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S & C S B. TO N VF .L







US $3.95

Celebrating President and Chairman Gianni Zonin’s 50th Anniversary Vintage CASA VINICOLA ZONIN Vintners Since 1821



Issue 6 Volume 14









Zonin Prosecco, A Sure Bet A








June 2014




Cover The June issue front page feature is dedicated to Casa Vinicola

Zonin and its 50th Year Anniversary Vintage. Our cover shot is of Gianni Zonin, President and Chairman of the Board, and inside you will be introduced to the family creating and keeping the family brand alive and thriving.




full story on page 16 THE LAS VEGAS EPICUREAN AFFAIR created by the Nevada Restaurant Association recently held its annual event at the Palazzo Pools and was hosted by the Venetian/Palazzo Hotel & Casino. This most popular event featured various member restaurants and suppliers with great food, beverage and entertainment! AL DENTES’ PROVISIONS has now opened its sister business just in time for the Bar-B-Q season. The Spice Outlet, connected to and supported by Al Dentes’ Provisions, has an entire array of herbs, spices and products to make the most of your Bar-B-Q in both larger and smaller quantities, so you can just test items before you have to buy in bulk. And remember, they are now Certified Kosher!


CERTIFICATION PROGRAM, and the great progress it is making in beer knowledge and education. LVFNB is delighted to support their efforts in the training and certifying of food & beverage professionals throughout the US and now internationally. Welcome on board!


Page 4 Hot Off the Grill!

Page 13 Fryer’s Favorites

Page 5 For the Love of the Craft Matt Graham

Page 14 Dining Out With the Harrises

Page 6 What’s Brewing?

Page 15 Downsizing by Ben Vaughn

Page 7 Andiamo - Hidden Gem Page 8 Ask Doctor Sake… Page9 Food For Thought: A Summer Food & Wine Combination Page 10 Wine Talk Page 11 Industry Nightlife in Vegas Page 12 What’s Cooking?

Page 16 COVER FEATURE Celebrating President and Chairman Gianni Zonin’s 50th Anniversary Vintage Page 18 Brett’s Vegas View Page 19 On the Edge With Al Mancini Epicurean Corner Page 20 Beer vs. Wine Smackdown Round 2

Page 21 Chef Talk Meals on Wheels Page 22 Five Years of The Joint Page 24 Mitchell’s Picks for Spring Page 25 Sustainable Sources of Energy ACF Chefs Las Vegas Page 26 HR Insights How to Maintain Fair and Consistent Workplace Policies Page 28 PHOTOS: Las Vegas Epicurean Affair Page 31 Events Advertiser Index

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 3

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


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

The Las Vegas Epicurean Affair was recently hosted again this year by The Venetian/Palazzo Hotel and Casino at their Palazzo Pools. Sponsored by the Nevada Restaurant Association and supported by its membership, this yearly event is one of the highlights for Las Vegas residents and visitors alike and this night was no exception. LVFNB was there, meeting with the man that puts it all together, Venetian/Palazzo VP Food & Beverage Director Sebastien Silvestri, shown here with LVFNB Editor-inChief Mike Fryer and Publisher Juanita Aiello. LVFNB Editorial Director gives a copy of the May issue to Certified Cicerone Chelsea Potts at the first Wirtz Certified Cicerone beer dinner at Aces & Ales (See Bob’s report on the dinner on page 6). Chelsea was excited to read her beer tip of the month on sour beer.

Juanita Aiello Publisher & Creative Director

Bob Barnes Editorial Director

Crystal Marie Brand Ambassador & Journalist

Congrats are in order to our very own journalist Victoria Pindrik, writer of the UNLV’s Epicurean Corner column for the past year. Victoria graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Adminstration. Victoria is now off to New Jersey to work as the Front Desk Manager at Teaneck Marriott At Glenpointe. We are very proud of Victoria and our best wishes go out to her.

Adam Rains Beverage Editor

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

The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional


Pre-Press Technician Brandon Yan

Journalist & Photographer Joe Fogarty

Journalist ACF Chefs Correspondent Juanita Fryer

Journalist Brett’s Vegas View Jackie Brett

Journalist Shelley Stepanek

Journalist Food for Thought Les Kincaid

Journalists Scott & Elaine Harris

Journalist Mixology-ology Mitchell Wilburn

Journalist Ben Vaughn

Journalist LeAnne Notabartolo

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

Journalist Rebecca Rajkowski

Journalist Chef Talk Allen Asch

Journalist On the Edge With Al Mancini Al Mancini

Journalist Ryan Wieczorek

Journalist HR Insights Linda Bernstein

Journalist Green Restaurant Association Michael Oshman

Journalist Wine Talk Alice Swift

Journalist Epicurean Corner Victoria Pindrik

Journalist Mark Kelnhofer

Photographer Bill Bokelmann

Photographer Joe Urcioli

Photographer Danette Chappell

Photographer Rose Powell-Carver

4 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014

For the Love of the Craft Matt Graham

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

Photo by Adam Rains

Matt Graham has a love for the craft. He finds himself on the front lines of our mini-cultural movement, our beverage renaissance. A transplant from Colorado, he’s left the constraints of fine dining, as well as the glitz of a major casino, and has gone to a place that feels much more real. Near the source of the new heartbeat of Las Vegas, down east of Fremont proper, at Atomic Liquors. He strives to give guests genuine service, with exceptional knowledge and stellar cocktails. In stark contrast to the over-priced & soulless bottle service and plastic nature of our iconic neon-palaces, Downtown has an authentic feel as well as a momentum; Matt is part of it. With the mix of old and new, hip and seedy, flush with capital investment but still seemingly home-grown, Matt has found a home where the buffalo roam, East Fremont. Over a pint of Innis and Gunn, we discussed the art of selling Busch, getting dirty Downtown and the benefits of the Beard. Adam - After a stint at Culinary Dropout at the Hard Rock, you’ve landed Downtown at Atomic Liquors. Tell me about it. Matt - Atomic’s great. Atomic is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas. It’s been there since 1945, a bar since ‘52. Mobsters, celebrities, all kinds of people would get away to hang there. Honestly, there’s history of young men having their first drink back when liquor laws weren’t the same; a kind of rite of passage. I hear stories all the time from people and how Atomic Liquors has affected their life. A - That is awesome. I also know they’re the biggest seller of Busch in Nevada. M - We still have it on draft to this day. I concentrate on local craft beers and branching out into the region. Then we have good old Busch, on a clean line right in the middle, so it’s crazy. A - Where do you see Downtown in relation to the whole Vegas scene? M - What I hope it is, and what I think it will be, is that when people are in town for two or three nights, they’ll eventually do Downtown two nights and the Strip one night. I think the comfort level and approachability of Downtown and the historic feel of it mixed with the seediness, it seems real. It doesn’t feel made up or like a show. A - Speaking of Downtown, Jolene Mannina is putting on a new event every Wednesday night; it’s a block party with food trucks, and the center of it is a cocktail competition?

M - Correct, the Downtown Dirty Bar Fight, is what they’re calling it. A - You just competed in it, right? M -Last week. It was a lot of fun. Lilian Hardgrove pulled it off. I came in 2nd, but I was happy to represent and meet a lot of cool people. A - Right now, what’s your favorite spirit to work with? M - It’s tough. I always go back and forth between whiskey and gin. I’m finding that taking the mezcals and things that have other attributes like scotches and working with them in the same manner as whiskey or gin, you can have fun with them and use different citrus and different herbs. You can really kind of play around and mix and match things that you’ve been working with for a long time. A - Awesome. I’m going to ask you a stupid question. How does it feel to have one of the best beards in Las Vegas’ bar tending community? M - That’s very nice of you. You have excellent facial hair as well. A - Thank you, sir! M - It’s nice. It grows on its own, and I try to keep it up so it’s not too disheveled. Otherwise, I enjoy it. People always make jokes about, “Are you gonna stir my drink with your beard?!” It’s nice to see people having a sense of humor about it as well and not getting too uptight about the fact that somebody behind the bar has a ton of hair right in front of them.

