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Issue 5 Volume 17

US $3.95

Behind the Scenes at

Power of Love® Gala What it takes to put on Las Vegas’ grandest event of the year

Siegfried Fischbacher is awarded inaugural Caregiver Award at Power of Love®, presented by Camille and Larry Ruvo.

Speak when silent.

The Dorsey is a high-design, memorable cocktail spot for the worldly, curious, and engaged. PLEASE CALL 702.414.1945 FOR RESERVATIONS.


May 2017








WELCOME BACK TO OUR MAY 2017 ISSUE DEDICATED TO POWER OF LOVE®, which you may say you’ve seen last month, but with this issue we did our homework and went behind the scenes to see what it really takes to put on a major charity gala event for over 1,500 VIP guests who look forward to this yearly extravaganza as the highlight of the season. This year was no exception with its world class entertainment, Bon Jovi & Jennifer Hudson, an exceptional culinary experience by Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina, first class service by MGM’s professionals and some of the finest wines chosen by Master Somms from SGWS just for this occasion and its food pairing. Join us behind the scenes and see what it takes! PAGE 9 IS A RECAP OF THE PIZZA EXPO AND NCB SHOW held recently in Las Vegas at the Convention Center, bringing in food & beverage professionals from around the country and even internationally. Both the Pizza Expo and Nightclub & Bar Show draw the most attendees in each of their fields to be considered the largest dedicated expos in their classification. PAGE 21 PRESENTS THE UNLV EPICUREAN SOCIETY BY KIMBERLY VERDIN, our own UNLV Hospitality Student, who shares with us recent happenings at UNLV and with the Epicurean Society. Here she reviews a recent program they organized called Epigarden and how it works. Thank you, Kimberly, for your dedicated work on this monthly column. PAGE 29 THE USBG PAGE BY ADAM RAINS is our monthly contribution to the United States Bartenders’ Guild Las Vegas Chapter highlighting a successful member each month, with this month being Lisa Brier from the Skyfall Lounge atop the Delano. You will also find info on joining this great organization as well as the cocktail of this month, “Benny and the Jets.” Our thanks to this month’s USBG page sponsor Citadelle Gin. CHEERS! MIKE FRYER

Page 4 Hot off the Grill!

Page 5 Wine Talk Wine + AI (Artificial Intelligence) = A different kind of sommelier?

Page 6 What’s Brewing

Page 8 Chef Talk Crab-O-Licious

Page 9 Pizza Expo and Nightclub & Bar Rocks the Town During Its Annual Conventions at the Las Vegas Convention Center

Page 16 COVER FEATURE Behind the Scenes at Power of Love® – What it takes to put on Las Vegas’ grandest event of the year

Page 18 Product Spotlight Bob’s Beer Bits and Sips Brews to Help You Ease into Summer

Page 20 Best of the Best

Page 23 The Bottom Line What Is Content Marketing and How Can It Help Your Restaurant?

Page 24 What’s Cooking

Page 26 Nevada Restaurant Association The Epicurean Affair Returns to The Palazzo on May 25, Hosted by Chef Timon Balloo Food for Thought Doctors Agree One or Two Glasses of Wine Per Day Is Beneficial

Pizza with Charm: Chef Enrico Sautto Continues to Deliver Authentic Italian Pizza and Charm at Hearthstone

Page 28 Really Stinky Cheese PART II

Page 12 Brett’s Vegas View

Page 21 UNLV Epicurean Society

Page 29 USBG Las Vegas

Page 13 COOK•EAT: Asia Asian Food Character-Ethnicity

Page 22 Human Resources Insights Building and Maintaining a Strong Team

Page 10 Chef Spotlight Chef Scott Commings of Freedom Beat


Page 14 Twinkle Toast Afternoon Picnic? Wine not?

Page 30 Events Ad Index

May 2017 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 3

The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 7442 Grizzly Giant Street Las Vegas, NV 89139


May 2017 Mike Fryer

Sr. Editor/Publisher

Vegas Uncork’d was recently released on Las Vegas for the 11th year and appears to get bigger and better each year. Traditionally setting the start to the weeklong events is the Red Carpet featuring chefs who will be participating in various venues around the Strip and the Saber Off, the opening of two magnums of Prosecco with a sword for a toast all around!

Thank you for joining us in this issue of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional. For any questions or comments please email

Juanita Fryer

Assistant To Sr. Editor ACF Chefs Liasion/Journalist

Juanita Aiello

Bob Barnes

Editorial Director

As part of the research for the Power of Love® Back of the House Feature Article this month, our very own Editorial Director, Bob Barnes, went to great lengths to secure an interview with one of the major chefs for the evening, Michael Mina. Chef Mina was quite gracious in devoting the time for the exclusive interview with Bob, considering he had over 1,500 hungry VIPs waiting to try his specialty that night. Read more in this month’s Cover Feature on page 16.

Elaine & Scott Harris Editors at Large

Proof Tavern has opened in the Montelago Village at Lake Las Vegas and it is a homecoming of sorts for Chef Jon Littleton, pictured here with LVFNBPro Editorial Director Bob Barnes, as Chef was executive chef in the same building years ago when it was Black Pepper Grill. Since then Chef has kept busy by lending his talents to Mario Batali’s B&B Burger, B&B Ristorante and Carnevino and after trying Chef’s cuisine at this new restaurant, which he describes as “simple food done right,” we have no doubt this new venture will contribute to the revival of Lake Las Vegas. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we recommend the fried rock shrimp with Thai chili sauce, Mediterranean-style hummus and crispy pork belly bites with crumbled blue cheese.

Adam Rains

Creative Director

Beverage Editor


Article Submissions/Suggestions

Calendar Submissions


Press Relase Submissions

General Information


The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional


Journalist Aimee McAffee

Photographer Joe Tholt

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 Kimberly Verdin

Journalist John Rockwell

Journalist Chef Spotlight Leah Schmidt

Journalist Good for Spooning LeAnne Notabartolo

Journalist COOK•EAT: Asia 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

Journalists Twinkle Toast Erin Cooper & Christine Vanover

Journalist Lisa Matney

4 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2017

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. for the dish on wine, technology, or even both! She is happy to take suggestions for article topics or inquiries.

Wine + AI (Artificial Intelligence) = A different kind of sommelier?

Last month, I decided to focus on technology in the wine industry, and wrote about “no touch vineyard practices,” touching upon some technology innovations that are streamlining the viticulture industry. Curious to see what other new innovations have sprung up since my last indepth-research into wine technology a few years ago, I decided to do a little digging. So, here’s a question for you – What does a sommelier and a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Video have in common? Believe it or not, it’s more than just the wine documentaries on the streaming service. Many of you probably have a subscription to some type of video or music streaming service, like Netflix, Amazon Video, Pandora, Spotify, etc. With these services, you can rate and/or rank the items based on your preferences. As the streaming service starts to learn your tastes, it begins to recommend other songs/ videos based on your similarly liked items. These services “read your mind” by collecting and analyzing your data. Every song, album, video, movie, TV show, etc., the companies are looking at your individual selections and analyzing your behaviors in order make educated guesses on what else you might like. I’ve see other instances of analytics in use, such as digital advertisements online that strategically show up based on my shopping habits, or receiving promotions from hotel/F&B establishments based on my guest profile. With all this data available for companies to analyze, should we really be surprised that analytics and artificial intelligence has branched into the wine world? As of several years ago, there have been numerous app developers who have developed mobile applications that compile tasting notes and ratings of users based on their inputs. However, these applications are based on other user preferences, not the individual’s own preferences. Enter Wine Ring, a mobile application that makes recommendations based on your own personal preferences! The app was launched in August of 2014, and has had a number of articles and press releases since then, including The Washington Post, CNBC and LA Times.

Founders Pam Dillon and Andrew Sussman also worked with sommeliers, like Sally Mohr MS, Sheri Morano MW and Amy Christine MW, amongst many others. According to the Wine Ring website, “We build a Preference Profile™ for you and update it every time you rate a wine. The more wines you rate, the better your profile will be.” So, like the other streaming services, the more you consume, the better the system will get to know you, starting with as few as 12 ratings. You can start building your Preference Profile by adding wines that you’ve had before and “love.” You can rate wines with four ratings: love, like, soso-, or dislike, and your profile is built solely on your own ratings. If a wine does not exist in the system yet, you can add it by taking a photo of the label and inputting the vintage. The wine experts of Wine Ring work to taste numerous wines in order to input the proper descriptors in for each wine, allowing for the proper algorithms to work. The wine will then be added to the system and will be updated in your Preference Profile. You might be wondering, how much does this Wine Ring app cost? Why, it is free as of now! Wine Ring’s business model generates profit from extended services such as technology licensing, and from selling its cumulated data to industry professionals. The mobile application is available in the iOS App Store as well as the Android Play Store. While an app certainly cannot replace the years of training a sommerlier goes through, it’s great to have this technology alternative for when a sommelier is not around to help you with your wine-purchasing decisions. Join the Wine Ring community and test our this app that gets to know you and your preferences as if you were a friend! For more information, go to Until next month, Cheers~! Alice May 2017 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 He welcomes your inquiries. Email:

