilla, spices and almond. The flavor brought burnt toffee, more almond and a delightful sweetness with a sherried finish. Also available for sampling was the 46% ABV Craigellachie Single Malt-13 year, another product of Scotland with a rich history. Taking its name from the craggy rock upon which the village of its origin stands, Craigellachie sits above the confluence of two great rivers in the heart of Speyside, the cradle of much of Scotland’s single malt whisky. Designed by Charles Doig, the pre-eminent distillery architect of the 19th century, Craigellachie began production in 1891 and today is one of the few in Scotland to have retained ‘worm tubs’ to cool its spirit. This old fashioned whisky condensing method involves long copper tubes which snake back and forth through large tanks of water, gradually getting narrower, a process in which the spirit has less copper contact, resulting in a distinctive meaty character to rival whiskies twice its age. Upon pouring you’ll notice a pale straw color with a nose of bright and fresh sweetness resembling baked apples and pears. On the palate I found a chewy thickness and huge malt flavor, and also slight smokiness, nuttiness and lingering sweetness that delivered a very long aftertaste with notes of vanilla. Both brands are owned by John Dewar & Sons, which is a subsidiary of Bacardi.
Laphroaig To say Laphroaig is steeped in tradition and history is an understatement. The iconic Scottish distillery last year celebrated the 200th anniversary of its founding in 1815. The 10-Year is distilled and aged in American white oak first-fill bourbon barrels the same way today as when Ian Hunter pioneered it in the 1930s. Full disclosure, the first time I tried it I was put off by the overwhelming smoked and peaty flavor notes, but with each successive tasting it truly grew on me and I am now an unabashed fan of this distinctive single malt. The reason for its distinctiveness is the malted barley is dried over a peat fire and that peat is found only on the remote island of Islay in the Western Isles of Scotland, making it stand out from any other. Other flavor descriptors include full-bodied, a surprising sweetness, layers of peatiness and a lingering and complex spicy finish that I can still enjoy a full minute after swallowing. This is not a whisky meant to drink quickly, but one to savor over small sips.
April 2016 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 37
We have several major food & beverage events coming up in the next few months and we just wanted to bring you an update so if planning to attend you can start booking now.
Al Dentes’ Provisions email@example.com 702-642-1100
March 31-April 3 the 9th Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine returns to the iconic strip of the California coastline and Pebble Beach Resorts, continuing its reign as one of the premier food and wine events in the world, with cooking demos from renowned chefs, wine seminars, and wine, beer and spirit tastings. www.pbfw.com April 9 the Motley Brews 6th Annual Great Vegas Festival of Beer will again be held in Downtown Las Vegas in the heart of the Fremont East Entertainment District, with more than 400 beer choices from 100 breweries, the largest craft beer selection of any beerfest held in Nevada. greatvegasbeer.com April 14-16 the 42nd annual UNLVino, an event that raises money for UNLV college scholarships, will consist of three main events: Bubble-Licious, a celebration of Champagne and sparkling wine on April 14; Sake Fever, an event featuring myriad sakes, Japanese spirits and cocktails on April 15; and The Grand Tasting, highlighting a collection of premium beverages alongside cuisine from UNLV’s culinary students and celebrated Vegas restaurants on April 16. unlvino.com The 73rd annual WSWA (Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America) Convention and Exposition will convene April 18-21 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. This is a gathering of beverage professionals with a showcase of products that anyone in the business will not want to miss. www.wswa.org/meetings April 28-May 1 the 10th Annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit, a celebration of wine, food and spirits with 24 events hosted by an array of celebrity chefs, with the highlight being The Grand Tasting on April 29. vegasuncorked.com June 13-17 the World Tea Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center will bring everything from the world of tea, with previews of new products and newly launched innovations. www.worldteaexpo.com
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Audrey Dempsey Infinity Photo page 34 www.infinity-photo.com 702-837-1128 Big Dog’s Brewing Company www.bigdogsbrews.com 702-368-3715
Bivi Vodka www.bivivodka.com
Jagermeister page13 www.jagerneister.com Major Foods www.majorproducts.com 702-838-4698
Niigata Sake Festival www.sakenojin.jp/english 025-229-1218
Pernod Ricard USA www.pernod-ricard-usa.com
Captain Morgan Cannon Blast page 31 us.captainmorgan.com
Power of Love www.keepmemoryalive.org/pol
Designated Drivers www.designateddriversinc.com 877-456-7433
Southwest Gas www.swgas.com/foodservice
The Spice Outlet www.thespiceoutlet.com 702-534-7883
Todd English P.U.B. www.toddenglishpub.com 702-489-8080
Devotion Vodka page11 www.devotionvodka.com Dom Perignon www.domperignon.com
Francis Coppola Winery page 19 www.francisfordcoppolawinery.com
Grey Goose www.greygoose.com
Jay’s Sharpening Service www.jayssharpening.com 702-645-0049
Vintage Rockefeller www.vintagerockerfeller.com
page 9 page 10
JCCNV www.jccnevada.com 702-428-0555
White Soy Sauce www.whitesoysaucefood.com World Tea Expo www.worldteaexpo.com
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