A - How important do you feel is continuous education for bartenders? M - I think it’s really important, not only to keep an eye on trends, but also to raise your game and to learn more each time why things work the way they do, why we use and play with certain tools. Honestly, the courses I’ve taken, I’ve met more friends of people I respect. That’s been more important to me than actually the knowledge of what I’ve gained. It’s like minded people doing cool things together. A - Why do we have the best job in the world? M - I enjoy the social aspect of behind the bar. I work with some amazing people and get to make craft cocktails for a ton of regular guests. The gratification of hearing someone excited about what they are drinking is why I love my job. A - Final question, who are some people you admire in the industry? M - Very good question. Francesco Lafranconi. I took a course with him, and I was really inspired about not only his knowledge but how he relates to people in the industry. I have come to know people Downtown recently. Sean Eaton over at The Griffin. The way he is with his guests and the high volume he works with is pretty amazing. There are so many to mention. David Cooper, one of your fellow barmen at CarneVino. Just the stories and the things he has done in this town and the people he has influenced and how giving he is, is awesome.

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 5

By Bob Barnes



Wirtz Beverage Cicerones Hosting Beer Dinners at Aces & Ales

Photo by Bill Bokelmann

Chef Jason Glidden, Certified Cicerone Michael Shetler and Bob Barnes

Michael Shetler, who has an impressive beer pedigree with experience as GM of Rosemary’s Restaurant, Lead Sommelier of Sage and Director of Beverage at ARIA, led off the first dinner—with a theme of “Old Meets New,” a pairing of Old World Belgian beers with New World All-American cuisine masterfully created by Aces & Ales’ Chef Jason Glidden. The dinner was probably the most educational one of its kind I had ever experienced (and I’ve attended about 50 or so). Michael talked us through each pairing describing the nuances of each beer in terms of the flavor, aroma, alcohol, dryness, and carbonation and how those flavor hooks were incorporated into the food it was paired with; and we were provided with Michael’s tasting notes detailing intensity, flavor hooks and interactions for each pairing.

style unique to Antwerp that was popular with blue collar workers from the 1800s to WWI. Held at the Tenaya Aces location, these Cicerone-led beer dinners are highly recommended to anyone serious about being educated while appreciating great beer and food. The dinners are slated for the second Wednesday of each month; the Wirtz Cicerones will take turns in both speaking and designing the theme and pairings. To reserve your place at the table, call 702-638-BEER.

Pairings were Vermont White Cheddar Grilled Cheese Square with Horseradish Crema/Seef Antwerp Ale; Fennel Cured Salmon & Arugula Salad/Saison Dupont; Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry/Poperings Hommel Ale; Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Brune Gravy/Moinette Brune; and Cherry Crisp/Petrus Aged Red. Every course was a real winner, with my favorites being the Chicken Pot Pie, a dish I don’t care for but absolutely loved Chef Jason’s rendition; and the first beer we enjoyed, the Seef Antwerp Ale, a saison-like slightly sour, dry, refreshing and complex ale which Michael related was a beer

Photo courtesy CraftHaus

Wirtz Beverage Nevada is stepping up to the plate, taking the promotion of craft beer seriously, evidenced by both its Certified Cicerone Program classes (see LVFNB May issue pg. 17) and the five Certified Cicerones on its staff. Wirtz is giving even more to the beer community by hosting monthly beer dinners at Ace & Ales led by its Cicerones. In case you were wondering, a cicerone is the beer equivalent of a sommelier and passing the certification test is an onerous task that requires an inordinate amount of studying and expertise.

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

Beer Tip of the Month CraftHaus Names Head Brewer Duo

This month’s tip comes courtesy of Alex Graham, a Las Vegas native with a strong passion for beer and a push for local products. Alex was previously Head Brewer at Joseph James Brewing Company and has transitioned to Sales Manager at Tenaya Creek Brewery. He is currently the Nevada writer for Southwest Brewing News and is a Certified Cicerone, Certified Beer Judge and Mead Judge by the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program).

This month’s topic is: the BJCP Style Guidelines app

6 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014

Photo courtesy Tenaya Creek

Whether you are a bartender, server where craft beer is becoming more popular or just a craft beer enthusiast looking to learn more about beer styles, the BJCP Style Guidelines app is a great tool to fast track your beer knowledge. The guidelines were originally a framework designed to help homebrewers judge their beers in competitions but are now widely used as a learning tool for such programs as the Cicerone Certification. This free app gets very specific on aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and overall impression but will also include comments, history, ingredients, vital statistics and commercial examples of the beers that fit each style the best. If you want to know the difference between a brown porter and American stout this may be your quickest reference to help you start learning those similarities or differentiations.

Dave and Wyndee Forrest, owners of the soonto-open CraftHaus Brewery, have announced the hiring of two experienced brewers from Australia, Steph Cope and Steve Brockman, who will share the Head Brewer title. Steph will have the distinction of being the first ever female head brewer in Nevada. Steph and Steve form the brewing and beer traveling duo of Two Brewers Abroad, and have logged more than 16,000 miles, visited more than 300 breweries and worked at a few along the way. Both Steph and Steve hold degrees in brewing from Edith Cowan University (where they met) and have held Head Brewer positions in Western Australia—Steph at Gage Roads and Steven at The Monk Brewery and Kitchen. As I write this, CrafHaus is installing its brewing equipment at its new home in “The Booze District” at 7350 Eastgate Rd. Suite 110 in Henderson near Lake Mead and the 215. Their anticipated opening date is late summer.

By LeAnne Notabartolo

Hidden Gem

A culinary event coordinator and live cooking demonstrator, this “Edu-tainer” with more than 1000 demos under her belt lives to cook and eat. She works with chefs at events and learns from them and translates info for home cooks. She is the Chick in Charge of Good for Spooning – read her blog here:

Photos by LeAnne Notabartolo

Like most of downtown, The D (formerly Fitzgerald’s) is making big changes and all for the better. The D’s Director of Sales Josh Nisenson assures us that more changes are on the horizon and that we can expect big things from The D this year, including sponsorship of The World Food Championships. Upping the ante on their dining spots is at the forefront and they have a hidden gem in Andiamo. Andiamo means “come” in Italian and Chef Joe Parrino invites you to come and enjoy. Chef Parrino comes from a family of fine cooks and went to culinary school in Italy in Santa Marinella. His life experience, training and passion for food shine through in each dish. Andiamo is part of a family of restaurants from Michigan owned by Joe Vicari. The best concepts of the group were melded to make this Italian steakhouse. Take the escalator up from the main casino floor and make a sharp right. The doorway is easy to miss, but worth seeking out. With an almost speakeasy feel to the entrance, you walk in and are removed from the bells and whistles of the casino floor and taken to a completely different space. Cozy banquettes, dark wood and warm colors invite you to make yourself at home and you almost expect to see Michael Corleone holding court in one of the secluded banquettes. Keep your eyes peeled for sports stars visiting Vegas. This spot has become a not so secret dining fave of several players. From the house-made olive tapenade to the rolling dessert cart, everything is top notch. The charcuterie and cheese plate is a great starter and if there is gorgonzola dolce, be sure to try it! Sweeter and creamier than regular gorgonzola, it is a perfect counterpoint to the salty charcuterie. A clear standout for this writer was the Tortellaci - handmade ricotta filled pasta wheels tossed with mushrooms, tomatoes, olives and Italian sausage with gorgonzola dolce. The steaks are aged in-house and loaded with flavor and the rib eye is served “tomahawk” style with the long rib attached accompanied by three different and equally tasty sauces. All the desserts we tried were lovely, but the winner was the cassata with greentinted marzipan on top and cannoli cream as the filling. The wine list is not limited to Italian varieties, is fairly extensive and has several offerings by the glass as well as splits of champagne. The menu and wine list boast something for every taste. The portions are made for enjoying family style, so be sure to order a variety to share. A final tip for you: if Sandra is on duty, ask for her as your server. She is a walking history lesson and has been working in the downtown area for more than 20 years. She has a winning way with service and a broad knowledge of the area and the menu items.

Chef Joe Parrino, Director of Sales Josh Nisenson and server Sandra.

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 7

By K. Mike Masuyama Ph.D.