More Support for Local Beer Craft Kitchen in Henderson of offering a four-course pairing for two featuring Nevada breweries, served every Friday night. For $60 a couple, you get pretzels and beer cheese with Big Dog’s Las Vegas Craft Lager, Bad Beat Bluffing Isn’t Weisse (Bavarian Hefeweisen) with maple/bacon glazed smoked wings, Big Dog’s Red Hydrant English Style Brown Ale with roasted bone marrow, and Great Basin Outlaw Milk Stout with mason magic bar. Craft Kitchen is at 10940 S. Eastern near Sunridge Heights. To reserve, call 702-728-5828. The new Evel Pie at 508 Fremont St. has opened its patio, which is equipped with six taps, all of which are devoted to local breweries; its spring lineup consists of beers from Big Dog’s, Tenaya Creek, Joseph James, Crafthaus, Able Baker and Hop Nuts. The handles will rotate seasonally with the current lineup being offered until the week before Father’s Day. On May 6 Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa will host the 11th Annual Lee’s Beer & Tequila Experience from 4-8 p.m. at the Sandbar pool area featuring unlimited tastes of more than 300 handcrafted beers and 70 tequilas. All proceeds from ticket sales and the event’s silent auction will go to help Lee’s Helping Hand Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the community through four primary areas of education, team member involvement, disabled families and safe families. Tickets are available at any of the 19 Lee’s Discount Liquor locations. On May 9 PT’s Brewing Company at 3101 N. Tenaya Way will feature the beers of Brewmaster Dave Otto with a five-course dinner pairing five of his beers. On the menu will be smoked chicken tacos and smoked pork Thai spring rolls; hog hammers with baked beans paired with PT’s Sahara Pale Ale; buffalo steak tomato salad with fire roasted chicken matched with PT’s Sunset Wit; Memphis-style pork ribs with raisin and almond coleslaw paired with PT’s Durango Double IPA; Texasstyle smoked beef brisket with collard greens and fried mac and cheese matched with PT’s Golden Hefeweizen; and apple crisps with vanilla ice cream with candied Applewood smoked bacon paired with PT’s Nutty Irishman (Irish Red infused with toasted macadamia nuts, coconut and cacao nibs). RSVP is required by May 4 by calling 725-333-7151. The Stone Domination at Aces & Ales Tenaya location on May 13 beginning at 3 p.m. will open all 50 of its taps to rare and unique Stone beers including an Aces & Ales/Stone collaboration brew and the opportunity to meet and hang with Kris Ketchum, the head brewer of Stone Liberty Station brewery. Between now and then you can earn entries (by buying Stone beers or growlers) to the raffle taking place that

photo by Hew Burney

May Southern Nevada Beer Events

night, with prizes of a case a month of Stone beer for one year, a trip for two to Stone Escondido and a mega Stone swag package. For more info visit The 8th Annual Brews & Blues Festival on May 27 at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve from 4-8 p.m. will have an array of local, regional, national and international beers and blues bands performing throughout. Tickets can be purchased at the Springs Preserve at 333 S. Valley View Blvd. or at

photo courtesy Lovelady Brewing

What’s on Tap Although those in the know were aware of this news shortly after Bubba Amas left his brewmaster position at Barley’s Casino & Brewing Co. about six months ago, it was made official through a press release that Downtown Las Vegasbased Banger Brewing has taken over the brewing duties of the Henderson brewery. The 25-barrel brewhouse is one of Southern Nevada’s oldest, having opened 21 years ago and will maintain its identity separately from Banger. The new Angry RedHeaded Hawaiian refreshed beer lineup includes Black Diamond Blonde Ale, Hefeweizen (Bavarian), Honey Blonde (high ABV blonde body and subtle sweetness), Red Rock Red Ale, High Hops IPA, Bombshell (rich malty beer with dark malt Awith blended rich beer, half Love Triangle Belgian flavors ofIsland molasses and chocolate), Black Night Stout and Buzz! Buzz! (a coffee-infused stout). Red and Half 9th Pineapple Sour aged on fresh Jalapenos. Co-owner/Brewmaster Richard Lovelady reports the next seasonal at his Henderson-based Lovelady Brewing will be his Angry Red Headed Hawaiian—a 50/50 blend of his Belgian Red and Pineapple Sour aged on fresh jalapenos. He says Aromas of fresh it’s spicy, sour and sweet all in the same package. pepper with hints of sour, pineapple, sweet malt spice. over at Joseph BlendedJames ale with in Henderson, Head Brewer Kyle Weniger will release his second fruited Berliner Weisse Inand June, natural flavors 5.25% Alc. by Vol. of the year, with this one made with purees of blood orange and cranberry, as well as some cranberry juice added. Also around the same time, look for his Citra Rye on Brett and in July the 9th Anniversary Sour Red with boysenberries. As always, great beer happens in Vegas! 12 FL. OZ.

6 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2017 Lovelady Brewery Beer Can Label

By Chef Allen Asch

Chef Talk Crab-O-Licious

8 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2017

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.

Live crabs should be cooked as soon as possible because they are very perishable. If you buy them live and they die you should not eat them. Frozen crab has a shelf life of approximately six months, but once thawed you should cook/use them within two days. If you are buying them in the supermarket and they are thawed in the display case, you can ask the clerk to get you frozen product from the back if you do not plan on cooking them right away. I do this with most seafood I buy in a market. Canned crab is usually pasteurized so they have a long shelf life. Check the expiration date on the can. Crabs vary in size, depending on the breed. They range from a tenth of an inch to over 13 feet of leg span. Crabs are high in protein as well as iron, zinc, magnesium, chromium, selenium, potassium and vitamins such as niacin and B12. They are low is saturated fat, but high in cholesterol.

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I was in the supermarket the other day and passed a refrigerator with canned crab in it and all of a sudden I had a craving for something with crab. Let me tell you that I am not much of a fish and seafood eater, but I eat more of it now than I ever have. While growing up we never really had fresh fish so I was not a big fan of an older or frozen product. The only fish I really ate was fish and chips, but as I have always said, I can eat almost anything that has been deep fried. It was actually when I came to Las Vegas that I started to enjoy fish, and it happened to be at a steakhouse. I had halibut that was caught the day before and flown in, so it was as fresh as could be. When I was in Alaska I did eat crab or halibut for every meal I had. I never realized there were as many varieties of crab until I started this research. There are over 7,000 varieties of true crabs, 800 coming from fresh water. True crab is a key term since many crustaceans we call crabs do not biologically fall into the crab family. One example is Alaskan king crab, which is not a true crab. Many experts think that a lot of what are called crabs are actually related to the spider family. Other “crabs” that fall into this category include the horseshoe crab and the hermit crab. Different crabs are caught in different waters and by different methods. The blue crab, popular on the East Coast, are caught in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. They are caught by many methods including dredging, traps and bottom trawls. This variety has a very sweet flavor profile. This is the variety that gives us the highly praised and expensive soft shell crab. As the crab grows it molts its shell and grows a new one to fit its new size. When a crab is young it molts more often than when it ages. A crab is without a hard shell for only a few days, but is truly a soft shell for only a few hours. If you are going to prepare soft shell crabs make sure you remove the gills. Shrimp and lobster also shed their shells as they are growing. Dungeness crab is a West Coast variety that lives in colder waters from Alaska to central California. They are caught in nets, hooks, lines, traps and pots. Only the males are kept so that the females can reproduce and replenish the stock. This breed is very meaty so they are commonly used to pick and sell as crab meat. The East Coast version of this crab is the Jonah crab and they are usually sold as clustered feet and as claws. King crab, not true crab but thought of that way, are caught in Alaskan waters and the average weight is around six pounds, but they can weigh a lot more. Snow crabs are also cold water crabs caught in Alaska and Maine. They are also sold as leg clusters and claws. Southern tanner crabs are the variety used to make lump crab meat and also sold as leg clusters. Popular in Las Vegas, the Stone Crab is a warm water crab harvested from North Carolina to Florida. When they are pulled from the water the crabber will only take one claw and return it to the water. This breed will regenerate a new claw when the other one is taken. It needs the other claw to protect itself, which is why they only take one. This variety is very sweet and succulent.

Feel free to contact Chef Allen with ideas for comments or future articles at

Steak & Table Knife Re-Serration / Sharpening

W Tropicana Ave

Pizza Expo and Nightclub & Bar Rocks the Town During Its Annual Conventions at the Las Vegas Convention Center

photos by Joe Urcioli

By Bob Barnes

photo courtesy Cakebites

These two conventions are one of the highlights of the year for the food and beverage industry and this year both took place during the same week. The Pizza Expo, as it does each year, featured a trade show with all things needed to make America’s favorite food, as well as items to complement pizza or innovations crucial to a pizza business owner. Impressive was a pizza dough making machine from the GP Bakery Group that at top speed can produce 5,800 pieces per hour. Those looking to provide options for those that can’t eat gluten should be interested in the CauliPower pizza which uses a crust made from cauliflower. A possible innovation for the future (or possibly the present) is the 24/7 Pizza Box vending machine that stores refrigerated slices which after purchasing sends the pizza through a conveyor oven. Walking the aisles for hours can lead to tired feet and bodies, so having two sit down options was quite a welcome relief. As it does every year, Stanislaus Food Products offered dishes made with its products along with tables, chairs, wine and good company with other weary conventioneers. Piancone had the same very smart idea to showcase its products by setting up its booth like a restaurant with tables, chairs, food menu made with its products, wine and even servers to take your order and deliver it to your table. Hopefully one has room for dessert after indulging in a pizza pie, and we enjoyed the convenient individually-wrapped Classic Italian Rainbow Cakebites from Cookies United composed of almond flavored cake, raspberry jelly, dark chocolate coating and chocolate sprinkles which were not only delicious but quite eye-catching with the colors of red, yellow and green that reminded me of the shades in spumoni.

