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Model - Jowita Ulanowski Photos by Ismael Cuevas Ito

Some of our locations include: Hotels & Motels Convention Facilities Employee Dining Areas Pharmacies Nightclubs Tattoo Parlors Valet Waiting Areas Tanning Salons Auto Dealerships Wedding Chapels Bars & Grills Airports Hospitals Medical Centers Shopping Malls Amusement Centers Car Washes Casinos

May 2012





THE RETURN OF BON APPETIT’S VEGAS UNCORK’D this month with all its great gastronomic events spread over a four day weekend was not to be missed by anyone who enjoys great food & wine, not to mention spirits. Our favorites among all the events were the Grand Tasting at the Pools at Caesars and a first this year was The Surfside Beach Clambake at the Beach at Mandalay Bay… Cover photo by Issac Brekken

17 THE LAS VEGAS BUSINESS ACADEMY is a local Las Vegas group

I have just been introduced to and, I am glad to say, looking forward to working with on their charitable fundraisers. The group is made up of the Las Vegas business community’s movers and shakers, including the Food & Beverage and Hospitality Industries, working to help deserving top notch students with complete educational scholarships so that they can return to Las Vegas and mentor others.



KATE FLANAGAN, is interviewed one on one by our own Kim Trevino, and learns something new about being a very young brand manager for a major liquor company so far, far from home!


STUNNING CUSTOM CUPS is raising the standard for custom made machine washable plastic cups and making a real “splash” at the properties’ pools with a cup that is stunning and unbreakable.

Page 4 Hot Off the Grill! Page 5 WSWA Page 6 HR Insights


Page 8 Vegas Uncork’d

Page 16 World Tea Expo Page 17 Las Vegas Business Academy

Page 9 What’s Brewing?

Kabuki Opening

Page 10 Food for Thought

Page 18 Rudi Weist

Page 11 First Grade Food Critics

Page 19 Tantalizing Tastes of Temecula Valley

Page 12 Brett’s Vegas View Page 14 Chefs for Kids Gala Island Sushi Golf

Page 15 The Spirit of Spirits!

Page 23 Brand Ambassador for Jameson Irish Whiskey Page 24 Coconuts Beach Bar & Mexican Grill Page 25 Natural Products Expo West Page 26 Khoury’s Wine & Spirits Page 27 Wine Talk Page 28 Woonam Jung at Korea Town Plaza

Page 20 What’s Cooking?

Page 30 Great Vegas Festival of Beer

Page 21 Industry Nightlife

Page 31 Advertiser Index

May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 3

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


May 2012

The ACF Chefs of Las Vegas recently held their Annual Chefs for Kids Dinner Gala. Hosted by Paris Las Vegas and attended by chefs, associates and friends to the Industry, we were delighted to see such a good turnout for the event, including old friends like Justice Court Judge William D. Jansen.

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

Bob Barnes Editorial Director

The Las Vegas Business Academy is a group of Las Vegas top players in the business community established to raise funds to help top notch students with scholarships and educational funds, so that they will continue working in Las Vegas and help mentor others, once graduated. Guest speaker at the recent meeting was Jim Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International, shown here flanked by Rino Armeni, Academy Organizer, and Mike Fryer.

Juanita Aiello Creative Director


Vegas Uncork’d presented by Bon Appetit’s Grand Tasting and hosted by Caesars Palace proved to be another record breaking year in attendance. Food & Beverage Editors, Star Chefs and Food Critics alike were out in full force, as here represented by all three categories: Mike Fryer, Rick Moonen and Al Mancini…

The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional

The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional welcomes letters to the editor. We are always striving to improve this publication and would like to know your comments and thoughts. Here’s your chance to be heard. Send your comments to and they may be published in next month’s issue! NOTE: All submissions become the property of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional.


Pre-Press Technician Brandon Yan

Contributor Chef Jet

Contributor Juanita Fryer

Contributor Jackie Brett

Contributor Shelley Stepanek

Contributor Les Kincaid

Contributors Scott & Elaine Harris

Contributor Ryan “Hollywood” Wieczorek

Contributor Beth Ellyn Rosenthal

Contributor Kim Trevino

Contributor Patrick Sullivan

Contributor Pam Bokelmann

Contributor Chandra Paige

Spirits Editor Adam Carmer

Contributor Chef Allan Asch

Contributors Lucille Thaler & Tony Zanoff

Contributor Linda Bernstein

Contributor Michael Oshman

Contributor Alice Swift

Contributor Ben Brown

Contributor Kellan Bartosch

Contributing Photographer Bill Bokelmann

Contributing Photographer Rose Powell-Carver

Contributing Photographer Dannette Chappell

4 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

Photos by Bill Bokelmann



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By Linda Westcott-Bernstein

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


Email: Booksite:


Question of the Month

Looking for the Best in Others There is an old proverb…“Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” What is really being said here is that oftentimes we judge others before we get a chance to know them. We expect our values and beliefs to be found in those around us and then condemn them when they don’t live up to our expectations. In today’s workplace, it is more important than ever that we set aside our prejudices and pre-conceived notions, and look for the attributes and qualities in

people that are key for success on our team and in our organization. It can no longer only be about age or experience in a field or career. Now, more than ever, we must focus our sights on willingness to learn and the effort applied to that goal. We must realize that those who may make the biggest impact on our business, and ultimately our future, are those who break free of the age-old restriction of “this is the way it has always been done” and seek new, innovative solutions to our business needs.

So, what are some of the characteristics that we should support in our current staff as well as those to look for in our new hires? First, we must start by steering away from old hiring notions such as “number of years in one job, industry-specific work experience, and younger must be better.” Instead, let’s focus on the following attributes… Genuineness – people who are sincere, friendly and real. They do not act pretentious or phony. Creativity – individuals who can think for themselves, find solutions and take action instead of hesitating. Courtesy – those who are courteous, use polite language, and are respectful and patient with others. Work ethic – people who are unafraid of hard work, apply themselves daily, and finish their work completely. Whatever we do from this point forward, we must be careful not to evaluate the quality of character of others by the label on their clothes or the model of their car. A quality personality does not present itself through possessions but through actions and behaviors. If we desire a more positive and productive work environment then we must not be afraid to break the mold and try new methods. In reality, looking for the best in others requires taking a much closer look at ourselves first. Next month’s topic: Having Fun at Work! Do you believe that it is ok to have fun at work? What ways do you encourage fun at work? What is your company’s philosophy about a fun workplace environment? Explain your opinion or situation. (Send to (Responses may be printed in next month’s column.)

Want to advertise in the ONLY Food and Beverage-industry dedicated publication in Las Vegas? Review rates and availability at Email for more information. 6 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

Photos by Juanita Aiello & Issac Brekken

Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d

8 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

By Bob Barnes



i ♥ burgers at The Palazzo Hosts Tenaya Creek Beer Dinner

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:

IPA, Barley Wine and Imperial Stout, all three of which are quite rich and bursting with flavor. Jay Bluhm reports that this beer dinner is the first of more to come, with plans for dinners every other month, and the restaurants are very serious about serving a great beer selection. (The line-up at i ♥ burgers is positive proof of that.)

Springs Preserve Hosts Beerfest on June 2

Great Festival of Beer a Smashing Success

The 2nd annual Great Festival of Beer on April 21 went off without a hitch. It featured more than 150 beers, and all were high quality brews, but what sets this fest apart from others

What’s on Tap

Ever hear someone say they’re heading to Gordon Biersch to enjoy their favorite IPA? In Las Vegas you might. Brewmaster Richard Lovelady turned some heads when he was the first GB brewer to brew the beer style that is so atypical of his brewery, and it has proven to be so popular that it’s now part of the 6-tap line-up in Vegas. Richard is keeping busy, as his brewery is the largest producer of all GB brewpubs. Joseph James is now available in 18 states. Owner Matt Lisowski reports that since 88% of its beer is sold east of Colorado, plans are in the works to open both a central warehouse in Chicago and a 2nd brewery in Franklin, Wisconsin. The Tahoe Blue Pale Ale has been bumped up to 70 IBUs compliments of Cascade, Columbus and Chinook hops and the Hop Box Imperial IPA is packing a punch at a whopping 105 IBUs and 9.3% abv. Todd Cook at Boulder Dam Brewing is tapping his Cincuenta Cerveza, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, made with the juice of fifty limes.

As always, great beer happens in Vegas!