ASK DOCTOR SAKE‌ Sake Drinking in Summer? As generally recognized, sake has been served in hot-warm times, even in summer, in Japan. Non-hot sake is mostly regarded informal or too casual in tradition throughout the year. Non-hot sake means the one at ambient temperatures, which is simply taken out of a container and consumed, often in a rice bowl or tea cup by less mannered drinkers or alcoholics. This non-hot sake is synonymously called cold sake in Japan. This cold sake gives a quick alcohol effect lingering long, according to a sake myth. Sake at ambient temperatures may be lukewarm in summer or cold in winter. Today sake can be served chilled in summer. Being chilled or cold is a great treat for soothing many things hot in summer. An air-conditioned room or automobile or refrigerated food-beverage like soup, salad, soda, beer, wine, and mixed drinks are pleasing to heat-exhausted people. A cold sake apparently quenches thirst as well as stimulates the appetite for sushi, sashimi, fusion Asian food and seafood dishes. Any sake can be served chilled or cold but sake brewers make sake purposely for serving cold nowadays. A back label often means good for serving cold as “Reishuâ€? (cold sake). It is not a matter of adding a word or line to the product description. Sake brewers use different recipes or processes from the conventional ones good for serving hot. Their major concern is with the flavor profile at lower temperatures. When sake stays at lower temperatures, aroma substances, particularly with high volatility, do not dissipate lasting the over-all flavor profile until consumed. Clean and well-balanced notes are required in the profile, firstly. Among options in brewing, high aroma yeast is often a good choice. It often gives an impact of flushing aroma in the first sip and stays longer in cold, which pleases at an appropriate level, though fatigue may come to olfactory sensation with too much of a flowery fragrant note. Such an aromatic cold sake may be good for drinking straight but be cautious in food pairing because too much aroma overcovers the delicate flavor of food. Mixing may be another way to enjoy sake cold in summer. NBC News reports the latest four most popular drinks: Margaritas, Mojitos,

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

Lemon Drops and Cosmos, are all excellent in summer. Sake Mojitos or Sake Margaritas can be made but sake appears functioning as an alcohol ingredient contributing not much with sake characteristics to the drinks. The flavor of a Mojito or Margarita dominates in the taste profile, though it may be a good marketing scheme to draw attention. I wish I could find a really enjoyable Sake Mojito somewhere. The following is my way to drink sake cold in summer. First, try to select a sake brand with a recommendation of serving cold. Second, try with a good aromatic sake. Sake from the Yamagata, Niigata or Akita regions may be among options. On-the-rocks may be good in order to drink good sake as well as so-so sake cold. As a matter of course, use clean ice, not tap water ice cubes. A little bit water may be added to the onthe-rocks drink if still sake character is too apparent. I occasionally drink inexpensive sake from a supermarket in this manner, which is often characterized with heavy body from the western part of Japan. In addition to aroma or mellowed flavor, heavy body becomes not so objectionable in mouth feel. With a cold sake, cooking and drinking can be more enjoyable while dealing with heat in the kitchen. Anything cold is a great treat in summer. Some sake gurus may recommend a specific temperature for serving sake cold, which is good and can be done if practical. Putting a bottle of sake in a refrigerator is good enough, I think. In order to truly enjoy cold sake, a choko cup can be chilled in a freezer, which is up to your choice. In it, the first sip should be excellent, but the choko gets warmer as time goes by. Instead, try to chill sake well and longer in a refrigerator or even keep the bottle in an ice bucket like champagne or sparkling wine. In addition to drinking straight, cold sake goes well with salad of smoked salmon or chicken and also lean fish or shellfish sashimi or ceviche. Cold sake can be enjoyed drinking outside, not at high noon but at sunset when the air becomes crispy and green turns to purple. Cold sake is a definite refreshing and entertaining drink in summer. Kanpai, Cheers with cold sake!

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 8 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014


By Les Kincaid

A Summer Food & Wine Combination

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

Although we believe most seasons are just right for great pairings of food and wine, summer just

Spinach & Ricotta Salata Grilled Pizza

seems to offer endless opportunities for matching

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive 4 large fresh basil leaves, oil, divided roughly chopped

lighter, refreshing wines with simple, easy-to-

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

prepare foods. With the amazing selection of

2 ripe summer tomatoes, cored and finely chopped

this year’s harvest, it’s easy to find delicious counterparts that complement summer wines at easy-to-swallow prices. Don’t miss the chance to try grilling a pizza, which is one of my favorites. This certainly takes advantage of the summer bounty of tomatoes. Try a classic Sonoma County Chardonnay with caramel apple and pear notes with a touch of buttery popcorn on the finish, like Simi Chardonnay. It offers balance and a seductive golden color make any simple picnic foods. This summer style recipe takes advantage of tomatoes when they’re at their best. Or you might like to substitute bitter greens such as arugula for the spinach to enjoy even more flavor.

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 large pre-baked pizza crust 2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler, divided 1/4 pound baby spinach

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until light brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, parsley, basil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes; set aside. Meanwhile, whisk together onion, vinegar, mustard, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of the remaining oil while continuing to whisk constantly; set vinaigrette aside. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat cooking. Lightly brush both sides of pizza crust with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and transfer to the grill. Turn crust often, flipping once, until just toasted all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface and top with reserved tomato sauce. Top with half of the cheese and carefully return pizza to the grill and cook until cheese is softened and pizza is just heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Toss spinach with reserved vinaigrette, then arrange on top of pizza. Garnish with remaining cheese, cut pizza into slices and serve. Yield: 2-4 servings

Les Kincaid’s Wines Du Jour Looking to discover more information about wine? Then take a sip and enjoy innovative modern cuisine paired with interesting wines each week, with Chef Host Les Kincaid. Les shares his knowledge and favorite epicurean adventures every Thursday evening “live” on cable, radio, and various internet outlets. Wines Du Jour can also been seen on Cox Cable television and on demand through his website Over the years with questions frequently asked I thought it might be a good idea to offer wine and favorite epicurean spots to everyone on air. I’ve been on radio for many years and enjoy receiving comments from listeners that they appreciate hearing information about those subjects without talking down to them. Often wine staffs in restaurants can intimidate a customer inquiring about what is a good wine to go with their choice of food for dinner. The thought of bringing good information to the public on a regular basis became fruition when I started Wines Du Jour (formerly Les’ Wines & Vines) in 2001 broadcasting every Thursday from an upscale restaurant, mostly in Las Vegas and pairing three wines from a specific winery with a few bites of food from that restaurant’s kitchen. Early on since about age 14, I have discovered that I have this passion for fresh high-quality food and wines that are available and to share with those that enjoy the same. In addition to my weekly broadcasts, I offer travel excursions a couple times a year to discover wineries, food and great travel destinations. Trips to Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Monterey have all been included over the years. Visiting other states besides California like Washington or Oregon further extends the opportunities to explore tastes from different wine regions. Last year I hosted a group to Tuscany, Italy where we enjoyed the history, food, and of course wine! I am currently planning a

trip to France in May of 2015. I have some couples that have gone on five or six trips with us and can’t wait to sign up for the next. Although Wines Du Jour is primarily broadcast in Las Vegas, the success of the show has taken it on the road periodically. I have featured Wines Du Jour live from Maui, Scottsdale, San Diego, and Mesquite as well Baja California, Mexico. Wines Du Jour has been invited to Rosarito Beach and Ensenada ongoing for a couple years broadcasting with sell-out audiences. While visiting Baja, I have discovered that Valley Guadalupe has grown to now over 80 wineries. Who knew there were Mexican wines and very decent as well? In fact they are calling Valley Guadalupe the Napa Valley of Mexico. On September 4th Wines Du Jour will celebrate 13 years of providing good information about food, wine and great restaurant destinations to explore. I am often asked to feature a new winery or take our invited guest audience to another restaurant not yet featured. Anyone interested in being part of Wines Du Jour, learning about cooking and wine classes or informative fun travel experiences can send your email address to les@ and be added to my opt-in list. You then will receive all the latest exciting news or visit either of my websites www.leskincaid. com or for more information. June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 9

Wine Talk with Alice Swift

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

know much about the wine, and each year, Wine Spectator releases a special issue of Top 100 wines selected by the editors, which are based on quality, value, availability and excitement (a.k.a. the “X-factor”). For more information on 2013’s top 100, which also marks the 25th anniversary, go to

As we all know, there are numerous wine events around the world that cater to a wineloving population. Wine dinners, wine-tastings, wine education classes, winery tours, and the list goes on. Many of these are catered to wine industry professionals, or are very expensive for the general population to attend. But how about a high-quality wine tasting event that is specifically catered to the general population of wine consumers?