The 32nd annual Nightclub & Bar Show was yet another record-breaking gathering that attracted nearly 40,000 people from around the US and from nearly 50 countries. One of the main attractions is the trade show, at which exhibitors displayed their products including beverages, glasswear, food, lighting and social media applications. One of my favorites was Travis Hasse Distilling Company’s Cow Pie, a chocolate/caramel/vanilla liqueur made with Wisconsin dairy cream and rum; although the name doesn’t conjure up an image of something delectable, it turned out to be one of the tastiest drinks I’ve ever experienced. I especially enjoyed meeting Travis Hasse, whose business card identifies him as President and Head Goat Keeper. Abe Stevens, Founder and Distiller of Humboldt Distillery from Fontina in Humboldt County, CA had an interesting vodka infused with locallygrown legal food-grade hemp seed (Cannabis Sativa L.), which not only has a unique herbal aroma but is very tasty and enjoyable. It’s legal in all 50 states and has a taste comparable to gin. Bitters seem to be gaining in popularity and Raj Beri was offering samples of bitters from the Australian Bitters Company. The small batch bitters are made ‘down under’ and crafted by hand using old world techniques with natural botanical herbs and spices. A new innovation that intrigued me was the Growler Werks, a growler carbonation system with changeable CO2 cartridges that will keep the beer fresh and carbonated for up to two weeks. Another new innovation was Beyond Zero, a product that I wrote about in our February issue that has the potential to be a landmark breakthrough in the beverage industry. Inventor Jason Sherman was demonstrating his invention that quickly freezes liquor into spirit cubes, eliminating watered down drinks. A few aisles over was a similar product, the Ufrost instant freezing machine, named for its U-shaped design, which uses liquid carbon dioxide to freeze any type of liquor up to 40% in less than two minutes. Owner/ inventor Julien Michalk, an engineer by trade, was demonstrating his product and serving frozen liquor-infused popsicles made with juice and spirits. As usual, one of the most heavily trafficked areas was the Craft Beer Pavilion. The first booth I encountered was Wetten Importers, which had some of my favorites. On the table were the likes of De Troch Oude Beersel Gueze, Samichlaus and Delirium Tremens. Some new beers to me I enjoyed were the Steven’s Point Casper White Stout and Casper Pineapple Hefe; Dogfish Sea Quench Ale (a session sour) and Flesh Blood IPA with lemon flesh, blood orange juice, orange and lemon peel; Sam Adams Rebel Juiced IPA made with mango puree and Fresh As Helles with orange blossom; and Garage Brewing’s peanut dunkelweizen and Hatch Chile IPA. Mark your calendars now for next year’s Pizzo Expo slated for March 1922, 2018; and the Nightclub & Bar March 26-28, 2018, both being held again at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

May 2017 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 9

Chef Spotlight Chef Scott Commings of Freedom Beat

By Leah Schmidt Leah is a graduate of Purdue University where she studied Creative Writing with minors in French and Design. She enjoys reading, writing, and being outdoors. A Chicago native, she recently moved to Las Vegas and is excited to get a taste of all it has to offer!

Did being raised in Wisconsin have an influence on you as a chef? Yes, it did. In Wisconsin we were surrounded by some of the best farmers, the best cheesemakers and best brewers in the world. I grew up on a farm and we grew all our own vegetables, and having the appreciation for the great ingredients, where they come from and who’s growing them has been a real driving force behind what I love to do. Did you always want to become a chef? No, but I’ve always worked in restaurants since I was 13 years old. I went to college to be a math teacher at the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire. I made it through about three-fourths of the program and realized it wasn’t for me and went to culinary school. After culinary school I moved to Valparaiso, Indiana because a friend of mine’s uncle owned a restaurant there. So I worked with them in an internship and they offered me a job to stay as long as I went to school. I finished my degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at Purdue University. What was your cooking journey like between school and Hell’s Kitchen? After finishing Purdue I continued my education at The Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso Indiana, with Russ and Nancy Adams, owners and operators of a third generation restaurant and conference center. They are truly the ones that helped me learn the true meaning of integrity in this business. After I left there I took a chef position in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It was during that time that I truly gained my passion for great local cuisine. I continued my approach to simple food with an emphasis on sourcing the best ingredients and visiting many farms, cheesemakers and brewers. After a stint as a general manager of a local country club, Loyola University caught my attention. Their project was to open a sustainable campus with the attention on growing our own food and creating education for not only the students and faculty, but also the community. During this time we created a five-acre organic garden to provide and contribute to our food system. We also designed a vegetable processing kitchen that allowed us to preserve our harvest and showcase through classes and educational programs the idea of sustainability. Can you talk a little about Wholesome Grains Bread and how you got interested in baking? While working with Loyola University, the whole idea of the program was to do everything ourselves and that included baking our own bread daily. During that time I truly gained a passion for baking bread, real bread, Old-world bread, all naturally fermented from a yeast culture I had been cultivating for years. It was only from that passion for baking and bread that I truly wanted to take it to the next level. So I did what any man would do, upset my wife, cut a large hole 10 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2017

photo courtesy Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino

Hell’s Kitchen Season 12 winner Chef Scott Commings always worked in restaurants growing up, but never thought he’d be cooking for thousands in Las Vegas. Now the head chef at Freedom Beat in the Downtown Grand, Chef Commings discusses his experience on the show and his passion for cooking dishes from all around the country.

in the garage and built myself a wood oven using the direction from Alan Scott, one of the most prolific bread bakers and oven builders. So there it began, Wholesome Grains. A true bakery built brick by brick using nothing but Old-world techniques. More fun than you can imagine, and my oven; if I am too far away from her I miss her a lot. How did you get involved with Freedom Beat and how did you create the menu? Freedom Beat was the brain child of 34th Floor Hospitality, with their crew of multi-talented restaurant and hospitality professionals. I was very intrigued by their vision and the Downtown Grand team, so I couldn’t help but be involved. I worked with them on their concept on the food side. It was a fun project because I got to put everything from East Coast to West Coast, to some great food from the South and some great Midwest dishes. This restaurant is truly Americana. Enjoying great food from all different places is what the passion of Freedom Beat is. What did you learn about being a chef from being on Hell’s Kitchen? It was a unique opportunity for me to do something different and I’m so thankful for it. I would have never come out to Vegas and seen Vegas for what it really is. It was a phenomenal experience all the way around. I think as a chef you never stop learning. Every day is different and every day we have to adapt to different situations and every day we find new ways to do things. Especially on the show the whole experience was to adapt to a crazy situation at all times. Even though what we go through is amplified on the show, some days it’s not that different than what we go through in a regular restaurant. I’ve always been a fan of all the Food Network shows because they bring food and what we do to light.

26th Annual Chefs for Kids Dinner and Auction South Point Hotel, Casino, Spa | May 13. 2017


Michael Severino and Binion Family Foundation Featuring a night of delectable food, dancing, and bidding wars for live auction packages featuring private chef dinners, tasting experiences and getaways.

More information, or (725) 333-BEET. Binion Family Foundation


By 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.


Spotlighting Entertainment

Britney Spears has announced her final 18 dates from Sept. 3-Dec. 31 for her four-year run at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood. Céline Dion has added 37 more show dates to her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace including New Year’s Eve. Sir Rod Stewart, who opened his residency seven years ago at The Colosseum, added nine more shows to his summer schedule Aug. 15 Sept. 3. Enrique Iglesias will return to The Colosseum for his third year celebrating Mexican Independence Day weekend Sept. 15 and 16. Comedy impressionist Gordie Brown opened his show May 9 inside The Cabaret at Planet Hollywood. Boyz II Men have dates through 2017 at The Mirage. The trio will resume their residency after touring with New Kids On The Block and Paula Abdul and stopping at T-Mobile Arena on May 28.

Remaining open, The Mob Museum’s improvement project this year affects the basement and first level adding exhibits and a Prohibition Era history experience with a working distillery and speakeasy. The Luxor’s closed LAX nightclub is being converted into the Strip’s first multi-level e-sports arena opening next year with capacity to host 1,000 people.

Longtime collaborators and Fleetwood Mac members, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, will visit the Park Theater at Monte Carlo with The Wallflowers Saturday, July 22. Gary Clark Jr., whose “Live / North America 2016” album was released in March, is returning to Brooklyn Bowl Tuesday, June 20. The 15th Annual Summer of Fun Kick Off, a concert and festival event at the Cannery, will feature The Vogues, The Diamonds, The Outsiders and Shades of Blue Saturday, May 27. The Night Jams concert series on Sundays at the Flamingo GO Pool will feature Sugar Ray on June 25. Everclear will appear on Sunday, July 16. The Mandalay Beach Concert Series has booked Randy Houser on June 2 and Ziggy Marley on June 17.

Restaurant Mentions

Mel Brooks will headline at Wynn June 30 and July 1 in the Encore Theater providing a look into his extraordinary life and career. Jarrett & Raja, magician and pianist on Season 7 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, opened their own show with a dinner option at Hooters. The Paul Lynde Show starring impersonator Michael Airington opened in the Windows Showroom at Bally’s. Bob Saget, who was Dad on TV’s Full House, will bring his signature off-color comedy style to Brooklyn Bowl Friday, May 26. Tyson Beckford is bumping and grinding again in the Chippendales show at the Rio for a couple more months. Divas Las Vegas starring Frank Marino as Joan Rivers, and a cast of female impersonators has introduced an all-new 9:30 p.m. show at The LINQ Theater. Keith Sweat will return for an additional run of his limited engagement in the Flamingo showroom July 5-22.

Proof Tavern is a new upscale gaming and dining establishment in the MonteLago Village at Lake Las Vegas serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. As part of Wynn’s Master Class Series, on Friday, June 9, you can learn behind-the-bar secrets from Wynn’s resort mixologist Damian Cross at 2 p.m. for $125. On Thursday, June 15, it’s grilling with David Walzog, executive chef of SW Steakhouse and Lakeside at 1 p.m. for $150. At Caesars Palace, Stripside Café & Bar with Strip views opened and has a Grab & Go counter. The ‘Healthy’ and ‘Happy’ split-menu-concept restaurant SkinnyFATS will open a fourth Valley location at Downtown Summerlin this summer.

Evolving News

Renovation at Palace Station is dismantling its train theme and this spring producing a new “mid-century modern meets contemporary” façade and a new 362-seat bingo room. The current bingo room will be turned into new restaurants.