Photos by Bill Bokelmann & Joe Urcioli

On April 19 the locally-brewed beers of Tenaya Creek Brewing were featured at the inaugural beer dinner of i ♥ burgers at The Palazzo. The dinner was a showcase for both Tenaya Creek and the four local restaurants from the LEV Restaurant Group: i ♥ burgers locations at Town Square and The Palazzo, Lobster ME at Planet Hollywood and the Daily Kitchen & Wellness Bar at 3645 S. Town Center Dr. The event appeared to be nearly sold out, with only a few empty seats visible. We were welcomed by Tenaya Creek General Manager Karl Hererra and Lev Vice President of Emerging Concepts Jay Bluhm, while Tenaya Creek Brewmaster Anthony Gibson and Owner Tim Etter and i ♥ burgers Executive Chef Adam Crisafulli mingled with guests. The pairings were: Deconstructed Lobster Cocktail (fresh Maine lobster, cucumber and cocktail sauce) from Lobster ME/Calico Brown Ale; Seared Blackened Ahi Tuna Slider with micro cilantro and creamy ponzu sauce from the menu of i ♥ burgers Town Square/Hop Ride IPA; Tuscan Kale Salad (with roasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, avocado with a citrus vinaigrette) from Daily Kitchen & Wellness Bar/Hefeweizen; Mini Braised Short Rib Burger (with caramelized onions and drunken goat cheese smear) from The Palazzo i ♥ burgers/ Old Jackalope Barley Wine; and dessert of Chocolate Lava Cake with caramel sauce and bacon dipped in chocolate/Imperial Stout. All of the pairings worked very well, and the beer was outstanding, with my favorites being the

Beerfest season continues with the 3rd Annual Brews & Blues Festival slated for Saturday, June 2 at the Springs Preserve. $40 will get you unlimited samples of more than 50 craft brews from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., but buying your ticket in advance for $35 includes early admission at 3 p.m. Local and regional blues bands will perform on two stages throughout the festivities. Tickets can be purchased at the Springs Preserve box office or online at <>. Tickets are limited, so pre-ticketing is recommended to avoid getting turned away at the door. The Springs Preserve is located on Valley View, just south of the 95 Freeway.

is that many were big flavorful ones you don’t see all that often, such as Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, North Coast La Merle, Squatters Outer Darkness Imperial Stout, Great Basin Icky IPA, Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin, Unibroue Raftman and the Belgian Piraat and Gulden Draak. Local beer was well represented, with Tenaya Creek, Joseph James, Big Dog’s and Chicago Brewing each pouring four to six of their brews. A handy program included a map of all the beer stations, but also a listing of each beer being served. The atmosphere of the classy Tivoli Village, along with a great turn out added to the festiveness. A big toast is due to Motley Brews Organizer Brian Chapin for gracing our city with such a well-run, top notch beerfest.

May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 9


By Les Kincaid

Let’s Help STOP Child Hunger It would seem the job of ending childhood hunger is almost an impossible mission. However, in Las Vegas on Thursday May 17, the popular Rain Nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort will host this year’s very strong attempt to conquer this challenge. More than 30 of Las Vegas’ finest chefs will join together at the Rain Nightclub to seriously help end childhood hunger in America. Located on the casino level, Rain Nightclub provides the perfect location to experience Las Vegas’ famous nightlife while enjoying tasty treats and live entertainment. Besides delicious food and drink, the event will feature a tasteful silent auction with some unique items and a live auction hosted by local television personalities Denise Valdez, co-anchor on KLAS-TV, and sports reporter Molly Sullivan.

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

hunger. He has worked very hard to assemble great chefs in town to prepare tasty bites of food and drink for this gastronomic event, reminding us that many children are going hungry, not once in a while, but every day. There are more than 16 million children facing hunger in America; Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation works to end childhood hunger in the United States and abroad by ensuring children and their families have reliable access to nutritious food, and by addressing the deeper causes of these conditions. Funds raised through Taste of the Nation events provide grants to organizations throughout the United States, Canada and abroad and help work successfully to end childhood hunger.

While admission is just $100, you can arrive at 7:30 PM, or you can pay $25 more and become a VIP and receive early admission at 6:30, enjoy the festivities until conclusion at 9:30, and receive a special gift bag along with a special champagne reception, which will make certain your experience is not only helping children but that you enjoy the evening as well.

Local charities that will benefit from this year’s event include Three Square Food Bank, Catholic Charities of Las Vegas, UNCE Chefs for Kids and Project MANA. Taste of the Nation has been working on childhood hunger since 1988, and has raised more than $70 million for organizations across the United States, Canada and abroad, including almost $1 million right here in Las Vegas alone.

The event host is Executive Chef Carlos Guia, Taste of the Nation Las Vegas Restaurant Chairman, who is passionate about fighting childhood

Both General Admission and VIP tickets can be purchased by calling 1-877-26-TASTE or visiting

10 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

By Ben Brown

First Grade Food Critics: School Never Tasted so Good

Benjamin Brown is a food and travel journalist residing in Las Vegas. He writes for as a local food critic, where his love for exercise qualifies an appetite that borders on ‘Man vs. Food.’ Dining and adventuring around the world, Ben is also a contributor for travel blog and Amble Resorts LLC.

The bright yellow school bus makes its way down Las Vegas Boulevard, turning heads as it pulls into The Palazzo’s front entrance. A baffled security guard stops us and steps inside, immediately greeted by 18 smiling first graders, to which he rolls his eyes as a silent lament of ‘I’m getting too old for this.’ We valet, of course. Holding hands with their buddies for safety, the six-year-olds venture across the casino floor, bright lights and loud noises resembling scenes they’d heard about in fairy tales during carpet time. We arrive at our destination, I Love Burgers, where the sight of sliders, milkshakes and mac ‘n’ cheese nom noms laid out for them takes ‘kid in a candy shop’ to a whole new level. For the First Grade Food Critics, lunch is officially a class. The concept is simple—educate children through something they all love: food. Restaurants across Las Vegas graciously provide dining experiences for elementary students in underprivileged communities. The school: Robert E. Lake Elementary, two miles east of the Strip. The pilot class: Mr. B’s first graders. Catered meals, cooking demonstrations and field trips become content for a dining guide made by children for children. In addition to academic development and nutrition education, career awareness is a top priority. Special guests from across the dining industry complement every event, from chefs to restaurant managers, journalists to nutritionists, corporate executives to city idols. After discussing how these kids can one day be like them, any of these mentors could inspire the next Wolfgang Puck or Anthony Bourdain. Back at I Love Burgers, the first graders met Zach Conine, VP of Development for the LEV Restaurant Group, for a kitchen tour. “Someone here is going to do this professionally,” Conine remarked. “They took care of my morning prep work,” laughs Adam Crisafulli, the restaurant’s Executive Chef. His commanding presence doesn’t pin him as a child-lover, but his leading the kids through a cooking lesson said otherwise. “They can come back to work anytime.” Perhaps they’ll learn to fill out a W-2 for payroll. “Reaching out like this is great. It’s a part of who we are,” said Jeff Kovatch, owner of Greens & Proteins healthy kitchen in Henderson [as well as Republic Kitchen and Bar down the road]. Kovatch came to the classroom with ‘raw mixologist’ Shane Stuart to show the kids how fruits and vegetables can taste like dessert.

“Who wants spinach ice cream?” Stuart asks the ecstatic group, everyone yearning to try one of his signature smoothies. His cooking demonstration came with an extensive lesson on nutrition, made all the more important after Stuart asked the kids about the food they’re served at school.

The concept is simple – educate children through something they all love: food. “Cinnamon rolls and donuts for breakfast…I think we can do better,” he said. Most restaurant participants promote healthy dining options. A California Pizza Kitchen catered lunch featured whole wheat crust pizza and mixed vegetable fusilli, which converted 18 broccoli lovers on the spot. When all is said and done, the students rate their dining experience item by item using the ever-so-technical smiley face system. Was it cooked properly? Did it have strong flavor? Etc. Etc. A smiley for things they liked, a frowny face for the stuff they didn’t. Families can use these simple signals to determine restaurants [and healthy eating options] to take their kids for a night out. For some background to piece the project together, Mr. B is also food critic Benjamin Brown, who isn’t accustomed to writing about himself [so thanks for bearing with

me]. After earning a degree in journalism, I moved to Las Vegas with the Teach for America program, which recruits people [most without backgrounds in education] to teach in underperforming schools. A foodie at heart with desire to continue as a journalist, I became a restaurant reviewer for freelance site and, more recently, LVFNBPro. I teach by day and explore the city’s dining scene at night. First Grade Food Critics was conceptualized in Panama this past summer, where teaching English at a rural elementary school showed me how privileged my students back home really are, especially in a city with such prestigious hospitality and entertainment industries. Returning to the US, I saw myself in a position to expose schoolchildren to Las Vegas’s glamour for a motivational education experience.

First Grade Food Critics With the help of some extremely generous individuals from standout companies, First Grade Food Critics holds partnerships across the food industry and continues to grow. For more information or to participate visit us at

May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 11

Brett’s BY

Dining Items

OpenTable, an online restaurant reservations provider, announced the 2012 Diner’s Choice Award winners for Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in the United States. Las Vegas eateries include: Jaleo and STK at The Cosmopolitan, Lavo and SUSHISAMBA Strip at The Palazzo, N9NE Steakhouse at The Palms and Tao Restaurant and Nightclub in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian.