Photos by Alice Swift

This brings us to Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour wine tasting. Wine Spectator is one of the leading magazines that brings us all things wine, such as education, culture and industry. Most popular, however, would probably be the Wine Spectator wine ratings, which are out of a 100-point scale. Many wine consumers will rely on wine ratings like these if they do not

Now, after reading about all the top 100 wines, what better way to put it to the test than a Wine Spectator wine tasting event? All the wines poured at the Grand Tour are scored 90 points or higher, with more than 200 wineries each pouring one of their best wines. Being my first time attending, I did not think there would be that great of a selection, but little did I know! Not only were the major wine regions represented, there were also very unique and smaller scale wineries present as well! Many of the booths I stopped at were even pouring wines from older vintages that were no longer in production or for sale, with limited quantities remaining. The event is held annually, typically in 3 large cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles), with Las Vegas being a regular stop. Tickets don’t come cheap; however, you definitely get your money’s worth with many of the one-ina-lifetime opportunities to taste special wines, as well as a great selection of foods to pair. The Las Vegas Grand Tour event had lamb, prime rib, a pasta station, selection of high-end cheese and charcuterie, crudité and much much more! Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour event is a great opportunity for wine consumers who are not in the industry to experience highly rated wines that they would not be able to find elsewhere. For wine trade professionals, it is also a fun event to attend as a wine consumer. I was able to capture some of my wine picks and photos of the event for your viewing enjoyment. For more information on the event, go to http://grandtour. Hope to see you there next time. But, until then… Cheers~! Alice

10 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014

By Crystal Marie

Industry Nightlife in Vegas Wet Republic back in action and better than ever! MGM Grand hotel/casino Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays (subject to change during holidays) For information, events, and reservations go to or contact me (see contact info. above) As summer creeps up on us here in Las Vegas bringing that scorching heat we are all too familiar with, so do the bikinis, babes, and overthe-top mind-blowing day club/pool parties as well. Wet Republic Ultra Pool, located at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, continues to attract attention and excitement from all over the world, some even calling Wet Republic “the number one pool party in the world.” From routine champagne showers, crowd surfing on a raft, and ‘caking’ his fans, DJ Steve Aoki seems to be settling in quite well at Wet along with several other world-famous DJs. Also hyping up the place as they spin are: Hardwell, NERVO, AFROJACK, FERGIE, Calvin Harris, Above & Beyond, Tiesto, and many more. The summer is off to a great start at Wet and pool parties really don’t get much crazier than this one I guess, especially since hosting its fifth season of what they call “Hot 100 Bikini Contest.” The Hot 100 at Wet Republic takes place every Friday, attracting hundreds of beautiful women from all over America to compete in a bikini contest where $100,000 in cash prizes will be given away. Since my nightlife (and now day life of course) page caters to those in the industry, I tend to venture out to clubs solely on industry days/ nights so I know what we are all getting into. Well, Wet Republic is currently doing ‘industry days’ on Thursdays but their calendar looks as if it could be Mondays at some point as well. I cannot guarantee free entry with the local NV I.D. because of all the action their resident DJs are bringing in this summer, but like I have said before, usually you know someone who knows someone and having a local I.D. is simply a MUST in Las Vegas. I had the privilege of joining a friend’s cabana in early April before the chaos really began. I had a blast as we danced in the water, sipped on our drinks, and enjoyed watching the crowd. I personally don’t know how these tourists or

Crystal Marie is the brand ambassador and journalist for The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional. She is a leader in networking, excels in persuasive writing and has an extensive background in sales and marketing. New to the Las Vegas area, she is ready and willing to try anything when it comes to food, as food is the way to her heart.

locals can last all day drinking in the sun and I have seen plenty of people get too drunk and too hot; so note to self—stay hydrated, as it is easy to get heat stroke drinking in 115 degree weather. Wet Republic is great for music, dancing, partying, networking, and down-right fun but it is not a place to relax; go next door to MGM’s Grand Pool Complex for that. We locals tend to take living in Las Vegas for granted and forget that we are in a dream destination which offers experiences unlike anywhere in the world; experiences people will never get without actually coming here and checking places like Wet Republic out. So get kind of crazy, be a little reckless, and go wild out at Wet Republic! Baseballs, bats, peanuts, $1 beers, and aliens! Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball games Cashman Field See or call (702) 386-7200 for home/away game dates/times and pricing In my recent efforts to experience things that you would call “non-Vegasy,” a friend recommended we check out a Las Vegas 51s game. Although I was excited, I really didn’t know what to expect considering I didn’t even know about or hear much of a minor league baseball team in Las Vegas. I mean we are definitely not the strongest city when it comes to most sports and being from a small town in Washington State I am OK with that, as minor league baseball was something my city got really excited about. The Las Vegas 51s are the New York Mets AAA team and now, after having attended two games witnessing two wins against the Tacoma Rainiers, seem to be doing pretty good. Being in the stadium really made me feel like a kid again; I even ate a ballpark hotdog (not my usual style)! Of course they do lots of games for kids on the field with their awesome mascot, Cosmo, who of course, is a grey alien. Cashman Field is also doing some really cool things to keep the fans coming back. From a $1 food menu on Mondays, $1 beers on Thursdays, and firework shows throughout the season you just have to catch a game or two.

INDUSTRY INSIDER INFO: Check out: for complimentary show tickets and discounts. This is a very cool site for Las Vegas locals and you must have NV I.D. to sign up. Sunday – Thursday; Locals free in every open nightclub!!* *Subject to change when nightclub hosts a special event or DJ. Locals enter in the general admission line and must have valid NV ID. Contact me in advance for any nightclub bottle service or V.I.P. treatment. Crystal Marie - 720-212-8048

Industry Day Clubs/ Pool Parties (Subject to change)

SUNDAYS Encore Beach Club (Encore) XS night-swim (Wynn) Eclipse night-swim (Mandalay Bay) Mondays Bare-topless optional (Mirage) Thursdays Liquid (Aria) Fridays Ditch Fridays (Palms) Encore Beach Club (Encore)

INDUSTRY NIGHTS SUNDAYS XS (Wynn) Lily (Bellagio) Body English (Hard Rock) Hakkasan (MGM)

MONDAYS XS (Wynn) Marquee (Cosmo) Gallery (Paris)

TUESDAYS 1OAK (Mirage) HYDE (Bellagio) PURE (Caesars Palace)

WEDNESDAYS Chateau (Paris) Surrender (Encore) LAX (Luxor)

THURSDAYS Hakkasan (MGM) TAO (Venetian) HAZE (Aria) Tryst (Wynn)

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 11

By Bob Barnes Bob Barnes is a native Las Vegan, editorial


director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional, regional correspondent for Celebrator Beer News and covers the LV restaurant scene for He welcomes

photo courtesy Marché Bacchus

your inquiries.Email:

Marché Bacchus Introduces Spring Menu

Executive Chef Michael LaPlaca Giving Old School Italian a Modern Twist at Portofino Onda opened in 1999 at The Mirage, but a recent name and chef change has made the Italian fine dining venue new again; Executive Chef Michael LaPlaca pays homage to both his Italian heritage and his versatile creativity. The Cleveland native took on the executive chef position just over six months ago, after building a stellar resume that includes graduating from the Las Vegas Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and positions at Fiamma at MGM, Bouchon at The Venetian, Sinatra and Alex at Wynn, David Burke’s in NYC, Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace and most recently at the popular off-Strip gourmet pizza restaurant, Due Forni. Chef LaPlaca commented on his new position, “No matter who you are, or what kitchen you’re in, you’re making their food. For the first time I get to do my food. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m trying to do things I haven’t seen done before.” The transition from Onda to Portofino includes meeting up with the times while keeping an Old World feel through traditional menu items being given a modern, creative twist. Examples of Chef’s creativity include meatballs composed