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Enclave Las Vegas is a new $15 million, hightech 75,000-square-foot, 22-room venue suited to a wide range of events near McCarran Airport. The Gold Spike downtown has unveiled its newest amenity “The Sugar Shack.” Vegas’ only Traveler XL Tiny Home nestled in the backyard can be booked with sleeping space for five. The Nerd created by the owner of the Voodoo Zip Line attraction at Rio is a new nightlife concept at Neonopolis downtown with a 12lane bowling alley and dance floor. The 16-foot Blue Angel statue with the halo that stood 61 years over a motel on Fremont Street is being refurbished and will be re-installed on the median near Fremont Street and Charleston Boulevard. The Neon Museum demolished the adjacent L.A. Street Market building to expand and house 30 more signs in a new outdoor exhibit area opening later this year. Previously known as the “Private Study,” Hyde Bellagio, the nightlife venue overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio, is transforming the space into a glamorous “Selfie Studio” with a larger-than-life backlit tile mosaic mural. Wet Republic at MGM Grand is holding its 16-week “Hot 100” bikini contest again on select Fridays ending Aug. 18. The Aquatic Club is a new weekend day-club pool experience debuting at The Palazzo and offering poolside fare from Wolfgang Puck. The sixth annual Health, Healing & Happiness conference at the Tuscany Friday-Sunday, June 9-11 is Nevada’s largest nutrition and natural solutions event. Casa De Shenandoah, Wayne Newton’s home is introducing new kid-friendly animal adventure tours.

COOK•EAT: Asia Asian Food Character-Ethnicity

By K. Mike Masuyama Ph.D. 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.

Like casting a light from a lighthouse, Chinese civilization has given immense influence to every corner of Asia, including for cooking-eating. The Chinese food culture is based on a theory that medicine and eating are synonymous for attaining an ultimate goal of long life without health and aging issues. Thus, either positive or negative sides of foods were thoroughly determined. In other words, they presumed health issues would be prevented or cured by eating the right foods with medicinal benefits. All Asian people have inherited such an idea, believing it from the bottom of their hearts. In daily eating, everybody pays attention to eating, what is good or what is no good. It was extrapolated into a YinYang theory, which will be talked about in a story of the Zen Macrobiotics later. My interpretation of this theory is to eat wisely to promote health and to minimize unfavorable things by balancing both when options are available. Nothing odd or peculiar, I guess, it may be a wise, convenient way to practice it today. In the real world, though, we eat anything we come by. Thus, Asian food has different ethnicity and character from the west as a matter of comparison. In practice, Asian cooking uses numerous and various vegetables, fish from freshwater or ocean, and other ingredients with respectively unique herbs-spices-source than the west. In another words, Asian cooking is more compound or blended with ingredients, while the western ones are rather mono- or a few combined. For example, stir fries contains lots of different vegetables with a choice of additional chicken, pork, beef or seafood if affordable, all compounded. California roll sushi: cooked rice with avocado, imitation crab meat and Nori for wrapping. For the western ones, fried chicken, roast beef, cheeseburger, used to be, with potatoes or cooked vegetables at the side. Recently fresh vegetables are added to burgers for luring health-conscious customers, though. It may be said that the west is more carnivorous or monotonous while the east omnivorous or varietal. Flavoring is often done by sauces, like fish sauce, soy sauce and other sauces, originated from dripping while preserving foods in salt. A drip from salting fish is fish sauce, while salting vegetables gives respective sauces, particularly often after a fermented process. Soy sauce is a good example representing an Asian condiment. By pouring soy sauce, cooking would become Asian, almost. Oil and fire are also characterized for Chinese cooking, while eating fresh or raw is common in seaboard areas. A wok or similar is a cooking pan to do everything from stir frying, frying a whole fish, and steaming through a bamboo mat. A long time cooking like a stew may not be often seen. Asians may be short tempered, unable to wait too long. Chinese in the north in particular innovated flour foods by making a flat, un-risen dough to cut into noodles (not much extruding through small holes), to cut into smaller squares or to press a small chunk to make round for dumplings. These were transplanted through the Silk Road into the western food culture like pasta or spaghetti, and ravioli or tortilla. So the mother of the Asian culinary is the Chinese food culture and also a kind of motherin-law of the western counterpart. On this planet, despite geological or political divisions among the east, the west, the north and the south, food cultures have been developed by mingling various food sources from all over the place. Typical examples are potatoes and corn from South America. Hot peppers from the south have also spread throughout Asia incorporating into its unique recipes like Korean Kimchee or Chinese hot and sour soup. In these globalizing days, we share the same ingredients or ideas for our own ways of eating and cooking.

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 May 2017 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 13

Twinkle Toast

Photo courtesy

Photo by Erin Cooper

Afternoon Picnic? Wine not?

By Erin Cooper & Christine Vanover Erin Cooper and Christine Vanover have been residents of Las Vegas since 2007. Vanover is also a UNLV Alumnus. Both women are Territory Managers for the Resort Wine Team at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, members of Women Gone Wine and the founders of Twinkle Toast. • Facebook: @TwinkleToast Twitter: TwinkleToastLV Instagram: TwinkleToastLV

Hooray for picnic season! Ok, we realize that there is not an official “picnic season” but when you’ve been in Las Vegas as long as we have, you deeply cherish the pre-summer seventy and eighty degree days. So grab a blanket and pack yourself a lunch; we are about to explore the many park-friendly, glass-free containers that wine suppliers have to offer. Bag-in-box wine was first patented in 1965 by South Australian winemaker Thomas Angove. With bag-in-box production costs being less than that of traditional glass bottles, other producers of budget wines also began using this new system of packaging. Fast forward to 2003, and the Central Coast-based winery Black Box Wines broke the stereotype that only lower quality wines are offered in alternative packing. We are happy to report that the wine industry now has stellar options in both bag-in-box format and its mini-version, TetraPak. Winemaker Joel Gott created his newest lineup of California wines under the brand name Bandit, and they are exclusively offered in TetraPak. The official Bandit Wines website states that “because we’re able to save money on glass and cork, we have more cash to pour into the quality of our wine.” The 500mL and 1 liter sizes come in Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Merlot, and you can find these picnic-ready Paks at your local CVS or Smith’s.

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In this same vein, Delicato’s Bota Box wines are packaged in 3 liter boxes and TetraPaks. The plastic liner of their 3 liter box is completely BPA free, and the container is printed on post-consumer fiber. Bota Box produces 14 different varietals with Rosé being the newest to hit the market. Domestic winemakers aren’t the only ones to have hopped on the eco-friendly packaging bandwagon. French Rabbit wines, from the sunny Pays d’Oc region of Southern France, are sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards, and are ONLY featured in picnic-friendly TetraPaks. Their Chardonnay has recently been released into the Las Vegas market. Picnic for one? We’ve got you covered. Staples like Sutter Home, Beringer and Woodbridge all produce single serving size, plastic 187mL bottles. Missing your wine glass? Steelhead from Sonoma County has created a 187mL that is even packaged with its own plastic cup. Not only is Steelhead offered in convenient packaging for one, but the wine is dedicated to creating a better world, and donates a portion of its sales to environmental projects. Alright our fellow picnic lovers, go forth and not only enjoy the great outdoors but also toast it with a great glass of wine. Cheers!

• Wholesale distributor of exceptional quality dried spices and specialty foods to the finest hotels and restaurants • Owned and operated by a former chef with over 20 years of experience • Custom packed Herbs and Spices • Custom Spice Bends • Private labeling • Now Certified Kosher

Behind the Scenes at Power of Love


What it takes to put on Las Vegas’ grandest event of the year By Bob Barnes | Photos by Denise Truscello & Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive


presenting a gourmet meal for 1,500 of your best friends, prepared by some of the top celebrity chefs in the world and paired with is world-class wines selected by Master Sommeliers. What I’ve just described year this ® Garden, Grand MGM the at 27 April on Held gala. Love of the Power was the 21st rendition of this celebration of life that was created to raise money for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s programs and services. The annual event is arguably the most respected and revered extravaganza taking place in Las Vegas each year. To pull such a feat off, year after year, quite a bit of planning and resources are required. Here we take a look at this year’s event and the extraordinary efforts by the food and beverage team and what takes place behind the scenes.

The World Class Wine

Great cuisine should be accompanied by outstanding wine and cocktails and for this year’s event the ultimate in fine libations were served. “The Power of Love ® gala is a one-of-a-kind experience with an exquisite menu that is exclusive to the event, so when pairing wine we considered

the bold flavors that are signature to both Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina. To complement each course, our team of Master Sommeliers chose four selections of wine that would enhance the flavors found in each dish without overpowering the palate,” said Joseph Phillips, Master Sommelier and Director of Wine Education at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of Nevada. “For the first course, we selected

Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé Champagne and the 2014 Inception Chardonnay from Santa Barbara to harmonize with the fresh flavors of the spring mezze. For the steak and braised beef short rib, we paired the 2014 Holdredge Pinot Noir ‘Selection Massale’ from the Russian River Valley and the 2012 Mazzei ‘Philip,’ a Cabernet Sauvignon from Tuscany, to suit the rich flavors of the dish.”

The One-of-a-Kind Dinner Crafted by Celebrity Chefs Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina Continuing its 20-year history, the Power of Love® gala showcased a dinner prepared by superstar chefs Wolfgang Puck (Chef Puck has participated in every gala since its inception) and Michael Mina. Chef Mina was quite gracious to spend some time with journalists just a mere hour before dinner service would begin. In this interview Chef Mina provides us with many insights to both what preparation is involved, but also why he chooses to participate in this worthy event each year. How did you first become involved in Power of Love® and what motivated you to become an intricate part of this worthy event? I became involved in it through Larry Ruvo. He first started talking to us about what his mission was and what he wanted to accomplish, and when you know Larry, you know if he sets out to accomplish something, he’s going to accomplish it. And then you start to understand how big of an issue it is and how it affects so many people. My wife’s grandmother was going through Alzheimer’s at about the same time I became involved and just seeing how it affected her made me realize that anything that can be done to improve their life when they get to that stage is something we should all be aware of. I love the fact that he wants the chefs to be involved in this and from day one it’s been about this amazing community that we have here in Las Vegas and how they support causes that are important, and obviously not just here, but all over the world, so I’m just blessed to be part of it.