Entertainment Clips

Chef Gordon Ramsay’s first Las Vegas restaurant seating 200 opens May 11 at Paris. The two-story modern steakhouse will have a chef’s table, private dining rooms, bar and separate lounge. Señor Frog’s Restaurant Bar & Clothesline will open inside Treasure Island and offer lunch, dinner and nightly entertainment. The 586-seat venue will include an expansive indoor and outdoor venue, 22,000 square feet of dining space, five bars and a large outdoor patio. The first and only Metro McDonald’s has opened on the Strip. The 6,734-square-foot, two-story location features 24-hour service, digital menu boards, Wifi access, a bright décor, sleek furniture and graffiti-like murals. Ranch House Kitchen serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch will open in Town Square in May with a live entertainment stage. The 15,000-square-foot country-western restaurant and bar will have three full-service bars, a 3,000-square-foot outdoor patio, and a mechanical bull.

The Broadway Theater has opened at New York-New York with “Spirit of the Dance” and special guests Dublin’s Irish Tenors performing 4 p.m. shows. The ABBA show, “Dancing Queen,” will debut in May in the 8 p.m. slot. The Red Rock Casino Amphitheatre will hold summer concerts with the Beach Boys global 50th Anniversary Tour visiting May 27 and Def Leppard with Poison and special guest Lita Ford appearing June 23. Brad Garrett opened his new comedy club at the MGM Grand and performs nine shows each month. Garrett financed the build out of his new space downstairs in the Starlane Mall being renamed MGM Underground. All three shows at Hooters closed so the hotel can convert the space into an open lounge. The Prince tribute band “Purple Reign” has opened downtown at The D (formerly Fitzgeralds). Also closed are Angela Stabile’s “Raack N Roll” and “Men of X,” which played upstairs.

Carlos’n Charlie’s Las Vegas, an authentic Mexican cantina cuisine, is now open at the Flamingo.

The Latin production features 50 artists the trio discovered. “Dancing with the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” at the Tropicana runs through July 7 with celebrity stylist Carson Kressley hosting the 80-minute production with other alums…Joey Fatone, Sabrina Bryan of “The Cheetah Girls,” and actress Tia Carrere. “Zarkana,” Cirque du Soleil’s surreal acrobatic spectacle, will open at ARIA with previews in October following “Viva ELVIS” ending its run in August.

Fremont Street Experience’s free summer concert series “Rock of Vegas” will start Memorial Day weekend with Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil, and run through Labor Day with Dee Snider, legendary singer of Twisted Sister. Other acts include: June 9 – Dennis DeYoung - The Music of Styx; June 22 Night Ranger; July 7 Asia featuring John Payne; July 21 Warrant & Skid Row; Aug. 4 Bret Michaels “Get Your Rock on Tour 2012;” and Aug. 18 TBA.

Miscellaneous Clips

For the sixth year in a row, Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace was selected as one of the “Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.” by dining website, and Central Michel Richard at Caesars Palace was one of the Top 10 New Restaurants.

Fuller’s XIX Entertainment, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and show director Jamie King will open “¡Q’Viva! The Chosen LIVE” at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 26.

12 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

Commonwealth, a two-story venue downtown next to Le Thai, will tentatively open this summer with an atmosphere of English country home, distressed Boston pub and urban rooftop garden. The Rockhouse in front of the Imperial Palace will close on May 6 to make room for The Linq project and the hotel’s front entrance is already closed with a new pedestrian entrance from Harrah’s Carnaval Court.

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Dal Toro @ The Palazzo Double Helix @ The Palazzo Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits Koi @ Planet Hollywood Rachel’s Kitchen

D.O.C.G. @ The Cosmopolitan Trump International Tuscany Suites & Casino

Photos by Juanita Aiello

ACF Chefs for Kids Gala Hosted by Paris Las Vegas

Photos by Terence Fong

Island Sushi & Hawaiian Grill Golf Tournament

14 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

The Whisky Attic By Adam Carmer

The Spirit of Spirits!

Adam Carmer is the founder of The Freakin’ Frog & The Whisky Attic, creator of the Carmer Spirits Tasting Enhancement Method (CSTEM) and Spirits Editor of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional. Email:

Pictured: Adam Carmer discussing the craft beer scene with Bono, the Brewermaster at PAVO Brewing in Israel.

The craft beer scene in Israel is booming! There are many jobs opening each month in the beer industry in Israel. I was fortunate enough to visit Israel last month in search of interesting spirits, unequalled historical culture and to taste some wine. There was a wine renaissance in Israel over the last 15 years that saw the numbers of wineries in the country grow by almost 100 percent per year for a stretch. The hot and trending alcoholic beverage with the most growth currently is beer. Not the normal Israeli malty, super sweet and earthy Malta beer, nor the light lager Gold Star beer, nor the popular import Tuborg beer are either part of, or responsible for the new trend. Craft beers based on the countries most known for pushing the history of beer or the current craft beer scene are what the public is craving. German style hefeweizen is a popular mainstay of these young breweries. England shows itself through the barleywines, pub ales and porters that are gaining popularity by the day. The American obsession with aromatic and bitter hop profiles is mimicked and modified at virtually all these new craft breweries. The Belgian styles are the ultimate goal of many of these brewers. Due to their proximity to the region, the influx of tourists from Europe and their ease of getting the agricultural products shipped directly from Belgium, these styles look to dominate the Israeli beer scene. A dear friend of mine, Steve Stein, introduced me to Pavo, a new local craft brewery. I stopped in at Pavo Brewery to sample some beers, meet the people who run the brewery and get a first-hand look at the actual set up of an Israeli craft brewery. The equipment is European state of the art and the people were gracious and hospitable. The beers were all to style, leaning more towards the European palate. Pavo Brewery is one of Israel’s most beautiful breweries located in picturesque small town of Zichron Ya’akov, right at the top of Givat Zamarin (Zamarin Hill). In their literature they explain the meaning of the seemingly strange name of the brewery: Pavo.

It’s true that Pavo is first of all a good beer, even a great one. A beer that makes you feel good – even great... In fact that’s all a true Pavoist can ask for, but Pavo is far more than beer. It’s the life-force, an emotion, the social drive. It’s the urge to dedicate yourself to working for what brings us together, as human beings. Being able to laugh and have fun together, learn from each other - even from people you’ve never met in your life. For the true Pavoist – there’s no such thing as strangers. Just friends they have.

Pictured: Adam Carmer at Carmel Winery in Zichron Ya’akov, Israel tasting the Carmel 100 Brandy

Pictured: Adam Carmer sampling the craft beer lineup at Pavo Brewery in Israel with the General Manager Idan Golco

In addition to the beer scene I discovered a hidden gem of a brandy at Carmel Winery in Zichron Ya’akov, just down the hill from Pavo. Carmel is Israel’s largest winery producing 15 million bottles a year from 1400 hectares of grapes. Among the special treats produced by Carmel Winery is the Carmel 100 Israeli brandy. The Carmel 100 is so named to honor the 100th anniversary of the Carmel Winery. This brandy is comprised of spirit aged in French oak barrels that formerly housed their award-winning wines for no less than 8 years, with some barrels as old as 25 years. The grape varietals used are Columbard (70%), Chenin Blanc and Emerald Riesling. The actual distillation is a curious blend of distillate from a continuous still (25%) and a traditional French pot still for the double distillation of the balance. The care taken by the master blender is evident in every aspect of the spirit. Visually the Carmel 100 offers a fleshy light pear hue to the brandy with a halo of gold and burnt orange peel. The nose was surprisingly soft and nonaggressive. The ethyl alcohol was behaving and invited the taster in for the first sip. A tad hot on the palate, but huge orange peel, almond, toffee, earth and fruity notes made for a complex and appealing flavor. The finish was round in the mouth and full on the back with a slight burn attributed to the high alcohol content. Overall this is a world class product and worth tasting. Israel, the land of milk and honey, may soon be known for craft beer and brandy as well.

May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 15



June 1-3, 2012 Las Vegas

World Tea Expo Evaluates the Latest Trends, Celebrates 10-year Anniversary “At World Tea Expo, we always strive to stay one step ahead of emerging trends, so we can deliver a relevant event to participants that fuels business growth,” says Kim Jage, sales and marketing director, World Tea Media, a division of F+W Media, producers of the annual World Tea Expo, the North American Tea Championship, World Tea News and World Tea East. This year’s World Tea Expo takes place June 1 – 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (visit Jage and the organizers of World Tea Expo, the largest and most prominent B2B event for the industry, pinpoint quality tea, growth in tea retail, cold brew green tea, green tea popularity, Matcha lattes and tea-enhancing wares as six of the key tea trends for 2012 World Tea Expo. The upcoming event, June 1 – 3, 2012, will cover these trends, in addition to the latest retail developments.