12 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014

photo courtesy MGM Resorts International

On a lovely spring evening recently our friends Jeff and Rhonda Wyatt, proprietors of Marché Bacchus, were kind enough to include us in a preview of their restaurant’s spring menu, which we enjoyed while overlooking the beautiful and tranquil view of Lake Jacqueline at Desert Shores. The view and ambience is breathtaking and nature lovers will appreciate watching the family of black swans glide by. The majority of the restaurant’s seating is on the patio area, which is made comfortable any time of the year with the help of heaters, misters and glass enclosures which can be retracted when the weather permits. Acclaimed Chef Alex Stratta and Chef de Cuisine Jose Aleman definitely wowed us with a nine-course overview of the new menu, which included charred octopus with a lemon-parsley vinaigrette; seared prawns with truffled polenta; warm salad of duck confit with spinach, apples and candied walnuts; seared swordfish with red pepper sauce, currants and pine nuts; roasted salmon with syrah sauce; roasted tenderloin of beef with wild mushrooms and red wine reduction; braised lamb shank with dried apricots, chickpeas and Moroccan spices; and dessert of warm bread pudding with bourbon cream, golden raisin brioche and vanilla custard. Desserts are provided by Chocolate & Spice Owner/Chef Megan Romano, and gelato is sourced from Luciano Pellegrini, who we remember from his days as Executive Chef at Valentino at The Venetian. Although a visit to Marché Bacchus is justified to enjoy the aforementioned cuisine, don’t forget about the wine shop, which features 950 bottles, all of which are offered at half the cost of most restaurants and for a mere $10 over the

retail price, can be enjoyed with your meal. Check out their weekly complimentary wine tastings, held on Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., during which four to five wines are poured. Marché Bacchus, French Bistro and Wine Shop 2620 Regatta Drive, Suite #106 Las Vegas, NV 89128 702-804-8008

of organic Kobe and Compart Family Farms Duroc all-natural pork, fried squash blossoms, bacon, 24-month aged Parmesan and goat cheese; crab cake arancini—a hybrid rice ball/ crab cake with lemon saffron risotto and pesto aioli; pork belly spaghetti carbonara that has no cream or butter but obtains its richness through organic egg yolks, pasta water and Parmesan; and chicken Parmesan composed of chicken breast stuffed with homemade sausage from chicken leg and thigh meat. (Chef says he got the idea from Thanksgiving and it’s a way to help people relate to sausage.) The stars of the menu are the pastas, which are all made by hand in-house and can be customized to order to any size or gluten-free. All are home runs, such as the gnocchi with wild mushrooms, shaved truffle and arugula; burrata agnolotti featuring everything that goes well with butter: lobster, chanterelle mushrooms and roasted corn; seared scallop fettuccini with day boat scallops, uni butter and caviar to impart saltiness; and Chef’s own invention, Ripatelli— hand-torn pasta with house-made sausage and peppers, broccoli rabe and pesto. The wine barrels just outside the entrance give a clue that wine is taken seriously here, and the more than 700 wines on the menu are proof positive. 560 are Italian reds, reputedly the largest on the Vegas Strip. A great deal is in the lounge, where a chalkboard displays the list of last bottles, all of which are offered at 50% off. At Portofino you’ll appreciate the personal touches and professional service from GM/ Sommelier Chris Zadie and Chef LaPlaca, both of whom make it a point to interact with guests routinely. Portofino is located just off of the casino and is open for dinner Thursday through Monday.

By Mike Fryer

Fryer’s Favorites Mike Fryer, Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Mike Fryer

The Tilted Kilt girls prepare for the grand opening.

EPICUREAN AFFAIR by NEVADA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION was hosted again this year by The Venetian-Palazzo and kudos to the highly talented team of Vice President of Food & Beverage Sebastien Silvestri for a job well done. We appreciate you keeping the wind minimal this year and the excellent traffic flow! I’d be in trouble not to mention the great efforts of the Nevada Restaurant Association and all their participating members who really make the event one of the best F&B events in the region. NvRA recently coordinated a meeting to introduce the new Director of Environmental Health at SNHD, Jackie Reszetar, to NvRA members for a Q&A. We look forward to many more of these in the near future! BTW…We are now an NvRA member after a long hiatus and hope to help build the interest and membership in this very worthwhile organization. For info on joining contact Isabella Girardello at THE TILTED KILT OPENS AT THE LINQ and our congratulations to an old friend and concept creator/founder of Tilted Kilt Mark DiMartino. You may remember The Tilted Kilt’s first store opening here in Las Vegas years ago at the Rio Casino which lasted several years, but it is now back in Las Vegas with a big bang at The LINQ… LAGUNA CLIFFS RESORT & SPA by MARRIOTT was on our list to visit recently when at our SoCal office and we were delighted to re-meet and interview Executive Chef Thomas Trevethan. You will probably remember Thomas during his years as Executive Chef at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas before coming to work for the Marriott in Dana Point where, we must say, he is a very happy chef who loves the location, weather, water, and has a great staff

Photo courtesy Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa By Marriott

Thank you all for the great response to my new column dedicated to what I see as interesting events, up and coming establishments, and just plain fun venues and people! VEGAS UNCORK’D by BON APPETIT wrapped up another great year of food & beverage events throughout the Las Vegas Strip and reports record attendance. I believe it, since attending the Grand Tasting at Caesars with several thousand others and almost getting edged into the pool! The local media thanks the efforts of Kirvin Doak PR and their team of professionals for their handling of media event passes which was 1000% better than the last few years of Uncork’d. ACF CHEFS OF LAS VEGAS GOLF TOURNAMENT had another very successful event adding to the funds for supporting needy culinary students in Las Vegas. This yearly event is the efforts of the ACF Chefs of LV Associate Advisory Board (I’ve been a board member for over 6 years) and relies on the generous support and donations of suppliers, manufacturers and related businesses. A special thanks goes out to Big Dog’s Brewery for their beer support and Visstun Cups for donating the place to put it!

Executive Chef Thomas Trevethan

and management team to work with. In fact, it shows in the excellent food that comes out of his kitchen using the freshest local products and fresh seafood from the ocean just down the street! I recommend your next visit to SoCal includes a visit and stay over at the Laguna Cliffs, dining at Vue Restaurant, and enjoying the local activities with your entire family. THOUGHT YOU’D ENJOY THIS “ONLY IN LAS VEGAS” MOMENT… Our dear friends at Big Dog’s Brewing on North Rancho have just completed an outdoor patio and have designated it a “Non-Smoking Area” as all of us Las Vegans know that you need to get out of the gaming area smoke to catch a breath of air! Nice going BD’s. Upcoming events you should consider… July 19 …Big Dog’s Brewery Summerfest & Reggae Party—N. Rancho August 17-19…Western Foodservice Hospitality Expo—Anaheim, Ca


Check out all upcoming F&B events at ww.lvfnb. com/calendar.

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By Elaine & Scott Harris

Dining Out With the Harrises Photo coutesy Gordon Ramsay

New appetizers include Pulled Chicken Nachos and WILD’s own guacamole and chips. Entrees include Emily’s Zucchini Pasta made with fresh julienned zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, marinara, basil, garlic and parmesan cheese and a half free-range Oven Roasted Chicken served with fingerling potatoes and roasted seasonal vegetables. Tasty sandwiches also join the menu, including an Ahi Tuna Burger and a double decker Chicken Salad Club. The menu retained some of the signature items, like a selection of its oven flatbreads, including the Wild White with mozzarella, truffle ricotta, cracked black pepper and arugula, as well as WILD’s popular gluten-free cupcakes created by Pastry Chef Tatiana Lewis. To end a meal on a sweet note, WILD offers three cupcake flavors daily, including vegan chocolate with mocha frosting, vegan lemon with blueberry compote and carrot cake with orange butter cream frosting.

WILD introduces new menu developed by Chef Natalie Young of Eat.

In addition to the new menu, WILD has hired new culinary and front of house team members, including Sous Chef Judy Dezarn-Mack, previously a sous chef at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa. “Great food that just so happens to be gluten free” is their mantra and they live it. WILD’s new menu remains completely gluten free and continues to offer vegan options and whenever possible, uses meats and cheeses that are hormone- and antibiotic-free, as well as local and organic produce. This vibrant area is alive with locals and visitors alike, exploring the plethora of options awaiting them all day and into the night.