What are you preparing for this year’s menu and what inspired you to make it? My dish is very true to my heart this year because my partner in all my restaurants is Andre Agassi, who’s being honored this year, so I have a little insight on what Andre loves to cook and what he loves to eat. Andre is a fanatic about cooking steak. When I first met him and got to know him, he invited me over to his house for dinner; he put tape around the kitchen and wouldn’t even let me enter the kitchen. He said, “I’m cooking you steak and I want your honest opinion about it.” So we’ve always had this running joke about cooking meat, and tonight I’m doing an Australian wagyu in two preparations: a braised short rib and a roasted poivre of the beef with a bit of tomato jam and caramelized onion tartare. I just went and saw some of the canapes they are serving from Chef (Joël) Robuchon’s L’Atelier and they are amazing. When you walk through this event and see the level of detail for this many people, it’s very impressive. I’ve done a lot of events and have rarely seen any at this level, so it’s great.

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Can you give us an idea of the enormity of the ingredients you had to procure and how much you needed to make the wagyu dishes? The dinner is for 1,500 people so you always have to prep a little extra. We started with about 1,900 pounds of wagyu beef and then it was butchered down and you get about a 50% yield out of it. We prep for about 1,600 people just to be on the safe side. When did the preparation for tonight’s dinner begin and where did it take place? Four months ago we started planning the menu and sourcing all of the product, conceptualizing and thinking about how we were going to orchestrate it and be able to execute it. So hopefully it works. For preparing the dinner we started three days ago with serious prep, making the braising liquid and things of that nature. We did some of the prep off property and some here.

The Honorees One aspect of this tremendous yearly event is the acknowledgement of members of the community whose actions show testament to the “power of love.” This year’s Gala Honoree was Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated; the Community Leadership Award Recipient was professional tennis superstar and Las Vegas local, Andre Agassi; and this year a new award was instituted to honor the helping of someone in need: The Caregiver Award, with the first recipient being Siegfried Fischbacher of Siegfired & Roy, for his unwavering support of his partner Roy Horn. Below is a list of what attendees enjoyed and which organizations and individual donors generously provided them. Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon Brut, Champagne, France, 2004 Courtesy of: Moët Hennessy USA Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc, Sonoma County, California, 2015 Courtesy of: Rhonda and Don Carano Landmark Overlook Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California, 2014 Courtesy of: Justin Winery

Simi Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, California, 2013 Courtesy of: Constellation Brands Perrier-Jouët Brut, Blason Rosé, Champagne, France, NV Courtesy of: Pernod Ricard USA Inception Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, California, 2014 Courtesy of: Jonathan Hirsh

How many participate in the execution of the dinner and where do they come from? In the kitchen alone, we have over 300 people that have taken part in this. They are a combination of this amazing staff here at MGM Grand, and they are great because they are so used to hosting events like this; chefs like myself, and there’s not that many times that we are working an event for 1,500 people at a plated dinner, so we rely on the team here; and we also brought in a big part of our team as well, bringing all of our head chefs and sous chefs from all of our restaurants here in Las Vegas. How do you like working with Wolfgang Puck? I love working with Wolfgang (chuckles)! Wolfgang Puck has been an inspiration to me since I started cooking school and he was one of the first chefs that I really absolutely idolized. The thing that I respect the most about Chef Wolfgang is his food, first and foremost, but also that he really gets it and understands the hospitality side of what we do and I think nobody has done that better than him. No matter what, he’s always had that passion for people, and that comes through in the food and I think it’ll come through tonight. Had you participated in Power of Love® before this year? Yes, I participate every year in some shape or form, whether it’s an entrée item, an auction item or canapes, but the last time I did a full course of the dinner was really special; it was for Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday (in 2012). Anything you’d like to add? Just that I’m very blessed to be here and very excited to see Bon Jovi.

For a gallery of more pictures from this year’s event and for more info on Keep Memory Alive, visit

Holdredge Selection “Massale” Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California, 2014 Courtesy of: John Holdredge Mazzei “Philip” Rosso Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy, 2012 Courtesy of: Palm Bay International Dessert Cocktail—Some Like It Hot—A slightly spicy, silkysmooth frozen blend of Patrón XO Cafe Incendio and Hennessy Black with flavors of almond and coconut Courtesy of: Patrón Spirits and Moët Hennessy USA


Highlights from the night included a surprise $1 million donation from Community Achievement Award recipient and tennis super star, Andre Agassi and wife Stefanie Graf. When presenting the donation, Agassi said, “I spent a lot of years realizing my dreams and goals. It’s now time for me to help Larry (Ruvo) make his dreams my goals, too.” World-renowned rock star Jon Bon Jovi kicked off the night with a performance of legendary hits “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” “You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Livin’ On A Prayer.” GRAMMY-Award winning artist Jennifer Hudson surprised the crowd and stepped in for Gwen Stefani who was unable to attend due to doctor’s orders. Hudson brought down the house with high-energy performances of “Hallelujah,” “Remember Me” and a Whitney Houston mash-up of “I’m Every Woman” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Celebrity supporters who also attended the event included Steve Schirripa, Kenneth “Baby Face” Edmonds, Larry King and John Paul DeJoria. Once again Robin Leach was the “voice of Power of Love®” as he once again served as the MC of the proceedings. Other notables in attendance included two longtime supporters of Power of Love®: philanthropist John Paul Dejoria, founder/owner of The Patron Spirits Company; and famed film director and producer Brett Ratner, partner of Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey. In addition to enjoying the finest cuisine, wine and spirits, guests bid on one-of-a-kind experiences during the event’s signature live and silent auction. Items auctioned included a week-long vacation sailing off the coast of Australia aboard the ultra-luxurious MY Texas super yacht, a private meet and greet with GRAMMY Award-winning songstress Lady Gaga, a once-in-a-lifetime Italian vacation complete with an exclusive event at the world famous Roman Coliseum headlined by Andrea Bocelli, and a trip to the Kentucky Derby with Bruce Zoldan, owner of Phantom Fireworks and part owner of 2011 Kentucky Derby champion Animal Kingdom. May 2017 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 17

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT | There is no confusion when it comes to Major Pan-Asian Infusions! More than just a broth, Major’s PAN-ASIAN BASE range is the perfect way to add an exotic twist to any dish. Create healthy, fun, on-trend street-worthy recipes in seconds. It’s OH so SIMPLE and versatile: • use in casseroles, stir-fries, pasta dishes, noodles and soups • create seasonings and dressings • brush onto protein, vegetables or fish as a marinade • stir directly into sauces Making the chef’s life that little bit easier, Major Products blends the ingredients so you don’t have to. From coconut to lemongrass, cilantro, chili pepper, ginger, herbs and spices, and available in four mouthwatering flavors: Beef, Chicken, Pork and Vegetable, you can not only maximize on flavor but stay on budget and save on time.

Bob’s Beer Bits and Sips

Brews to Help You Ease into Summer By Bob Barnes Australian Brewery When I think of Australian beer, Foster’s usually comes to mind. Now that I’ve discovered the handcrafted beers from the aptly named Australian Brewery, that is about to change, for after trying their beers I will likely think of this brewery in the future. I certainly love their motto, “Crikey, that’s a good drop,” and to save you time looking it up, crikey, is an Australian slang for an utterance of surprise. New to the United States market, the Sydney, Australia-based brewery now is sending us its signature Saison Ale, New World Pilsner and Pale Ale. The Saison D’Heretique is best described as a delicate light beer featuring French and Belgian yeast with a balanced flavor, with a hint of white pepper and a touch of clove; the New World Pilsner has a German feel with a down under spin, for it uses the palest of Australian malts and the spicy New Zealand Motueka hops, with the end result being a Pilsner that is crisp, bitter and refreshing; and the Australian-style Pale Ale is a cloudy pale beer exuding rich aromas of passionfruit and a citrusy base and its use of Australian Galaxy and New Zealand Cascade hops creates a tropically flavored beer.

Maine/Stone DaySlayer India Pale Lager Stone Brewing is known to be on the edgy side but also for a slew of collaborations with other breweries. Now it has unveiled its second riff in an ongoing heavy metal collaboration series. Brewers Dan Kleban and Cole Corbin from Maine Beer Company and Stone Brewing teamed up to unleash this India Pale Lager. It’s heavily hopped and boldly malted and its intense bready character turns sharply bitter with hints of pink peppercorns, ending in a clean, dry finish. It’s hopped with a mélange of Perle, Saphir, Aramis, Amarillo and Motueka hops and is deceptively easy to put away, and at 7.5% ABV it may sneak up on you.

Big Dog’s Las Vegas Craft Lager I love when I can drink something tasty and at the same time support a good cause. In 2015, Big Dog’s Brewery and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits partnered to launch this locally made classic American-style lager of which a portion of the proceeds are donated to the local charity Keep Memory Alive supporting the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. This organization based in Las Vegas provides care to patients with memory and movement disorders, and since this beer’s launch, more than $14,000 has been donated to this worthy cause. Recently I’ve seen a surge in the popularity of easy-drinking session beers that are not too high in alcohol. This one fits the bill, as it is 5% ABV, lightly hopped, crisp, and clean, but still with plenty of flavor due to its use of quality two row malt. And, unlike the macro-brewed lagers, although it’s not a hop monster like an IPA, you can still taste the hops, which nicely balance the malt, making this a great thirst quencher for the upcoming summer months, or really any time of the year.

Product Review By Bob Barnes

49th Parallel Vodka Admittedly I’ve never been a big fan of vodka, but after tasting 49th Parallel Vodka that has changed. Truthfully, I’d never tried a vodka this smooth and as flavorful as this product named for its location in Canada, which brings absolutely no burn in the nose or down the throat. It’s five times distilled, which results in the aforementioned incredible smoothness. But don’t just take my word for it, for it has been rated 92 points by Anthony Bias Blue of The Tasting Panel Magazine and was also a Double Gold Medal Winner at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America competition in 2015. It’s also worth noting that 49th Parallel is the first vodka in North America to carry a “Certified Gluten-Free” designation and it is also “GMO free.” 49th Parallel Vodka is 40% ABV and the SRP for a 750 ml bottle is $26.99 in Southern Nevada (distributed by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits) and $27.99 in California (distributed by Park Street).