Six Tea Trends: 1. Quality Tea on the Rise “The tea industry is educating tea consumers about quality, thus improving their palate and desire for better tea,” says Jage. “We’re still a bit behind here, but many retailers and manufacturers are making progress, and consumers are increasingly looking to buy better teas; they want to know what makes certain teas high quality rather than relying on the manufacturer’s word or enticing packaging. 2. Tea Retail Continues Its Upward Trend The tea retail trend hit a nice stride in North America in 2011, according to World Tea Expo, and it will continue to move up quickly – on a global scale – in 2012. Last year, for example, U.S. tea retailer Teavana launched its IPO and Canadian-based DavidsTea opened two retail stores in N.Y.C., adding to its line-up of 69 locations. Most recently, Starbucks Coffee Company hired tea-retail expert Charles Cain as its new vice president for Tazo tea merchants and operations, which leads to much speculation regarding Starbucks’ plans to launch tea retail outlets. “At World Tea Expo, the industry is set to discuss the future growth of tea retail – and what will happen in 2012 – in a session called ‘Will Tea Ever Be as Big as Coffee?’” says Jage. “Right now, in the United States, there are currently more than 25,000 coffeehouses and around 3,500 tea retail locations,” she adds.

4. Tea-enhancing Tea Wares Glassware maker Reidel creates some of the finest wine glasses and decanters, and it’s said that these special glasses make a significant difference in the taste of vino, bringing out the depth, flavor and balance. And now, as the general populous continues to build a sophisticated palate, innovators are emerging and looking at ways they can enhance the tea drinking experience on a more sophisticated level. In fact, one stellar example of tea-enhancing tea ware is the 2012 World Tea Expo Best New Product Award winner 1660 London, for its 1660 Tasting Cups. The company won the top prize in the category of Tea Wares. These cups are each shaped to enhance the drinking experience of green, black and fragrant teas. The idea is that these glasses bring out the maximum potential of a tea. 5. Cold Brew Green Tea Cold brew green tea is expected to be big in 2012, cites World Tea Expo organizers. Last year, Japanese manufacturer Yamashiro Bussan Company launched the first cold brew green tea at World Tea Expo. This year, branded cold-brew green tea takes the stage, including Swirl Tea, by Breezy Springs LLC. Breezy Spring products are already sold in Whole Foods Markets and Publix Supermarkets, to name a few. 6. Matcha Lattes (Real Ones) “Matcha lattes are already wildly selling in Canadian foodservice establishments,” reveals Jage, “and I suspect the time has come for American restaurants to catch on in 2012. They are easy to make, require no additional equipment, taste delicious and are packed with the nutritional benefits of Matcha. They’re certainly a wonderful alternative to over-roasted coffee after a lovely dinner.”

Las Vegas Restaurants & Chefs World Tea Expo, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is indeed attracting more professionals and top chefs from the restaurant industry, who want to learn more about specialty tea and the latest trends. As the most comprehensive exhibition and educational tea event, World Tea Expo’s exhibit floor, lectures, tastings and workshops can assist foodservice professionals in making key business decisions with tea.

3. Green Tea Grows in Popularity World Tea Expo is also watching green tea move ahead of flavored and blended herbal teas, in terms of popularity. ”No doubt due to its association with health and the preferences of ageing Baby Boomers and conscious Millennials, green tea is experiencing a growing consumer base, and that will continue this year,” says Jage. 16 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

Photos by Bill Bokelmann

Las Vegas Business Academy

Photos by Rose Powell-Carver

Kabuki Opening at Tivoli Village

May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 17

Rudi Weist Brings Germany’s Best Dry Wines to Trilogy Fine Wines and a Who’s Who in the Las Vegas Beverage Industry Wirtz Beverage’s brand new Trilogy Fine Wine and Spirits division got off to a fast start with the crème de la crème of the Las Vegas beverage industry. The legendary Rudi Wiest himself of his namesake import company came to Wirtz’s Alchemy Room with a palate-pleasing line up of German dry wines. No importer that we know of has the knowledge of Rudi Wiest. On this visit he brought a hand selected group of small family owned wine makers from the best wine making regions of Germany.

Marcel von den Benken from Schloss Schönborn in the Rheingau Valley featured his wines first. He explained that his 2010 Dry Estate Riesling is characterized by high acidity and the 2011 Vintage had a much longer hang time. On the palate, both of these amazing Rieslings were nicely balanced, soft and feminine in style. The Franz Künstler Winery featured four Rieslings and a lovely Pinot Noir. Carl Erhard, from the winery, explained that he concentrates his efforts on making grapes for wine and not wine making. Growing fruit is the most important aspect in the wine. As any experienced wine lover knows, the best wines are made in the vineyard and not in the winery. Car Erhard follows that tradition to a “T.” As we tasted his 2010 Dry Reisling “Old Vine” Stielweg, Carl explained that the vines average 55 years in age. Carl also added that

he felt the 2012 Vintage will have a long ageing potential. “I had a 1921 Vintage,” stated Rudf Weist, “and it is still going strong.” The Franz Künstler Pinot Noir Estate 2009 features sour cherry and surprisingly big tannins. Many people consider German Pinot Noir something that is relatively new. In fact, winemakers have been making Pinot Noir in the Rheingau Valley for over 800 years, long before they planted Rieslings. 2009 was a warm year which should translate to a spectacular vintage for Pinot Noir and this Franz Künstler will not disappoint. The Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz Winery produces some very fine Rieslings, Pinot Noir and even a Pinot Blanc. Hansjorg Rebholz himself made the trip across the Atlantic to show off these very special wines. As we began tasting through his wines, he explained that his grandfather started the winery in the 1940s and they specialize in making wines as natural as possible and are Biodynamic. When tasting the Pinot Blanc and the Rieslings we were very pleased with the refreshing feature of big apple and melon notes on the nose and palate. Before moving on to the Pinot Noir we found a real stand out - the 2010 Dry Grosses Gewachs, Ganz Horn. On the nose and palate, this wonderful wine drinks like a Grand Cru. Classic earthy notes, mineral and citrus make this Riesling a stand out. All of the Rieslings from Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz should be at their very best after 5-6 years. German Pinot Noir is always interesting because Pinot Noir is very terroir expressive. Vineyards with micro climates can produce Pinot Noir that are very different and only meters apart. The 2009 Pinot Noir Spatlese Dry “Tradition” is a good example of this. This nice Pinot has classic signatures of sour cherry, light tannins, all-spice and oak. Weinhaus Joachim Heger / Weingut Dr. Heger produce Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir that show off

18 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

the versatility of the region. Markus Mleink took us though a tasteful journey through his wines. Like many of his colleagues, its hands off in the winery, and all the work is done in the vineyard. Tasting his 2011 and 2010 Pinot Gris side by side gave us a unique insight into the vintages a year apart. The 2011 had much more fruit and was more developed than the 2010, most likely because it was just bottled, and the 2010 has “mellowed” with a little more age. Both are ready to be enjoyed now. The 2009 Dr. Heger Pinot Noir Dry Grosses Gewachs, Ihringer Winkerberh was next in line to examine. This very nice Pinot Noir was a pleasure to taste. Classic cherry notes, earth, leather and spice come together with silky tannins on the finish. Can a pig famer make great wines? Sure they can, and Weingut Becker proves it. Fritz Becker Jr. specializes in Pinot Noir. The winery was totally destroyed in World War II and has come back very strong. Fritz has been the winemaker since 2005. The 2009 Pinot Noir “Dry” Limestone was a stand out in his lineup and should have good age ability, but can be enjoyed now. The 2008 Pinot Noir Grosses Gewachs St. Paul Grand Cru is a German Pinot Noir that we will not forget. Its elegant notes of cherry, earth, spice, leather and oak show what a Pinot Noir from the region should strive to be. Rudi Weist is an expert in wines from Germany. Spending 10 minutes or an afternoon with him is an opportunity to get an education to set the foundation of your wine education for a life time. When looking over your next wine list, take the time to find a few of these very special wines from Germany.