Bier Garten Opens in Downtown Las Vegas offering artisan sausages and two dozen craft beers on tap. The craft beer movement in the United States has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years and shows no sign of losing momentum. While we are on the subject of momentum,

14 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014

Downtown Las Vegas is literally changing on a daily basis. The Downtown Project is turning this once questionable part of town into an exciting, vibrant district of artists, IT start-ups, quaint restaurants and bars. Bier Garten’s unique outdoor dining area in front of the Plaza Hotel & Casino features nearly 3,000 sq. ft. of real grass, yes REAL grass along with specially designed wooden trellises with winding vines to create a relaxed Bavarian beer garden setting. Tables from a 1980’s Munich Oktoberfest provide outdoor seating for up to 160 people It’s not just about the beer here. Bier Garten pairs a delicious selection of artisan sausages with its craft beers. Jeffrey Martell, the chef of Oscar’s steakhouse and Pop Up Pizza, also runs Bier Garten’s kitchen. His menu features handmade cuisine inspired by German favorites with a touch of Las Vegas such as the Golden Slipper with Andouille sausage, crispy bacon, cream cheese and fried egg or the Stardust comprised of German bratwurst, caramelized onions, sauerkraut and German sweet mustard. Sides include extra giant sized German pretzels with mustard, hand-cut fries and crispy onion strings. For the grand FINI, Bier Garten offers three flavors of SasaPops. These award winning frozen dessert pops handmade in Las Vegas by SasaSweets is a must try. Or just an extra giant size cinnamon and sugar pretzel with homemade icing. You can’t go wrong with either. Or better yet, order both, we did! Bier Garten is easy to find. Located just across the street from the Fremont Street Experience. Enjoy lunch, dinner or stop in for a late night brew. They are open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily and offer a variety of live entertainment Friday and Saturday nights.

Photo by Scott Harris

Downtown Las Vegas is constantly evolving with new bars and restaurants opening almost weekly. Keeping with that pace, the farmfriendly eatery and bar, WILD in Downtown Las Vegas, has unveiled an all-new menu developed by Chef Natalie Young, owner and chef of locals popular breakfast and lunch restaurant, Eat. WILD’s new menu stays true to its original intent to offer delectable comfort food favorites with a healthy twist.

Photo courtesy WILD

Chef Christina Wilson moves from Gordon Ramsay Steak to Ramsay’s namesake BurGR as the new executive chef. Chef Wilson won Hell’s Kitchen season 10, and earned the position of head chef working under the direction of Executive Chef Deric Meininger, at celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s first Las Vegas restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. “Following my win on Hell’s Kitchen and an amazing first year at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris Las Vegas, I am proud and excited to accept the position of executive chef at Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood,” said Wilson. “This is another incredible opportunity for me to grow my career. I will be one of three female executive chefs working in Chef Ramsay kitchens in the US. This move will not only provide me the experience of running and managing the entire kitchen, but will also allow me to curate and build young talent who are just starting out in the industry. I am very much looking forward to this new chapter and what it will bring.” We have had the opportunity to dine at both venues with her at the helm and are in awe of her command of the kitchen and quality of the dishes she prepares. When in Las Vegas, a must stop is Gordon Ramsay BurGR for one of the best burgers and service in the country. Who knows, if you time it right you might even see the legendary Chef Ramsay right at your table.

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

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

Downsizing While watching TV the other night, I became alarmingly aware of the fact that the U.S. population is being set up for failure. The battle of the bulge has begun and we are all desperately under-armed. I was overwhelmed by the commercials of over-salted, over-sauced, over-sugared but deceptively delicious foods that seemed to dance before my salivating eyes. All of this celebration of gluttony with no fanfare devoted to fresh or healthy foods. Like many other Americans, spring has inspired me to take on some healthier habits – running, eating lighter, getting better sleep. So how do I maintain these commitments when I feel attacked on all sides by a media monster that wants only for me to fail? I think it comes down to educating myself about what I’m up against. No one wins a battle without knowing his opponent’s weaknesses. I need to take responsibility to educate myself about the truth about the foods that advertisers throw money at, the right choices in the grocery store that will help me stay on track, and how to balance my budget while making those choices. The U.S. population has shifted gears over the past several decades with the view towards dining out becoming yet another form of entertainment. Food is no longer just a means of sustenance, but a way to cut loose and enjoy the spoils of our hard work. I have really no issue with wanting to eat out a couple of nights a week to change things up a bit or relieve the duties of nightly clean-up. However, the restaurants in our society have followed the demands of our ever-increasing appetites by supplying us with over-sized portions and unhealthy convenience foods. The majority of fast-casual, “family- friendly” operations are serving entrees that are easily one thousand calories each, and that doesn’t even cover the chips and a drink that most of us buy in addition. No wonder our children have become part of an obesity epidemic. So how do I make good choices and still have the convenience of eating out every so often? It comes down to making smart and wellinformed decisions. Just simply looking over the nutritional information of any of these

So how do I make good choices and still have the convenience of eating out every so often? It comes down to making smart and well-informed decisions.

institutions can help me make a better and healthier decision for myself and my children while eating out. For places that don’t have the information handy, I can guarantee that they have it posted on their website and taking that extra step is worth it for me to keep the commitment to myself and my family to be healthier. The other option, of course, that can help both my budget and my waistline is to cut down on portion sizes by splitting those thousand calorie entrees with my wife or one of my kids. And if I’m honest, just because I can eat the whole enchilada, doesn’t necessarily mean I should, right? That brings me to eating at home. How do I know what foods to buy that are helping me to reach my goals of being healthier and giving my family the best ingredients possible without dipping into my children’s college funds to do so? To fill my basket with only grass-fed proteins and organic fruits and vegetables for my family of six, I’m pretty sure I might have to sell a kidney to support that grocery bill. So let’s hit the highlights, then. What items are truly important to buy organic, and which ones can I slide right past? According to www., there is a list of certain items that are most beneficial to buy organic either due to hormone levels or exposure to pesticides. These items include: USDA certified organic beef, strawberries and any other fruit that is eaten with the skin on, milk, celery, bell peppers, spinach and potatoes. Some items that the site mentions are not crucial to buy organic include: avocados, eggs, and spices. I now feel somewhat equipped to tackle my grocery list without sacrificing my family’s health or my children’s collegiate futures. The other obstacle I now have to overcome is to convince my children that the fresh, healthy food I place before them will be just as delicious as the glossy ads they drool over on television. This, as any parent well knows, is and will continue to be a grueling work-inprogress. If any of you have figured out how to convince a 2 or 3-year old that the steamed vegetables you have just placed before them are just as enjoyable as the French fries that “Nanna” bought them yesterday, please share your wizardry with me. For the tiniest of critics, I have succumbed to trying to introduce some fresh ingredients within the context of things familiar. For example, I have had some success with an innovative turn on chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. I take a whole wheat tortilla and fill it with a small amount of macaroni and cheese to act as a binder and some pulled chicken from a rotisserie. I place this concoction in a hot pan with a small amount of low fat oil to crisp the tortilla. The kids get the crunch of the chicken nugget and the flavor of the mac and cheese with a much smaller portion size and no fried chicken. It’s a work in progress, but kids always force you to think outside the box. It’s not rocket science to put some healthier practices into play, but it does take some due diligence on our parts and consistency. We may not win each battle in this food fight, but if we do our homework and have the resolve, I think we can win the war and win back our health.

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 15

Gianni Zonin and the Zonin Family Values

From left to right: Francesco, Gianni, Michele, Domenico Zonin.

Casa Vinicola Zonin is Italy’s largest family-owned and managed wine company, celebrating the uniqueness of Italian wines from some of the most breathtaking wine regions in Italy. Gianni Zonin, president and chairman of the company, earlier this year was honored with Wine Enthusiast’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award and is celebrating his 50th Vintage. To quote Gianni Zonin, we are “a family business and a business of families. We have a passion for winemaking, and the mission of being the solution for high quality Italian wines to both wine-lovers and the Trade.”

Having strong ties to the land for the past seven generations, the Zonins have been “Vintners since 1821.” Today, Gianni Zonin, his sons Domenico, Francesco and Michele, run the family business alongside 600 team members who carry on the Zonin’s tradition of excellence. The family is driving the change in environmental standards in Italy by reducing its carbon footprint through the integration of the latest sustainable vineyard and winemaking practices and research of grapes and vines. Castello d’Albola Estate

The Zonin Family Estate Brands

Vineyards at Castello del Poggio Estate

Casa Vinicola Zonin (pronounced Caza Vee-nee-cola Zoh-neen) is the name of the Zonin family Estate brands, comprised of nine independent wineries located in Italy’s seven most prestigious wine regions. The Zonin family Estate brands make up a total of 9,884 acres, 4,942 acres of which are dedicated to vineyards. The Estates are located in northern, central and southern Italy, in addition to one winery in the US: Castello del Poggio in Piedmont, Tenuta Il Bosco in Lombardy, Tenuta Ca’ Bolani in Friuli, Castello d’Albola, Rocca di Montemassi, Abbazia di Monte Oliveto in Tuscany, Masseria Altemura in Puglia, Feudo Principi di Butera in Sicily and Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia, USA. The headquarters of the company are located in Gambellara, in the heart of the Veneto region where the Zonin family’s winemaking legacy began in 1821. This is where the family makes its award winning Zonin Prosecco and Zonin Brand wines.