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Best of the Best

Shelley Stepanek is President of DSA, the oldest non-profit tourist association in the state, along with being on the board of ticket brokers. Shelley has previously owned three restaurants.

and brown butter ice cream. Hearthstone has comfy couches, plenty of seats at the bars and lovely long tables. There is room for group dining and a Sunday brunch. Sun-Thurs 5 to 10 p.m., weekends 5-11. Call 702-797-7344 or go to The LAS VEGAS EPICUREAN AFFAIR will return to The Palazzo on Thursday, May 25th with over 80 restaurants and nightclubs from all over the city, featuring Lavo, Morel’s French Steakhouse, SUSHISAMBA, Aquaknox, B & B Ristorante, Carlo’s Bakery and Carnevino Italian Steak to name a few. Chef Timon Balloo from the newest restaurant, Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill, will be the celebrity chef host. He has won numerous awards including the Best New Restaurant nomination from the James Beard Foundation for his opening in 2010 of Sugarcane in Miami. The event will be poolside at The Palazzo pools. The event proceeds will support the Nevada Restaurant Association’s educational and scholarship programs. It is open to the public and will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are available at any Venetian or Palazzo box office starting at $120.

Hearthstone Chef Adam Arencibia

Pizza with Charm: Chef Enrico Sautto Continues to Deliver Authentic Italian Pizza and Charm at Hearthstone

photos by Chris Summers

By Bob Barnes Since opening in 2015 the cornerstone of Hearthstone has been the chef working behind the pizza bar, Chef Enrico Sautto, who demonstrates mastery of his trade as he rolls the dough by hand. We are blessed to have Chef Enrico with us and this native Italian incorporates his Italian charm and family traditions into every dish that leaves his oven. Chef Enrico takes much care in crafting the pizza dough, which he begins making 72 hours before its use and is a secret recipe that has been in his family for the past 147 years. The wood burning oven fired at 950° bakes the pies in 90 Hearthstone Pizza Chef Enrico Sautto seconds resulting in true Napolitan-style pizza explains his pizza stylings to Bob Barnes with a crust that’s charred and covered with more sauce than cheese. His pizzas come with a fair amount of history, for his family owns the oldest pizzeria in Napoli (or Naples to those who don’t speak Italian), Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, dating back to 1870, where he learned his trade. I have to highly recommend ordering Enrico’s Pizza Creation: pizza exactly like you would enjoy in Italy, dough rolled flat and Chef’s family recipe made with simple ingredients of buffalo mozzarella, basil and the same tomato sauce as those he made back home. Your pie will be personally delivered by Chef, who will also explain how he creates his Napolitan-style pizza. In addition, the newly expanded pizza menu now lists eight other choices and includes options such as Truffle Mushroom with gouda; Meatball with veal/pork meatball, ricotta and mozzarella; Carbonara with ricotta, bacon, arugula and poached egg; and Truffle Chicken with roasted garlic ricotta, gouda cheese and bacon. Make it a point to stop in soon to meet the man behind Hearthstone’s pizza ovens and enjoy a taste of Italy along with a healthy dose of Italian charm.

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photo by Shelley Stepanek

HEARTHSTONE KITCHEN & CELLAR at Red Rock Casino is superb. The woody walls, giant open pizza ovens, and the outdoor seating on an infinity pool, all add to the wonderful cool vibe this restaurant possesses. With plenty of TVs, and live music in the evening, and a totally open air view, I would happily come back. I went for my birthday and couldn’t have been treated more elegantly. We let the manager, Travis Manus, and the chef, Adam Arencibia, suggest all the dishes. Travis has been at Hearthstone for eight months, coming from another fabulous restaurant, Yellowtail. He started us with lollipop chicken wings, and steak tartar with truffle toast topped with a poached egg. The apple and quinoa salad with chickpeas, gouda and roasted pumpkin seeds was fresh and extremely nice. With a lovely wine and a flatbread, we moved on to a side of asparagus, perfectly grilled with a hazelnut and lemon vinaigrette sauce. A nightly changing order of raviolis, with bits of crab on top became another shared dish. The hanger steak with fries and truffle aioli sauce was perfectly cooked. Was there room for dessert? Of course, after we heard that the one ordered the most was peanut butter lava cake with butterscotch and banana

By Shelley Stepanek


By Kimberly Verdin

photos courtesy UNLV Epicurean Society

Epicurean Society

Kimberly Verdin, a Hospitality Management student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, represents the Epicurean Society, a collective of food and restaurant enthusiastic students, where she is on the leadership staff. She’s a Vegas local who believes that there is no end to learning about the hospitality industry.

I hope everyone had a great time on Easter Sunday. I know UNLV students were happy to have finally taken a week off from school to relax and sleep in. Of course, right before spring break Epicurean had the opportunity to hold an event on the 7th of April called Epigarden: a clever word play combining the name of the club and the word garden. The duration of Epigarden was about an hour, starting at 12 p.m. and ending at 1 p.m. Invitations were sent weeks in advance to let guests save the date on their agendas. Even flyers had been posted all throughout the school, especially in the Hotel College in the Frank and Estelle Beam Hall. As mentioned in the column from last month’s issue, Epigarden was organized for all staff, students and clubs of the Hotel College to enjoy free of charge. Not only would it be a great networking opportunity, but guests would also be able to enjoy the Italian-style banquet made by Epicurean members. It was quite windy before the event so everyone worried the weather would cause a decrease in the number of guests to arrive. Thankfully the wind died down a bit and there wouldn’t be any worries about chasing flying napkins. Prep before the event took place in the Stan Fulton Building across the community garden as it provides a kitchen like that in the Frank and Estella Beam Hall. Before the day of the event, prep had actually been spread among three days: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. By doing so, the amount of food needed to be prepared for would not be overwhelming or would take too long to be prepared. Any food that could be done quickly or had to be served immediately was put aside to be done on the day of the event. Tables and chairs were borrowed and set outside from the Stan Fulton Building as well. They were draped with linen in colors representing the school: red, white, and black. Even the balloons were of the same color as they were tied around the round tables as an extra touch, and to keep the linen in place of course. There was a great turnout in the number of guests that it almost reached the max capacity

set in place for the garden. Many were in awe at arriving at the garden as it was their first time visiting the garden, a garden that should be given more exposure as not many know about it. The garden provided a sort of relaxing atmosphere as everyone enjoyed their food. It was a nice experience seeing everyone with a smile on their face and having fun. Students had the opportunity to meet new professors from the Hotel College and members from different clubs were able to interact together. Guests would occasionally come up to the tables filled with food for seconds. I did as well as everything was very delicious. Dishes served were as follows: gnocchi, penne, antipasti, charcuterie platters, pesto, Alfredo, tomato, gazpacho, meatballs and sausage. Fun fact: an entire prep day had actually even been dedicated to making gnocchi. Not only was it my first time hearing about it, but also my first time eating it. Of course, the dish that every guest couldn’t resist was the cheesecake for dessert. Besides your typical soda and water for beverages, there were even a variety of select wines and alcohol beverages available for those above the age of 21 (which we here at the Epicurean Society proudly make a point to abide by all state laws). I really do hope the Epicurean Society will hold more events at the community garden so that it will gain more exposure and the school will consider holding events there as well. I did happen to hear particular staff members from the Hotel College say were interested in holding events at the garden sometime in the future, so things might already be heading down the right path. It really was the perfect place to hold an event despite its limiting capacity. It was amazing to see the different types of herbs, vegetables and other types of plants that existed. Epicurean members made sure to clean up any trash from the event to prevent any hazards to the garden. Maybe the next time a visitor asks a student where the community garden is, they won’t be met with a blank stare followed by a shrug. The Epicurean Society still has much planned for April, so the next event will be discussed in the next issue. Please look forward to it! May 2017 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 21

By Linda Westcott-Bernstein

Human Resources Insights

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:

Building and Maintaining a Strong Team

The key to success in life and in your chosen career is to be a good leader – a good role model. People only follow those whom they can trust and believe in, and that exhibit sound judgment. To do this, it is essential that first you be a good person: someone with good values and the skills, as well as the confidence to lead others. To maintain a strong team you must be able to get others to support your goals for them and the organization. A sound leader will share their vision with the team and work to gain everyone’s support. To ensure shared goals you must be willing to give information and insights you’ve gained, and offer assistance when they struggle or falter. Having a good group of individuals around you – your team – can be achieved and maintained by doing the following things and displaying these characteristics: • Be honest and truthful in what you do, say and expect. • Share information, experiences and give some insight. • Lead by demonstrating the behaviors you expect. • Respect others and what they bring to the team.

It is also critical that you build and maintain trust with others and that you are able to get and keep confidences. There are a few key attributes which will help you to achieve this goal, and they include, 1) eliminate (or reduce) gossip – there is no place or value for gossip at work, 2) keep your promises – do what you say, say what you’ll do, and 3) be a good listener and available – people need to know you’ll listen (and thus that you care) – so keep your door and ears open. A final thought. Based upon what you’ve learned in your life and career, and those that you’ve considered good role models, what was it in those persons that inspired you to follow and believe in them? For me, it was openness, a willingness to listen and displaying a genuine interest in me. Sometimes I think back and wonder… where would I be if it wasn’t for those key persons in my life? In closing, remember this… find the good in others, capitalize on it, and leverage each individual’s best qualities to build and maintain a strong team – one that will support not only you but your team’s goals and objectives.

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 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.