By Elaine & Scott Harris

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

Destinations Tantalizing Tastes of Temecula Valley Whether you’re looking for great wines to taste or a relaxing and peaceful getaway just a few short hours away from Las Vegas, the place to be is Temecula, California. Temecula gives you an assortment of accommodations and dining selections to choose from. During the World of Wine Winter Barrel Tasting event held on March 3-4 we had the pleasure of staying and dining at the INN at Europa Village, a beautiful bed and breakfast in the heart of the Temecula Valley Wine Country. Our hosts for the weekend were Innkeepers/Executive Chef Dean Thomas and his wonderful wife Nicole. Chef Dean and Nicole reside and operate the INN at Europa Village for Europa Village Winery. The INN has been recently renovated and you are personally cared for by Dean and Nicole, who make you feel like family. The INN rests atop 5 acres of lush grounds with a panoramic view from its hilltop location. The views down the Temecula Valley from the bedroom balconies and dining patio are breathtaking. Chef Dean and Nicole are well known for creating the best breakfast “Experience” in Southern California. We were very surprised and honored when we were treated to a special dinner “Experience” upon our arrival at the INN. Chef prepared a four-course gourmet dining experience fit for royalty, consisting of sea scallop with parsnip puree; roasted organic beets with gold beet tartare “chips”; main course of dry rub beef with Chanterelles mushrooms in Syrah and organic vegetables; and grand finale of chocolate pate, berries in Muscat, and a grapefruit curd served on a tuille cookie spoon, paired with a Bolero Muscat cannoli, a perfect end to a perfect evening. Wines paired with our meal included Bolero Libido Red Wine, a traditional Spanish blend of Tempranello, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignane varietals; and C’est La Vie Syrah, both of which are products of the Europa Village Winery. In the morning before our barrel tasting began, we made our way down to the dining room to see what culinary surprise would be greeting us. To our delight, breakfast began with a banana

brûlée, accompanied by fresh fruit from the garden and orchard, followed by a main course of crepe with chives and Swiss cheese, caramelized mushrooms, onions cooked in beer, bay leaf and fennel sauce with fennel pollen on top, an egg with dehydrated tomato powder (made from the garden tomatoes) and micro greens arugula with sliced almonds and slow roasted tomatoes that roasted while we were sleeping. We were told Chef Dean’s crepes were the best, and we weren’t disappointed. Chef Dean’s breakfast creations tantalize your taste buds like a fine glass of wine. Thirty-two wineries participated in the World of Wine Winter Barrel Tasting event. This event invites wine tasting enthusiasts to enjoy the charm of their friendly tasting rooms and sample some of the wineries’ upcoming new releases right out of the barrel, along with palate tantalizing food pairings. One of our first stops off the event map was the Doffo Winery, one of the few micro-boutique wineries in the region. Founded in 1997, Marcelo Doffo and his family started making wine in his backyard. The winery, situated on 15 acres of hand planted vineyards, has its own wine production facilities and a private tasting room complete with vintage scooters and motorcycles that come from the family’s private collection. We sampled from the barrel the 2010 Malbec, and were greeted in the tasting room by Damien Doffo, who instructed us to try his mother Zulma’s Italian Ribollita vegetable soup served in a sourdough bread bowl before sampling the 2010 Zinfandel. The spicy after flavor of the soup brought out the bold spice of the Zinfandel. The Wilson family wanted to run a fun, family business that produced great wine. The Wilson Creek Winery is all

By Pam Bokelmann Pam Bokelmann is an HR manager by day and an avid fan of wine, food and travel by night. During her Temecula experience she took notes while her husband Bill snapped photos.

of these; everyone in the family works in some capacity at the winery. When you visit Wilson Creek you truly feel like family. The wine selections for this event included the Double Dog Red, a full-bodied red wine with aromas of cinnamon, dried apple, coffee and black olive and smooth, robust flavors of black plums, anise, cherry preserves, vanilla and sweet wood. The 2009 Family Reserve Late Harvest Zinfandel Port was a sweet, jammy dessert wine with intensity. All were paired with Zambezi duck tacos, which were also very tasty. Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery is owned by Nick Palumbo and his lovely wife Cindy. Nick is a passionate viticulturist who believes in producing only what he grows himself. Their 13 acres are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese varietals, with Viognier and Syrah varietals planted on neighboring properties. The wine selection for this event was the 2010 Viognier, a classic honey, apricot fruit nose, rich with a dry finish; and the 2008 Shiraz/Cabernet blend, both paired with cold sliced filet of beef with brie and toasted almond fruit compote on a crispy baguette chip. In 2009, opening a tasting room in Old Town Temecula was a dream come true for Lorimar Vineyard and Winery owners Lawrie Lipton and Mark Manfield. In April they will be opening a second tasting room in the Temecula Valley Wine Country, so Lorimar’s barrel tasting was held right on the property of the new tasting room. The wine selection out of the barrel was their 2009 Solo Estate Cabernet-deep color with palate notes of dark cherry, boysenberry and pomegranate finish with a velvety texture. Also out of a barrel was the 2009 Nocturne Estate Syrah-complex palate, dark berry fruit and mild oak. Both flavors went well with the selected food pairing of delicious beef and carrot ragu. The Temecula Valley is a veritable paradise, rural in nature, with rolling hills and vineyards. Whether you’re looking for a quick day trip or planning to stay a couple of days, there’s plenty to see and do in the Temecula Valley Wine Country.

INN at Europa Village 33350 La Serena Way Temecula, CA 92591 (951) 676-7047 Doffo Winery 36083 Summitville St. Temecula, CA 92592 (951) 676-6989 Wilson Creek Winery 35960 Rancho California Rd. Temecula, CA 92591 (951) 699-9463 Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery 40150 Barksdale Ln. Temecula, CA 92592 (951) 676-7900 Lorimar Vineyard and Winery 42031 Main St. Temecula, CA 92590 (951) 240-5177 A SPECIAL THANKS TO: Sienna Spencer-Markles McCue Marketing Communications, LLC Public Relations & Online Marketing for Destinations, Hotels, Restaurants & Wine

May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 19


Cooking in the Clouds Room Chef Claude Gaty Elevates the Cuisine at the Stratosphere’s Top of the World Restaurant

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:

Since taking over the kitchen at Top of the World in 2009, Chef Claude Gaty has transformed the cuisine and elevated it to a level equal to its majestic view from its 100-story perch atop the Stratosphere Tower. I recently had a sit down with Chef to pick his brain about what he is accomplishing at the restaurant with the best view of the Las Vegas Valley. Can you tell us about your background, and what led you to this career path? I grew up just outside Paris and moved to the US in 1977. I held jobs in banking in the San Francisco Bay area, but hated what I was doing and wanted to do something creative. I took a second job in Palo Alto at a bakery making croissants and knew I had found my calling. A trip to Maui led to my mother and me purchasing a French restaurant, La Bretagne. After six months I took over the kitchen, and continued there for nine years, learning on the job. From there I worked as a food consultant for a Fiji resort and later moved to Northern California where I assumed varied chef positions. I went on to working as the opening Sous Chef at Bistrot Zinc in Chicago. I also studied Thai food in Thailand, bread baking at SFBI in South San Francisco and took classes at the Culinary Institute of America. While in Chicago, I took a position with the Lettuce Entertain You group and co-developed the “Mon Ami Gabi” concept. I moved to Las Vegas in 1999 to open Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris resort as Chef / Partner, and it was there that I also worked with my current boss, Stratosphere Executive Chef Rick Giffen.

How would you describe your cuisine at Top of the World and what are you trying to accomplish through it? This is my baby. I think of the recipes and like to try different flavors. I also welcome Rick’s input and we work on all the dishes until we agree. The menu is eclectic and up to date. The foundation is classic, but with a twist and incorporates cuisines of French, Asian, Mediterranean and American. At lunch, it’s like a bistro with sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads, steaks, fish and pastas; for dinner, the concept is fine dining and features steaks, seafood, great produce and a variety of proteins. What dishes are you most proud of and how do you create your menu items? I like rack of lamb and sea bass, and also like to showcase lighter, simple flavors. I own over a thousand cookbooks that I can use for reference. I scan the ingredients and get the idea. My grandmother was a great chef and I learned from her, and also learned from living in different regions where I picked up many ideas. When thinking about a dish, I draw it and diagram how to position the components, and then do a tasting for Rick Giffen and Executive Sous Chef Carlos Vargas. I won’t put anything on the menu that I wouldn’t like to eat myself.

What are your favorite dishes to prepare? I like to prepare simple dishes, such as marinated lamb and fish, and roasted chicken, which I remember watching my father making when I was growing up in France. What do you cook when you are at home? I like to cook ethnic food, love Vietnamese and Mexican food and like a dish that looks good and is fresh. I go for lots of flavors and like to cook healthful dishes, such as salads and vegetarian dishes. Let’s talk about the ingredients you use. We look for the best ingredients available. We use only natural, superior Prime grade grass and corn-fed beef. Some fun things we use are black garlic, exotic spice mixes and fruit pearls. What is your impression of the overall Las Vegas dining scene? The first time I came to Las Vegas many years ago, I ate at a buffet and was very unimpressed. Once Steve Wynn brought some world class chefs in, that was a definite turning point. Now we have a nice community of chefs and have a good exchange of ideas. It’s good to be here.

You were Stratosphere Executive Chef Rick Giffen’s boss at Mon Ami Gabi. How does it play out with your two roles being reversed? Rick called me in early 2009 and said, “Cowboy, how would you like to be the Chef at “Top of the World”? I consider him my brother and I was very appreciative. He’s wacky like me and we click very well. We bounce ideas off of each other, we agree on a direction and he trusts my creative ability. 20 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

Industry Nightlife

Wirtz Beverage Noble Re-Treat Event at Bellagio March 3

By Chandra Paige Chandra Paige is a PR director for mobiAdzz, and is also an independent marketing and business consultant nationally. She writes about food, nightlife, events and life stories.