Each Casa Vinicola Zonin winery is entirely independent, and inextricably linked to its territory, history, and traditions. Each winery sources its own grapes, has its own vinification room, bottling facility, and aging cellar on site, in order to ensure the highest quality Italian wine experience and guarantee a gold standard of excellence “from the vineyard to the glass.” Aging Cellars at Castello d’Albola

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 17

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Dining Revelations

Next year, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood will convert 60,000 square feet on the center’s south end into a dining and entertainment space. Meanwhile this month health and nutrition GNC; shoe and apparel retailer Shoe Palace; and the first free-standing Alex & Ani jewelry store will open. Chipotle will open this fall, and comic online retailer Ink & Vector recently opened its only pop-up location. Delano Las Vegas replacing THEHotel at Mandalay Bay later this year will have 1,100 guest suites and dramatic public spaces. Off the main lobby will be 3940 Coffee + Tea and a new culinary destination. Franklin will feature nightly entertainment and Rivea will serve cuisine from Chef Alain Ducasse on the 64th floor. For Rock in Rio, the world’s biggest music festival debuting May 2015, MGM Resorts is building a City of Rock by transforming 33 acres of land behind Circus Circus into a permanent entertainment open-air concert venue with five stages, themed streets, rides, food courts, shopping areas, etc.

Hospitality leader sbe will open upscale Foxtail nightclub lounge and expansive outdoor pool area at SLS Las Vegas Labor Day Weekend. BLVD. Cocktail Company is a stylish new piano bar with an outside patio at The LINQ, live entertainment and an artistic special effects “cloud” with LED lights. Britney Spears has added extra dates including New Year’s Eve weekend of “Britney: Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood to her twoyear residency. Las Vegas’ longest-running headliner, female impersonator Frank Marino, celebrated 25,000 performances with a $25 poker chip put into play at The Quad, where “Divas Starring Frank Marino” is performed. Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno will debut a brand new show with four new band members, songs, and choreography beginning June 12.

“Sharknado” and “90210” star Ian Ziering will return to the Chippendales show at the Rio as a celebrity guest star June 12-July 19.

Photo by Adrienne Griffin

Las Vegas Arena Company, owned by AEG and MGM Resorts International, broke ground on a 20,000-seat, privately funded $375 million indoor arena set to open in spring 2016 between New York-New York and Monte Carlo.

Photo by Denise Truscello

Photo courtesy Lobster Me

Lobster ME, a Las Vegas-born brand, opened in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian offering Maine lobster-inspired menu items. F.A.M.E. – Food·Art·Music·Entertainment will open at The LINQ and include an Asian marketplace, several dining options, Fukuburger burger food truck and Fōchun serving cuisine by Chef Bryan Emperor. BLVD Creamery, the new contemporary ice cream shop at Monte Carlo, joins Yusho Japanese grill and noodle house, Double Barrel roadhouse restaurant and bar, Sambalatte coffee experience, and 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria. Mercadito flagship restaurant and new beverage concept Tippling Hall will open at Green Valley Ranch. Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace celebrates five years with new elements including an expanded outdoor Strip-facing patio with a full bar.

Construction Highlights

The Shops at Summerlin renamed Downtown Summerlin opening Oct. 9 will be Howard Hughes Corp.’s 1.6 million-square-foot retail and shopping environment with more than 125 stores and restaurants, a five-screen movie theater, condos and luxury apartments, and One Summerlin nine-story office building with first floor retail. Hakkasan Group acquired PURE Nightclub inside Caesars Palace and closed it to begin a full venue remodel debuting in early 2015. Mandalay Bay plans a $66 million expansion of its Convention Center with new exhibit space elevating the resort’s North America ranking to No. 5 in total square feet. Courtesy Miracle Mile Shops

MR CHOW will open its seventh chic Beijing cuisine restaurant in early 2015 at Caesars Palace in the second story space currently occupied by Empress Court. Celebrity Chef Giada de Laurentiis is opening her first-ever restaurant on the second floor at The Cromwell. Guy Fieri’s first Las Vegas restaurant Vegas Kitchen & Bar opened at The Quad with an outdoor patio. Chef Daniel Boulud has returned to the Strip opening his 280-seat db Brasserie inside The Venetian. Royal India Bistro is the new restaurant inside the Rio that was formerly Gaylord India Restaurant. SLS Las Vegas plans to add two original food and beverage concepts by sbe: The SLS Buffet and The Perq coffee bar.

Entertainment and Attraction Highlights

“Lipshtick” is a new branded resident comedy series opening in The Sands Showroom at The Venetian on July 11 with daytime TV personality Wendy Williams and will feature female performers exclusively.

Blue Man Group unveiled the playful one-of-akind creation “ShoeZaphone” in Zappos lobby.

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 19

By Bob Barnes

Beer vs. Wine Smackdown

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

Round 2

your inquiries.Email:

photos by Bill Bokelmann

With the score notched at 2-2, the dessert finale turned out to be a tie breaker. Team Wine made a bonehead move (though some at my table certainly would not concur) by pairing the miX chocolaty Candy Bar with On the Road 2102— a dry red Granache; while the Beer Team chose to pour Parabajava—a Coffee Imperial Stout with notes of sweet malt, roast and coffee mirroring those in the dessert. Needless to say, beer edged out wine for the second consecutive time since this competition was instituted a year ago.

The filet mignon will go very well with a dry cabernet or a spicy Belgian saison. Until recently you would not have heard the sommelier make the latter part of that statement, but times are changing. Proof of the leveled playing field for beer and wine was the “Beer vs. Wine Pairing Smackdown” held on May 21 at miX amidst the stunning views from the 64th floor of THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. The event pitted beer against wine in a fivecourse pairing with each dish served with a beer and wine selected by the respective teams. Audience participation involved voting for the libation that paired best after experiencing each course; and selecting Team Beer or Team Wine buttons to wear, with those with a fear of commitment choosing to don both. The leaders of both teams were seated on a raised dais, which consisted of the Beer Team’s Mandalay Bay Director of Food and Beverage/Certified Cicerone Sarah Johnson and Firestone Walker Brewing Company Brewmaster Matthew Brynildson; and the Wine Team’s Mandalay Bay Director of Wine/

Sommelier Harley Carbery and Herman Story Wines Winemaker/Proprietor Russell From. As both the beers and wines would be provided by establishments from Paso Robles, the San Luis Obispo County, California community was given a win-win proposition. After Sarah introduced her partner Harley followed, cockily saying “I let beer go first since it’ll be the only time tonight beer is first.” This was not to be the case, as a seesaw battle would ensue. The following is the fight score card: Bigeye Tuna Tartare with peanut satay sauce/ Session IPA Easy Jack and Viognier Roussanne Tomboy 2009 (won by beer); Seared Duck Foie Gras with pineapple chutney/9.5% Double Jack IPA and Voignier Whitehawk 2007 (won by wine); Cod Brandade with lemon, capers and brown butter/French Saison Opal and Rhone Blend Casual Encounters 2011 (won by beer); Filet Mignon with shiitake gratin and stuffed piquillos/Belgian Quad Stickee Monkee and California Syrah Nuts & Bolts 2012 (won by wine).

20 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014

With the attention on the competition between the liquid competitors, it would be a shame to not recognize the excellence of the culinary fare that provided the platform for the contest. Each dish was exemplary and the staff of miX is entitled to well deserved accolades, as each dish represented dining at its finest. After a practice run of this event a year ago, at which only invited media were present, this time around it was open to the public, and was enthusiastically embraced by a full house of more than 100 participants. With such a positive turnout, for sure MGM Resorts plans to continue this friendly rivalry, but there’s no guarantee that wine will ever be victorious against beer.