22 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2017

By Ben Brown

What Is Content Marketing and How Can It Help Your Restaurant? Content marketing joins the ranks of digital, social media and influencer marketing—terms so often thrown around without too many people knowing how to actually use them as intended. Look past the buzzword-inspired skepticism, though, and you’ll find that content marketing can and should be a valuable asset in your repertoire. In short, content marketing is sharing material [blogs, posts, etc.] that does not explicitly promote your brand but is intended to stimulate interest in a way not typically achievable through conventional marketing methods. Think of content marketing as product placement that you create—instead of a TV show that strikes a deal with Coca Cola to have characters drinking coke on air, it’s Coca Cola that makes a video series depicting amazing moments where people just happen to have cans of Coke in their hands. Content marketing is more subtle than conventional marketing, putting the article, photo, video, etc. before the brand itself. This less ‘in your face’ style is aimed at higher conversion—more people are willing to watch a great video that happens to mention Coca Cola than to watch a Coke commercial. So how can this approach help a restaurant? Restaurants and the greater hospitality sector are actually a mecca for content marketing. This business is what people daydream about consuming on a regular basis, and naturally want to gravitate toward when it comes to reading articles and watching videos. Restaurants have a slew of natural assets that fit nicely into the content marketing landscape. One of the lowest-hanging fruits you can leverage are howto videos: How-to videos ‘How to’ is a very popular search topic across Google and YouTube, with cooking videos performing very well in this category. Chances are you’ve got a lot of fun recipes in your restaurant that people would love to try out for themselves, so why not film the preparation process? Choose a visually-appealing item off your menu that’s simple enough for the average home cook to prepare. Drinks work as well if you have a good cocktail selection. Use a mise en place approach to keep things easy. You can film from the front, as typically seen on TV, or from the top, which is a very popular method online. ‘Tasty’ is a great YouTube channel that showcases the overhead filming method. To add your branding, simply add it in the intro and conclusion [think ‘How to Make XYZ, presented by Restaurant Name Here’], as well as a link to your website in the video description. Also make sure to post the actual recipe in the video description. You can also do a how-to photo series, though expect to get out what you put in. People are much more likely to browse through videos than step-by-step photo instructions. Before you go out and make a how-to video, however, it’s best to fully understand the risks and rewards that come with content marketing. Videos like these require a lot of time, and in many cases money, to produce and distribute. Be sure that you’re in line with the main risks and benefits below before proceeding. While content marketing may not be as direct as more conventional marketing methods, it’s a great way to create—well, content—that people actually want to see. And as with all marketing methods, content marketing is best done as part of a holistic program rather than as a one-off piece. A how-to video published alongside a Facebook ad, a new menu announcement on your website and a special on your property will do much better than a how-to video alone.

SoCal Food & Beverage Professional. A seasoned writer and consultant, Ben works with Fortune 500 companies and mom & pop shops alike in Marketing, Analytics, Consumer Insights, PR and Business Development. Contact Ben at or follow him @Foodie_Biz.

photo courtesy Ben Brown

The Bottom Line

Benjamin Brown, MBA is Restaurant Editor of The

The Risks • Less brand exposure—your brand takes a backseat to the marketing piece itself • Less brand recall—the audience may recognize your brand in the marketing piece, but may not remember it afterwards • Less direct association—those who do remember your brand may not necessarily associate it with the message that the marketing piece conveyed The Benefits • Greater click-through rate—headlines that appeal to educating and entertaining people rather than selling to them will garner much more attention • Greater share value—people are much more likely to share a howto video than they are to share a commercial • Larger audience appeal—both of the above points allow you to cast a wider net May 2017 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 23

By Bob Barnes

What’s Cooking

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

photos by Bill Bokelmann

Larsen’s Grill at the Galleria Mall Filling a Void for Fine Dining Steakhouses in the Area

In 2015 the Galleria in Henderson completed a massive $24 million expansion which included bringing in some excellent restaurants to the southwest quadrant of the mall. One of those

Larsen’s Grill owner Flemming Larsen

new restaurants is Larsen’s Grill, an eatery with a wide menu and luxurious décor. Larsen’s is simultaneously upscale and casual; you can be relaxed while in a classy environment with fine dining quality. The décor is highlighted by crystal chandeliers, wood beam ceiling, wood tabletops, brick columns and a window fronting the kitchen with simulated burning coals setting the tone for the Prime and Choice meats you are about to enjoy. This location was the 5th in the chain which now numbers six, with another one opening soon in La Jolla, CA. The man behind the brand is President/Owner Flemming Larsen, who now resides in Southern Nevada after moving here from California in 2013 to escape the heavy burden of the Golden State’s taxes, even before deciding to open a restaurant here. Flemming opened his first restaurant in Solvang in 1991, when he was only 22 years old. On March 23, 2008 he opened his first Larsen’s, and coincidentally it was nine years to the day when we dined at the Galleria Larsen’s and had the pleasure to visit with him. Although originally a butcher by trade, he found being a

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butcher wasn’t his passion, but has put the skills he learned to good use. A meat aging facility in California ages the USDA Prime (dry aged 2-4 weeks) and USDA Choice Angus (wet aged 4-6 weeks) steaks before they are vacuum sealed and sent to his restaurants. Our server during our visit was Jeff Sletton, a Thousand Oaks, CA native who trained at the Oxnard Larsen’s location before transferring to the new Henderson restaurant while it was still being built. Jeff tells a fun story of coming into the restaurant and seeing a man pounding nails in the baseboards, who asked him if there was anything he would change about the design, to which Jeff replied he would put carpet over the cement floor. The worker turned out to be none other than Flemming Larsen and when you visit you will notice he listened to Jeff. Definitely a hands-on owner, Flemming has a general contractor’s license and is involved in designing and building each of his restaurants. Regarding working at Larsen’s, Jeff said, “Most of us have been here since the restaurant opened and we stay because it’s ‘family’ and there is a circle of trust among the staff.” A multi-media major in college, Jeff does social

media for the restaurant and also serves as a manager a few days a week. As for the menu, there are plenty of choices. Star appetizers are the Filet Mignon Sashimi with wasabi mashed potato and steak cooked rare that is so tender you can cut it with a fork; and Lobster Crunch Sushi Roll with tempura fried lobster, crab salad, avocado and eel sauce wrapped in soy paper. From the salad menu, go with the Chop Salad—a wonderful mix of hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, jack cheese, chopped egg and garbanzo beans tossed in a champagne vinaigrette. The aforementioned aged steaks come in choices of NY Strip, Filet Mignon, Organic Grass Fed Filet, Rib Eye and Porterhouse and can be complemented with peppercorn or bearnaise sauce. Seafood options include a Chardonnay Soaked Cedar Plank Salmon served with asparagus and a beurre blanc sauce and Chilean Sea Bass drizzled with a miso glaze. Sweet finishes include Crème Brulee with mixed berries and the Hot Fudge Sundae which comes with a brownie covered with a mountain of ice cream and whipped cream. Being a spirits fan, I was quite impressed with the Scotch, whiskey, bourbon, rye and tequila list which included more than 60 choices, such as one of my favorites, Angel’s Envy Kentucky Bourbon. A very nice outdoor patio from the second level perch lends itself to enjoying the view where you can take advantage of the Larsen’s Piano Hour nightly from 5-7 p.m. with several outstanding deals from $5-10 (also available in the bar) with the likes of Crab Cake, Filet Mignon Tacos and Prime Rib French Dip Sliders. Larsen’s Grill is filling a void for fine dining steakhouses in the area. When you go, ask to meet Flemming and tell him I sent you. Chances are pretty good he’ll be there. Larsen’s Grill at the Galleria 1300 W Sunset Rd #2950 (702) 478-9499 y/larsenslocation/henderson-nevada LUNCH: daily 11:30 – 2 p.m. DINNER: daily from 5 p.m.

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The Epicurean Affair Returns to The Palazzo on May 25, Hosted by Chef Timon Balloo

The Las Vegas Epicurean Affair returns to The Palazzo on Thursday, May 25, 2017. This year’s soiree, sponsored by the Nevada Restaurant Association (NvRA), will feature nearly 80 of the finest restaurants and nightclubs from around the city, along with a premier selection of libations. Chef Timon Balloo from The Venetian’s newest restaurant, SUGARCANE raw bar grill, will be this year’s celebrity chef host. Balloo, who has won numerous accolades including Best New Restaurant nomination from the James Beard Foundation for the 2010 opening of SUGARCANE in Miami, will bring his signature style of globally inspired dishes with bold flavors. Guests at the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair will

spend the evening poolside at The Palazzo indulging in the best cuisine and cocktails offered from establishments both on and off The Strip. “This prestigious culinary event features a selection of chefs and restaurants representing an incredible array that guests remember year after year,” says Katherine Jacobi, president, NvRA. “From Downtown Las Vegas to the Strip to the communities of Southern Nevada, the event will definitely showcase a wonderful blend of dining experiences... and all for a good cause!” Proceeds from the evening will fund NvRA’s educational and scholarship programs, including ProStart®, a national high school culinary skill and restaurant management program that


By Les Kincaid

Doctors Agree One or Two Glasses of Wine Per Day Is Beneficial I’ve always been told that this is a vice, that alcohol is not good for you and has no nutritional benefits. But I beg to differ, especially since you can use wine to deep condition your hair, smooth skin, and heal bruises! If wine can help the outside of your body in so many ways, shouldn’t it be able to do the same for the inside as well? Doctors have done multiple studies that have proven that one or two glasses of wine a day has tons of great medical and health benefits, as we outline for you in this exclusive below. They also recommend you have it with your dinner meal for best results as it also increases better digestion. But unlike beer and spirits, wine enjoys a more nuanced profile: It’s celebrated as a sophisticated meal enhancer, often with the ringing endorsement of the health and food worlds. Those associations make wine incredibly easy to love—and just as easy to abuse. However, as in all things, moderation is everything; studies have also proven that too much wine can be detrimental to your health — so limiting yourself to just one or two glasses a day is key. 26 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2017

supports 46 schools and 120k students statewide, Nevada’s future workforce. Participants this year include: Sugarcane, Delmonico Steakhouse, Biscayne, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, STK Las Vegas, Robert Irvine’s Public House, SushiSamba, Morel’s Steakhouse and Bistro, Il Mulino, Aquaknox, Capital Grille and District One, along with over 70 other distinguished restaurants. The Las Vegas Epicurean Affair is open to the public and will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Pools at The Palazzo. Tickets can be purchased at any box office at The Venetian or The Palazzo. Tickets for the event start at $120.