Danny Wirtz decided to make it a little different this year during the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of America Convention. He threw a party in a Bellagio suite up on a floor high enough to see the entire Strip in a magnificent way. Each room had a different bar and distributor whipping up signature drinks from their liquors. The most popular one was the Holy Mole shot served in a fresh hollowed out jalapeno. Yes, you read that right. In order to drink it, the lips must touch the jalapeno, unless you are very smooth and can just pour it into your mouth without making contact. Either way, you taste the spice of the shot, but it isn’t overpowering. This was made courtesy of Tito’s Vodka. Some of the other spirits starring for the evening were Kraken Spiced Rum, Leffe Ale, Bols Genever, Galliano Ristretto and Hanger One Spiced Pear. All the drinks were made with serious mixologist mad scientist creativeness. The prettiest to look at was Un Besito, pink with a white froth on top, decorated with stencil cutouts of lips that were used to spray the red edible color on the white froth. The theme was medieval. All the liquor distributors and their staff wore medieval costumes, and there was even a two person band playing music in the background that set you back in those times. I was happy to see food being served there, arrays of very delicious and visually beautiful small bite desserts, including sorbets and ice cream, all infused with the spirits being showcased in the evening. It was also fun to see very business minded people in the industry discard their suits for this event and dress up in boisterous costumes of the medieval era.

INDUSTRY NIGHTS Blue Martini Town Square Mon-Sun

Eve Crystals (CityCenter) Wednesday

Jet Mirage Monday

Moon Palms Tuesday

Rok New York, New York Wednesday

Blush Wynn Tuesday

Foundation Room Mandalay Bay Monday

Krave Miracle Mile Sunday

Playboy Club Palms Sunday

Surrender XS Encore Beach Club Encore Wednesday Monday

Crown Rio Monday

Gallery Planet Hollywood Wednesday

Lavo Palazzo Tuesday

Pure Caesars Tuesday

The Bank Bellagio Sunday

Chateau Paris Tuesday

Ghost Bar Palms Wednesday

LAX Luxor Wednesday

Rain Palms Friday

Tryst Wynn Thursday

industry specials?

Drai’s Bill’s Sunday

Haze Aria Thursday

Marquee Cosmopolitan Monday

Revolver Santa Fe Station Thursday

Tao Venetian Thursday

Vanity Hard Rock Sunday

Does your bar or restaurant have Have them listed here!

May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 21

Nevada Restaurant Association invites you to the culinary event of the year. Set in the lush poolside paradise of The Palazzo, the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair will take your senses on a wild ride. From the savory cuisine and succulent cocktails, to stunning fountains and luxurious landscape, this event encourages guests to experience it all. Satisfy your passion for cuisine and thirst for excitement with an endless temptation of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in this sensual and vibrant atmosphere that is undoubtedly Las Vegas. All guests must be 21 years or older to attend.


MAY 24, 2012 The Palazzo® Pool Deck

3325 Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89109

VIP ADMISSION: 6:00 PM GENERAL ADMISSION: 7:00 PM TICKETS ON SALE TO THE PUBLIC APRIL 24 TH Visit or Call Nevada Restaurant Association at 702-878-2313 or The Palazzo Box Office at 702-414-9000 for details

By Kim Trevino

Brand Ambassador for Jameson Irish Whiskey Captivates the Whiskey World

Kim Trevino is an avid lover of all food and wine. She received her degree in Journalism and Media Studies from UNLV and currently freelances for the, where she hosts two columns based on fashion and relationships. Her biggest passion is writing, and you can visit her personal blog site at

On a cool, breezy evening last month I had the incredible honor of interviewing a woman who is known by many in the drinking industry. Kate Flanagan, Brand Ambassador for Jameson Irish Whiskey, is only 24 years old; yet in only seven short months, she has hit the Las Vegas scene with a bang, all for the love of whiskey. Flanagan hails from Drogheda, Ireland, a port town in County Louth, 50 minutes outside of Dublin. In 2009 she graduated from the University College Dublin, with a degree dedicated to commerce and marketing and attained her master’s degree in marketing at the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business. In 2011 however, Flanagan embarked on a journey that would change her life drastically. Living in a country that thrives off of whiskey and a father whose love for the drink is passionate, Flanagan decided to give Jameson Irish Whiskey a shot. “My dad really pushed me and the interviewing process lasted six months,” says Flanagan, as she sips on her Jameson and ginger ale, a signature drink. “I actually felt that the odds were against me because I wasn’t bilingual, but they brought me back two weeks later and I got the job offer to come to Vegas.” Since September of 2011, Flanagan has lived in the desert city, promoting and branding Jameson Irish Whiskey as much as possible. Her role as a Brand Ambassador is one in which Flanagan devotes all her time towards, each day finding new and creative ways to make her favorite whiskey stand out more. Part of her title consists of building awareness for the brand and educating people on what makes Jameson Irish Whiskey different from all the rest. “I take people through my whiskey history and heritage and do a lot of training,” says Flanagan, who sits underneath the dim lights of The Griffin

bar downtown. “Many of the casinos here are really positive about educating their employees and bartenders in this city are very passionate about learning more about Jameson and going to trainings.” The Griffin is a favored hangout for Flanagan, mainly because it’s one of her favorite whiskey bars in the city. For Kate, any bar that carries her brand is an instant friend. “Industry guys hang out here after work and the selection of whiskey here is second to none. They carry all of my whiskeys.” Before we made our way to the second location, Vanguard Lounge, Flanagan gave me a more in-depth look into what has made Jameson Irish Whiskey one-of-a-kind. In 1780, John Jameson established a distillery in Dublin to make his whiskey stand out from others. Jameson was never one to back down from paying top dollar for the finest ingredients and in doing so, chose every grain and cask. This method, plus maturation and the use of triple distillation, all made in one distillery, has helped to create a whiskey that is truly unique. With 230 years of perfecting the art of whiskey making under its belt, the Jameson brand has become one of the most sought after whiskeys around the world. “All of his processes we still use,” says Flanagan when speaking of John Jameson. “Everything is 100 percent Irish and using one distillery upholds our standard of excellence.” As we make our way over to the last bar of the night, Downtown Cocktail Bar, I learn more

about what makes Flanagan’s job as interesting as it sounds. As Brand Ambassador, Kate represents 11 products: Jameson Irish Whiskey, Jameson 12 Special Reserve, Jameson Gold Reserve, Jameson 18 Limited Reserve, Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve, Midleton Very Rare, Redbreast 12 year, Redbreast 15 year, Powers Gold Label, Powers 12 Special Reserve and Paddy Old Irish Whiskey. With 11 products to feature, Flanagan gives her all when it comes to promoting the brand. Through hard work and dedication, sometimes clocking in more than 12 hour days, Flanagan has no means of slowing down. “No day is the same,” says Flanagan of a typical day in her life. “They are all different and it isn’t for everyone. I got really lucky coming here and it wasn’t easy to adapt, but I really, really enjoy what I do.” In her spare time, Flanagan enjoys trying out new things during her stay in Las Vegas. “There is so much to offer here. It’s amazing how you can drive just five hours and hit the beach.” With high hopes for her career within the Jameson company, there is no denying how this girl from Ireland knows all there is to know about whiskey.

May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 23

By BETH Ellyn Rosenthal

Coconuts Beach Bar & Mexican Grill This is a quiz: Coconuts Beach Bar & Mexican Grill is: 1. An affordable Mexican restaurant 2. One of the top Latin dance clubs in Las Vegas 3. A cool bar serving unique beach drinks 4. Home of the foot-long Answer: All of the above! Three’s the charm for the Town Square restaurant, as it is the third restaurant in the space. But this one is as hot as a hot tamale (which the chef decided not to serve since most Americanos have no idea how to eat one!). “When you think of Mexico, you think casual,” says Chris Lampa, manager. “We don’t serve velvet rope pretension.” Lampa says the menu is short and simple on purpose. “We don’t have a 10-page menu. Just two pages,” he explains. Coconuts is known for its foot-long burrito, a favorite of college students, bachelorette parties and Facebook friends. It arrives on a long wooden platter, the burrito riding high like a Roman god. The funky, Mexican beach theme doesn’t extend to the food (thankfully). You know you are in for a treat when the stereotypical chips and salsa arrive. Instead of a bland, red dipping sauce, Coconuts serves a terrific troika of hot red pepper, habanero green pepper and chunky tomato salsas. The hot ones made my ears smoke. This is a great place to eat fajitas, the food you hear before you taste. Owner Eric De Balsi points out in most restaurants diners run out of the fillings first. “Here you run out of tortillas first,” he explains. The beef fajitas come with thick slabs of skirt steak. Slabs! No wonder it is the restaurant’s No. 1 seller. Ceviche arrives with spicy banana chips, a tasty twist. The incendiary tomato soap sits in a mini-martini glass. Fish lovers, order the mahi mahi. It’s grilled, so the skin is crispy but the flesh is sweet and juicy. The fresh mango salsa is a perfect companion. The restaurant roasts the beef for its beef enchiladas for three hours. Save room for dessert. The coconut flan tastes more like a silky mousse. The signature dish is Coconut’s deep fried vanilla ice cream with chocolate