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

I’ve heard the “heart healthy” effects of light drinking, especially when it comes to red wine over white. Among researchers and the medical community, this is called the J curve or the hockey stick effect of alcohol on heart and diabetic health, whereby light drinkers (one or two glasses per day) have lower risk than teetotalers, but alcohol of any kind becomes toxic and unhealthy very fast beyond the two drinks per day. What do you think of the following wine-related health benefits? It freshens breath, it can help you lose weight, it helps your heart, it helps with allergies, it preserves memory, it lowers bad cholesterol, it builds strong bones, it boosts your immune system. These are all medical reasons to enjoy if you are a healthy individual. Remember, despite the many wonderful health benefits of wine, it’s always important to drink moderately and responsibly. But remember: moderation is everything — so limiting yourself to just one or two glasses a day is important.

By John Rockwell

Really Stinky Cheese

John Rockwell is a native Southern Californian and career English teacher working in the Riverside area. In his spare time, he rides his bicycle to breweries, restaurants, and cheese shops, and is always looking for culinary delights within riding distance of the vast network of SoCal bicycle trails.

photos by John Rockwell


Here is the famous Epoisses—meaty, yeasty, and ripe—it is delicious and very aromatic (warn others before opening). This one has been washed in Burgundy wine, and is ripe enough to melt at room temperature— highly desirable.

He is an ardent fan of the waiver theater culture in Los Angeles. He is new to cheesemaking, but has been a homebrewer for over twenty years.

In my home laboratory, I am trying to make some washed rind cheese. It turns out that my first batch of Camembert was accidentally a smear-ripened cheese that I never washed—it had an odor that I wasn’t yet ready to appreciate, but one that I fully embrace now. When I make these cheeses, the process is the same as making Camembert or Brie—the only difference is the presence of B. linens, and a regular washing process in affinage. I have attempted a Taleggio, which I salt-brined in a local table wine from Galleano Winery (Mira Loma), and continue to wash with the same salty mixture. Because of the brine, the cheese paste is tighter and more dense than the usual non-pressed Camemberts and Bries. In another batch of Camembert, I am washing the rinds with salty wine every other day to inhibit white mold. To my nose, there is already a small amount of “stink,” but they are not yet where I’d like them to be. I mean, I don’t want to clear the room with them, but a few complaints from my family would be nice—a fine indication that they are ripe and ready to eat. For completely scientific reasons, I decided to give the Stone restaurant one more chance to see if my newly acquired cheese knowledge would mesh with their “stinky” cheese platter. One of their cheeses, a semi-hard cheese called Schlebohorn from Holland definitely fit the bill. It has a very stinky, B. linens infected outer rind, leading to a very mild Swiss-cheese-like paste. The other cheeses—Shaft’s Bleu Vein, Delice de Bourgogne (a triple creme Brie), and Trivium (goat cheddar), though delicious and delightfully presented, didn’t exactly fit the bill for stinky. American tastes are still catching up with the rest of the world, but if the popularity of Belgian and sour beers at our Southern California breweries is any indication, I am confident that Americans are ready for a similar flavor revolution in artisan cheese.

The square slab of Pont l’évêque is deliciously aromatic with a surprising salty mildness to the flavor, reminiscent of a workingman’s Limburger. Its aging is evident where the rind has recessed on the sides and top.

Manufactured in a goldwrapped package, this brick of German Limburger is a delightful mass-produced cheese at a reasonable price (about $8 a brick). On a fresh brick, both the aroma and paste are mild and the cheese is firm and springy. In the United States, this was a depression-era staple in the working man’s lunch pail.

VonTrapp’s Oma is nicely balanced smear-ripened cheese that can’t help but melt at room temperature. Sticky and creamy, it goes easily on bread, but the flavor is so amazing you will want to eat it with no accouterment.

Alemar’s Good Thunder has a texture reminiscent of Red Hawk. I love these cheeses most when they have a ripened outer layer and a cake-like texture deep in the center. If you can find this cheese, I highly recommend it as a nicely-balanced example of the style.

As these rounds of Camembert develop white mold, I use a salted wine wash to bring down that mold to let other aromas and flavors develop. So far, so good. It is taking a bit longer to ripen than the mold-ripened cheeses from the same batch— the rounds I left alone are getting soft and ripe while these rounds remain firm several weeks out.

Using a piece of cheesecloth, I wash the white mold away with Galleano wine from Mira Loma. In place of the mold, other bacteria take hold (I hope B. linens) on the surface, developing a pungent aroma.

My homemade Taleggio has been brined in salted table wine and now must be washed periodically to inhibit wild mold growth. The rounds aren’t pretty from the outside, but the cheese flavor is developing quite nicely (I sliced a sample for this photo). The paste is dense and not as salty and wine-flavored as I expected.

Stone’s stinky cheese platter in May. The cheese to the far left is pungent and aromatic— Schlebohorn from Holland. Definitely stinky, and a beautiful presentation.

28 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I May 2017


Las Vegas L I S A

By Adam Rains Adam has a true passion for food, wine, beer & spirits. He is a barman at CarneVino, a brand ambassador for Brooklyn Brewery, long-time cocktailian, and the Social Media Chair for the United States Bartenders’ Guild in Las Vegas. 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.”


Way up high… The Skyfall Lounge at the Delano is a unique destination. Along with beautiful views, delicious libations, cocktailians and conventioneers, you will also find a gem of a bartender in Lisa Brier. She has been there since the beginning and has had the chance to learn from the Los Angelesbased bar mavens, Proprietors LLC. Her experiences have also run the gamut from a local sushi spot, the Monte Carlo Casino, and to the McCarran Airport. During her stint at McCarran, she worked at the American Express Lounge where she was able to study under a famous barman, Jim Meehan of PDT. Lisa explained, “I was able to spend a lot of time with that man. He taught me a lot, from simple icing of the glass, to proper jiggering and understanding dilution.”

photo courtesy Lisa Brier

Lisa loves our city and our craft, which led her to join the Las Vegas Chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild. Just with the mention of the Bartenders’ Guild you can hear her excitement, “The USBG has changed how I bartend. Since the time I joined four years ago at the Bar & Nightclub convention, I’ve learned so much. I feel like I could write a book on all that I’ve learned.” It is true that we have an eclectic mix of creative individuals and with Lisa being a part of it, it’s an energetic intermingling. Lisa continued, “It’s very collaborative; I feel the majority of the members are always willing to help and mentor you. I honestly can’t put into words other than I love it!” She now brings all of her experience into play at the Skyfall Lounge where she gives a custom experience to each and every guest. “I just like guests to enjoy their time in whatever way they want. Whether it’s having a chat with whoever they are with, talking business, finding out what’s going on in town, or for a cocktail creation, I just want whoever is in front of me to be happy.”





Benny and the Jets by Lisa Brier 1.25 oz Citadel Gin .5 oz Gifford apricot .25 oz PF Dry Curaçao .75 oz pineapple juice .25 oz lemon juice Heavily rinse a double Old Fashioned glass with Benedictine. Shake with ice. Serve over a large rock in rinsed double Old Fashioned. Garnish with mint bouquet. This page sponsored by

About the USBG The United States Bartenders’ Guild is comprised of spirit professionals dedicated to the art of the craft of Bartending. What was founded in 1948 has now spread all over the US with Las Vegas being the largest chapter in the country. Through events, charity, and education they support and enhance the great American livingart that is Bartending.

photo by Lisa Brier

For information on how to join, please go to

May 2017 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 29



There are several major food & beverage events coming up in the next few months. Here is a sampling of some of the events we highly recommend so if planning to attend you can start booking now.

Al Dentes’ Provisions page 15 702-642-1100 Audrey Dempsey Infinity Photo page 30 702-837-1128 Big Dog’s Brewing Company page 30 702-368-3715 Chefs for Kids Dinner page 11 and Auction 702-333-2338 Designated Drivers page 30 877-456-7433 Hawaiian Frost page 27 Frozen Dairy Treat

May 19 the 4th annual For the Love of Cocktails by Back Bar USA at the Skyfall Lounge inside Rivea at the top of the Delano Las Vegas Hotel will attract mixology fans from all over the country, who will show up and express their “Love of Cocktails” by sampling the innovative libations, all while raising money for charity. May 25 the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair at The Pools at The Palazzo will feature samples from nearly 80 of Las Vegas’ finest restaurants and cocktails from some of the most prestigious beverage purveyors. June 4-6 the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association will hold its annual IDDBA 17 show in Anaheim, CA bringing together more than 9,000 buyers, merchandisers and executives and exhibitors with more than 1,900 booths. June 13-15 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.

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Jay’s Sharpening Service 702-645-0049

page 8

Keep Memory Alive Event Center page 7 702-263-9797 Major Foods 702-838-4698

page 19

Rodney Strong Estate Vinyards

page 31

The Dorsey Cocktail Bar 702-414-1945 White Soy Sauce

page 2 page 13 World Tea Expo

page 32

Pre-Conference: June 12, 2017


Conference & Expo: June 13-15, 2017

Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall


Advancing the Business of Tea

World Tea Expo 2017 is just around the corner! Enter the code TEAM5 for $200 off the Premium Conference Pass. Register today at!

World Tea Expo is the largest tradeshow and conference in North America focused 100% on premium teas and related products. Join us to blend fresh ideas, discover the latest trends and new distribution channels through three days of focused buying, selling and education. World Tea Expo is your chance to capitalize on this growing category to the fullest.

May 2017 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional  

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