24 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

BETH Ellyn Rosenthal is The Eater Extraordinaire. She is also the Editor of Mise En Place, the ACF Chefs Las Vegas blog.

and mango sauce. And the chef specializes in cup cakes! Chef Raul Prudencio, the restaurant’s executive chef, grew up cooking Mexican dishes at home in Massachusetts. After culinary school, he worked at a high-end French restaurant. That’s where he learned to plate the food so beautifully. Coconuts, which opened October 20, 2011, is a Mexican grill by day and a swinging beach bar at night. The switch over occurs at 11 p.m. Thursday night is college hang out night. Friday is ladies’ night. And on Saturday night a DJ mixes Top 40 with Latin hits. The queue of salsa dancers reaches into the parking lot, even at 2 a.m.! (The restaurant removes most of the tables so there’s more room to meringue since as many as 2,800 people show up.) As for the bar, Coconuts believes in the four M’s: • Margaritas (Don’t miss the blood orange version.) • Mojitos • Martinis • X-rated milkshakes The bartenders only use fresh fruit purees in their drinks. Sip them on the 2,000 square foot patio. And, hey, this is Las Vegas. The people-watching from the balcony is just as scrumptious as the food.

VEGAS VALLEY NEWS Natural Products Expo West The Luxe Sunset Boulevards Hotel – Chef Olivier Rousselle’s On Sunset Restaurant This spring, a mind-boggling crowd of thousands came care and individuality. While there, we were invited to out to the Natural Product Expo West in Anaheim, the world-renowned Chef Olivier Rousselle’s On Sunset California, to see what’s new in the world of natural restaurant. This was a true epicurean delight. It is not ingredients, supplements, food and more. Our experience just a place for travelers, but many locals come here for there was fantastic! The sights, sounds, smells and taste the food and atmosphere. The hotel’s stylishly designed of the exhibitors brought savory sensations to the nouveau indoor/outdoor restaurant presents the celebrated cuisine world of natural foods for the masses. Three thousand of Executive Chef Olivier Rousselle. Sleekly modernized exhibitors captured the attention of retailers to put their in 2006, the setting of On Sunset Restaurant is relaxed, products in stores. comfortable and very private. Originally, this venue was Chia seeds are the new munchies in pubs! People now an actual private dining room and this ambiance has can also drink their oats! This year, the new phenomenon remained true in this concept. On Sunset is known for of liquid-oat shakes was a forward trend. It was a hit its exquisite lunch and dinner menus featuring seasonal California fare with a fresh French with health experts like Dr. Oz and twist unmatched among other others, as is coconut palm sugar. upscale restaurants in Bel-Aire. “I’m loving coconut palm sugar,” said This spring, a mindChef Rousselle came to The Luxe to Registered Dietitian Ashley Koff. diversify his classic French cuisine “You actually get all of the minerals boggling crowd of with the nouveau natural/organic, from the coconut.” Koff approves and likes it because it has magnesium California products. It was a delicious thousands came out and potassium and also offers a low experience! glycemic load in fructose, unlike to the Natural Product Chef Olivier Rousselle has created a agave. lunch menu with a range of options Expo West in Anaheim, for the On Sunset Restaurant that Remember, even though natural is one of the hottest trends in food, the includes fresh entrée salads, comfort Food and Drug Administration has California, to see what’s food-style sandwiches such as the yet to define a legal term for “natural.” Ahi Tuna Melt with Seared Ahi, So, some manufacturers are using the new in the world of natural Swiss Cheese, Tomato and Dijon term ‘natural’ to gear up their sales. Mustard on fresh baked Olive “There’s a lot of junk health food, ingredients, supplements, Bread; and entrees such as Black let’s just put it that way,” said nutrition Mussels Paysanne with White Wine, expert Dr. Johnny Bowden. Applewood Bacon, Shallots, Crème food and more. Fraiche and Shoestring Potatoes; and “‘Natural’ – what a wonderful Roasted Organic Chicken Breast with marketing term,” added Koff. “You’ve got to understand the difference between marketing terms Potato Gnocchi, Sauteed Haricots Vert with Tarragonand things like ‘organic,’ and those which are actually Citrus Pan Sauce. regulated.” If you were not able to attend the NPA Expo West, please Packaged bars remain a continuing health food force, be sure to visit the Natural Products Marketplace Expo in along with drinks and gels, and these also have new ways June in Las Vegas at the Sands and Venetian Convention to get your omega-3s. Centers for more of the newest organic trends that will be Our featured presenter was California Natural Products, a geared to many diverse areas including restaurants, food leading all-natural food company which has manufactured service suppliers, retailers and industry consultants.Topics more than 150 private-label foods and beverages for the will cover advocacy, retail training and trends, standards industry’s most recognized brands. They showcased its and industry regulation, marketing, sustainability, consumer brand, CalNaturale, and its ground-breaking and other relevant, timely topics direct from industry all natural protein shakes, CalNaturale Svelte, as well as experts and business leaders. The program is constantly CalNaturale Wine. Its award-winning wines are the first evaluated and created to cater to your business needs and and only California wines made from organically-grown continually provide you with tools to better your business and train your staff. grapes that are available in Tetra-Pak packaging. On our way to Anaheim, we had the pleasure of being guests Cuisine creators have come to the realization that healthy of the Luxe Hotel-Sunset in Bel Aire, California. The products are not only good for the client, but bring amenities and graciousness of the staff is incomparable. the natural, delicious essence of organic foods to the A boutique hotel, it is geared to pampering its guests with restaurant table!

The Valley News Team

Lucille Thaler & Tony Zanoff


May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 25

Kellan Bartosch

Khoury’s Wine & Spirits Hosting Weekly Wednesday Night Beer Sharing Events

Kellan Bartosch is a Certified Cicerone, an optimist in pessimist’s clothes and is in beer sales in Las Vegas, NV.

Every Wednesday night from 6-9, Khoury’s Wine & Spirits hosts a beer sharing. Craft beer enthusiasts from around Las Vegas gather at the store on Eastern in Henderson to share bottles of rare beers from their own personal selection and those purchased in the store. The beers brought in are usually unavailable for purchase in Nevada, with a focus on sampling the new and extreme. Husband and wife owners Issa and Nura Khoury see the event as a niche to better serve their customers. The staff is highly educated on spirits and wine as well, and has a successful wine sharing on Thursday evenings. When store regulars Kris Wilke and Jeremy Berkowirtz began bringing beers to the wine share, it was decided a night needed to be set aside for beer lovers as well. Soon enough, food trucks were coming every Wednesday, and Khoury’s got a permit and draft box so they could serve celebrated beers on their three draft handles, which in the near future will be expanding to nine. On a recent Wednesday, MGM web design manager Kris Wilke shared two beers from Michigan, Bells Hopslam and Founders Imperial Stout. “Hopslam is an Imperial IPA with honey that has a malt sweetness, but is mainly a hop forward beer,” says Wilke. As part of the genesis of the event, Wilke has not missed one Wednesday night at Khoury’s since the inception of the event a year ago. He sees the evening as a relaxing environment for beer lovers to share the rare, but also an inclusive setting for others to experience the great variety of beer in a knowledgeable setting.

Recently back from a trip to the Extreme Beer Festival in Boston, Jesse Henderson brought home multiple beers new to the crowd at Khoury’s. Tonight he brought a Dark Horse Percolator, a Coffee Dopplebock, and poured sips of the roasted and malty beer for the crowd. When asked about his journey into the far corners of the beer world, Jesse responded that once he tasted good beer, he never went back and just kept progressing.

it’s thought out and eclectic. The event on Wednesday nights is a casual environment for people to try out new brands.” With the variety in beer, Khoury’s is likely to have a style with characteristics enjoyable for most customers. The Wednesday event is a chance to bring a friend and sample in a cost effective way.

Customer Jenner Costello is a regular to the event and lists Three Floyd’s Dark Lord and coveted Belgian brewery Cantillon’s beers as the most atypical he has been able to try due to this event. Khoury’s is his preferred bottle shop because of the knowledgeable staff. Khoury’s, events at Aces & Ales and an introduction to the epicenter of the Las Vegas beer crowd have provided a catalyst for him to further his zeal for the world of beer. The consensus among patrons is that the craft beer market in Las Vegas has room to grow. Issa Khoury, inspired by the boutique shops in California, sees the education and customer service as a way to help the Las Vegas market close the gap: “The selection isn’t the biggest, but

26 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

Wine Talk

By Alice Swift

with Alice Swift

Tavel and Châteauneuf du Pape Tasting Master Class with Kelly McAuliffe, Sommelier McAuliffe’s connection to Las Vegas resides in the few years he worked in the food and beverage industry here. Through the French Wine Society, the near 80 attendees had the privilege McAuliffe’s presentation of a “fun range” of Tavel and Châteauneuf du Pape, with a goal of talking about the vintages and producers, and for us to learn as much as possible.

With the great spring weather this season, what better time to drink some lovely rosés or Châteauneuf du Pape wines? And by rosé I do not mean white zinfandel. Rather, why not travel across the Atlantic Ocean, to Tavel and Châteauneuf du Pape, France, where some of the greatest Rhône wines are produced?

Photos by Bill Bokelmann & Juanita Aiello

The venue was as lavish as could beSensi at the Bellagio. The topic? Tavel and Châteauneuf du Pape: The World in Red, White, and Pink. The speaker? Kelly McAuliffe, Sommelier, educator and promoter of the Rhône appellation France.

We began the presentation first with an overview of the terroir of the Southern Rhône, such as the geology, climate, rainfall, vine training etc. According to McAuliffe, “There are a ‘mosaic of different soils,’ such as red clay, gray clay, white clay, yellow clay, sand, limestone and the famous ‘galets roules,’ which are the smooth river rocks, or the rolling (galets) stones (roules).” There are four main soils in Tavel and Châteauneuf du Pape, but they each cross over or have some overlap. Galets Roules soil is very hard, and results in wines with higher concentration and higher alcohol. Limestone soils result in wines with higher acidity and aroma, angular tannins and lots of minerality. Red Clay is very waterretentive and iron-rich, resulting in powerful and tannic wines great for aging. Loess/Molasse is a sandy soil, which is warm and fast-draining, with

wines that are more light-bodied and floral with elegance. Tavel has soils of Lauzes (flattened calcareous soil), Galets Roulets, Sand and Red Clay, whereas Châteauneuf du Pape has soils of Sandstone, Galets Roulets, Shingles/ Clay and Limestone. Southern Rhône gets a lot of sun and the least amount of rain. Their resulting grapes have more sugar, thus producing more alcohol, so wine blending is needed in order to balance out the alcohol. Another famous climate aspect of Southern Rhône is the Mistral, which is an intense wind whose currents are at least 60 miles per hour if not higher; this benefits the vines because it prevents high humidity, thus helping to prevent frost and mold.

Alice is teaching as an adjunct instructor in wine education at UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, while working as an Instructional Designer in the Office of Online Education. Follow her new blog site at for the dish on wine, technology, or even both! She is happy to take suggestions for article topics or inquiries. Email:

My favorites for the night? Although I enjoyed the first rosé of the tasting, the Domaine Le Vieux Moulin, which was a light and fresh rosé great for Las Vegas spring/summertime, my appellation winner for the night was Châteauneuf du Pape. The 2010 Château Jas de Bressy Blanc, is a white wine made from 50% Roussanne and 50% Grenache Blanc. The winery is fairly new, with its first vintage being 2006. There was a distinct honey, aromatic white flower profile that captured my senses from the start, and still had some body to the wine. Ironically, my favorite red wine was from the same producer, the 2009 Château Jas de Bressy. The wine was made from 80-year old vines, with soils of granite and schist, making for intense and full flavored wines. The wine was comprised of 80% Grenache, and the remainder was made up of Mourvedre and Syrah. The smooth elegance of the wine due to the minimal tannins and aromatic nose of potpourri with some dusty notes made for a very attractive wine that could age for decades. Last but not least, McAuliffe ended his presentation with an announcement that he and two other partners have just finishing producing their own label, which was introduced at this year’s Hospice du Rhône, titled Rhônegasm. Keep an eye out for their Revelation (white), Contemplation (red), and Flirtation (rosé), which are all fantastic! May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 27

By Mitchell Wilburn

Woonam Jung at Korea Town Plaza A Korean Carnivore’s Delight There is much to be said about the sourcing of this Korean carnivore’s delight, and who better to be running the show than the patriarch and progeny known for the chain of bigvariety liquor stores, Lee’s Discount Liquor? Those of us that are in love with Korean food, from Bi Bim Bap to Bulgogi, know that real quality is key for a great restaurant experience. The special table-side service, the sensory experience of watching your meal cook and the assortment of small exotic dishes and tastes (banchan, in Korean) are all important, but it all hinges on the meat. There is much to be said about the sourcing of this Korean carnivore’s delight, and who better to be running the show than the patriarch and progeny known for the chain of big-variety liquor stores, Lee’s Discount Liquor? They find themselves in a surprising condition; by taking over a furnished restaurant space in their family-owned strip mall after a tenant dropped the ball, their status as local entrepreneurs and good men of business will lend a good name to the space. Woonam Jung just opened this January, gaining traction ever since. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mr. Kenny Lee, son of the founder Hae Un Lee, in his restaurant located in the Korea Town Plaza on Rainbow and Spring Mountain. The modern and inviting decor is very enjoyable, but by force of habit my eye will always go straight to the bar. Obviously liquor is going to be no problem for Kenny Lee to get his hands on, and I was not surprised to see they’ve got a good selection. In addition to this, they had a list of Korean beers and soju, the Korean national spirit. The Korean beer OB is a bright lager with plenty of pale malt flavors that compliment the cuisine perfectly. The Soju we drank is one of the most popular in the world, and features a picture of the Korean actress/model Lee Hyori. In fact, Kenny Lee told us that this bottle was so iconic that you can order it by asking for a bottle of Hyori. The family sized meals start out with the banchan, including pickled daikon, dried anchovies, seaweed salad, fish cake and both cucumber and

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

cabbage of kimchi. An attendant cooks meat on a conical gas grill to your preference, and serves them alongside various sauces and vegetables. As for smaller dishes, Asian-food lovers may recognize Haemul Pajeon, the green onion and seafood pancake similar to the Japanese Okonomiyaki. Menu items of noodle dishes, a kind of Korean carpaccio wrap, and soups complete the full gamut of Korean foods both natives and novices will love. The meat selection does not disappoint. Every cut is fresh, tender, and healthy deep red. A quick grilling does this quality meat justice, especially some of the heavily marbled cuts. The tenderness is comparable to any good steakhouse, with the added pleasure of seeing and smelling the meat cooking at your table. According to what meats are ordered, there is an assortment of dipping sauces. Sesame seed oil with salt and pepper, spicy red bean paste, and miso are just a few that compliment the various grilled bites. It is an exciting experience to be able to have this great starting point of grilled meat and experimenting with different sauces and vegetables. A real stand-out and staff favorite is the pork belly bacon. Thick strips of fresh pork belly are grilled to a tender and flavorful perfection, an amazing treat for an after work unwinding-session. The professional and multi-lingual staff have the customer service down to an art. Everyone is dressed sharp and professional, but remain welcoming. Considering the special service required by the wait staff, they act in expert familiarity with grilling, flipping and cutting meat for you. Something one may not realize is the frequent attention required to pull this off with multiple courses of meats, but it seems like right when we are finishing off one meat, it’s just a minute until the next is ready to serve, dip and eat. Even the thinly sliced beef carpaccio is wrapped around vegetables at the table and served. The staff of Woonam Jung certainly understands the allure of this hands-on care and ceremony. The restaurant business is not new to the Lee family. Right next door to Woonam Jung is the Greenland Supermarket, where they own a food court. You will not find any multi-national chains there, only a veritable buffet of foods from all over Asia. With this experience, the resources from owning the near-ubiquitous liquor chain, and the great staff and service, there is potential for a Las Vegas staple in Woonam Jung. There is a certain kind of luck in coming into a furnished restaurant space, but here’s hoping that like doughnuts, potato chips and microwave ovens, this will be an accidental start of something great.

28 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2012

Woonam Jung 6850 Spring Mountain Rd #110 Las Vegas, NV 89146 (702) 388-0488 Hours: Mon-Sun 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

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Photos by Bill Bokelmann

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May 5 6th Annual Lee’s Beer Experience May 5-8 NRA National Restaurant Show-Chicago May 5 Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour May 9-13 San Gennaro Feast May 11 Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting May 14-22 Nevada Beer Week May 15-17 HD Expo

May 17 SOS-Taste of the Nation May 18-20 Aces & Ales 3rd Annual Stone Domination

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May 19

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Wine Walk May 21 ACF Chefs of Las Vegas Chefs 16th Annual Golf Tournament May 24 Epicurian Affair May 26 Barley’s Brewfest 2012

June 17 ACF Chefs of Las Vegas Chef Of The Year Gala

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May 2012 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 31

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Big Brand Look... Boutique Brand Volume! 5


May Issue - The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional  

Industry publication for Las Vegas F & B Professionals

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