By Chef Allen Asch

Chef Talk

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

Meals on Wheels Last month I wrote about The Watson Food Truck and I will continue that theme this month. As I am writing this, the new movie Chef is coming to a theatre near you. The movie is about a culinary phenom who gets tired of cooking his old but inspired dishes for a boss that will not allow him to continue his creativity. He packs up his knives and buys a food truck. I hope you have the opportunity to see it to see the passion that a person needs to succeed in this field. The phenomenon of the food truck, although it seems new, has been around for a long time. A friend of mine that graduated with me from the Culinary Institute of America has been cooking in a mobile kitchen/food truck while catering for movie sets for the last twenty-five years. On the other end of the quality scale are the trucks that have always pulled up to construction sites, as well as other city locations, to sell a meal or snack to the workforce. The number of trucks around the country, and especially in Las Vegas, is expanding at a very quick pace. There are more than 3 million trucks in the United States, while locally 50 trucks recently met up at the Foodie Fest on the Strip during the weekend of April 25. The growing number of local trucks is easy to track on multiple websites, besides the owners’ websites. Two common sites are http://roaminghunger. com/lv and foodtruck/.

photos by Ken Scotty

What is the lure of opening a food truck? As a chef I like a large kitchen to work in, so this article gives me a chance to investigate the pros

The close-quarters inside the Hummus Factory food truck’s kitchen.

and cons of this type of work. I think the biggest pro is that you have the opportunity to work for yourself at a much cheaper investment then a brick and mortar operation. A new truck can cost upwards of $50,000 and it then may need to be retrofitted to your needs. Another pro of this facet of the industry is the creativity you can possess while creating your menus. I see a lot more fusion foods (unique pairings) in truck menus than I see in other types of restaurants. One excellent advantage for food truck owners is rather than waiting on the crowd to come to you, you go after the crowd. Is there a big festival going on in town or perhaps a busy bar that doesn’t serve food? The pros give a creative person a viable outlet for their creations, but the cons can add a lot of angst to running a food truck. Some of the complaints owners have come up with include the cost of permits. Although the fees the government charges are low, the amount of paperwork can be huge. Some jurisdictions cite secondary sellers increasing the cost from $200 to $15,000 to get a permit quickly (“don’t buy the truck first”). Another complaint is the long hours, but so are the hours in a traditional restaurant. Another big drawback is that the business is weather dependent. This is true in most restaurants, but more so in a truck. I personally would not look forward to a hot summer day in Las Vegas and spending it cooking in a small truck. The biggest common complaints from current food truck owners includes these negative comments: “You can’t just park anywhere, bureaucratic

Chef Mike Minor poses outside his food truck - Truck U Barbeque

nightmare, regulations change a lot, and high fuel costs,” since you only average 7 miles per hour in a food truck. In Las Vegas we have many success stories connected to food trucks. One story is how the Slidin’ Thru truck was named on the 25 best hamburger joints in America by USA Today. Another success story of where a food truck can take you is one of the most talked about restaurants in the foodie world, Fat Choy at the Eureka Casino on Sahara. This critically acclaimed restaurant started out as the Great Boa food truck. Sheridan Su the chef/owner was recruited to town to open Joel Robuchon at the MGM. He had a vision and wanted to strike out on his own and started a food truck. This led him to opening his own permanent restaurant within the casino. Another story currently playing out is the emergence of a new truck by a criticallyacclaimed Strip chef. Michael Minor in February debuted his Truck U Barbeque. Chef Minor recently left Border Grill in Mandalay Bay after 10 years of leading what many consider the best Mexican restaurant in town. His menu leans strongly toward American Barbeque with Latin flavors. Chef Minor described the lure to leave the Strip as having grown up here he did not want to sit on the sidelines while the local culinary scene is growing.

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 21

Five Years of The Joint:

By Rob Kachelriess

Photo coutesy Guns n’ Roses

How to Build a Rock n’ Roll Residency

Maybe Las Vegas brings out the best in Rose who is thinking about buying a home here in Sin City according to bandmate DJ Ashba. “I know Axl loves Vegas (but for) the last year and a half, we’ve made a conscious effort to be on stage on time – which we’ve done,” says the guitarist who already lives in Las Vegas. “Unfortunately, people won’t look past some of the old shows and that’s fine. The thing is… It’s hard to get us off the stage.” Guns N’ Roses added nine more dates in May and June this year for a new residency titled No Trickery that coincides with the fifth anniversary of The Joint. AEG says sales more than lived up to expectations. “I was in my boss’s office and we thought we were getting wrong numbers because they were so high,” says Reynolds. “The business right now for Guns n’ Roses is really, really good… And that’s not because I did a great job marketing the show. It’s because the word of mouth was so positive for the last time they played.” Not only did Axl show up on time… the band played hard, played long and mixed up the setlists each night – while including the big hits and on most nights, nearly all of the band’s classic 1987 album Appetite for Destruction. “I can’t fit all that in some print ad. I can’t fit all that in a radio spot. That is spread through word of mouth and through social media. So it makes my job that much easier.” “All of the production that would go into the MGM Grand Garden Arena… we can do the same thing here.” Chas Smith can’t help but marvel at the design of The Joint as he walks across the main floor of the venue. Not everyone gets to see the place when it’s so calm and quiet. There is no one in sight – not even a maintenance worker. As Vice President of Entertainment for the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Smith has been with The Joint from the beginning. “When we designed the venue, we designed

22 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014

it on purpose so we’d have plenty of power for bringing in TV and satellite trucks for live sports and video events.” The Joint is a heavy duty operation that’s able to handle the weight limits and production scale of an arena–level production. It also has some financial advantages which include an in–house team of stagehands and riggers as well as audio and lighting technicians. “We have a very tight–knit group,” says Smith. “Guys that know the room and are more efficient than (a crew) just walking into an arena and having to create a venue out of a hockey rink.” He says one of the best things about the venue is its versatility. In addition to concerts, you’ll find business functions, comedy shows and March Madness big screen viewing parties as well as boxing and mixed martial arts events on any given night at The Joint. “We like having the flexibility of dropping the carpet down on the floor and turning it into a very high–end elegant sales or catering event and then the next night, doing a GWAR show where they’re spitting out blood and God only knows what else,” says Smith as he walks up to the stage and looks out over three levels of empty chairs. But despite the disparity of events, it’s the rock shows that attract the most headlines, draw the most ticket buyers and make the most money. And according to Smith, the ones at The Joint are the best you’ll see in town. Is it the best concert venue in Las Vegas? “Absolutely.” The quality of The Joint is just one of the reasons Guns n’ Roses returned for a second residency. “The Joint is just a beautiful club,” says DJ Ashba. “The sound is unbelievable. It’s a great stage to play with the whole balcony that wraps around the entire venue and the bar that’s half a block long in the back. It’s a great place to go and it’s a great place to watch concerts. There’s not a bad seat in the place.”

Photo coutesy Guns n’ Roses

There was no guarantee that booking Guns n’ Roses for a two–night stint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was a good idea. Frontman Axl Rose is known to show up late, storm off stage, throw down microphones, snatch cameras from fans, rant against former bandmates and in general, let a few small moments add up to a very bad day. It’s no secret. You’ve seen the video clips on YouTube. However, 2011 was winding down and the Hard Rock was looking for a high–profile act to headline a pair of dates – including one on New Year’s Eve – at the 4,400 seat concert venue known as The Joint. “We were sweating because Axl has a less than stellar reputation for being on time and being pretty difficult to work with,” recalls Bobby Reynolds of AEG Live – a division of the Anschutz Entertainment Group. “The last thing I wanted to be dealing with on New Year’s Eve at the Hard Rock is an irate president of the casino who’s pissed off asking where Axl is at 2 o’clock in the morning while we’re pounding on his door.” Reynolds, who is the Vice President of Booking for AEG in Las Vegas says at the time, the Hard Rock was already eyeing the band for a possible residency. “Let’s talk about that after we get through these shows,” he recalls saying. “Let’s make sure it’s not a total nightmare. And it wasn’t. It was great. The shows sold out. All the artists were great to deal with, management was great to deal with and we felt like we had something.” Those gigs set the stage for Appetite for Democracy – a series of dates at The Joint for Guns N’ Roses that ran in October and November the following year. “We bought 12 shows, sold 34,000 tickets and didn’t issue one refund for lateness. They did 12 shows and on two of them, Axl was 15 minutes late. Big deal. That’s a pretty massive statement in my world. Zero refunds. He was on time. He did his part.”

Rob Kachelriess has been roaming around Las Vegas since early 2012… and has decided that officially makes him a local. He is a News Producer for KVVU Fox5 and the Las Vegas writer for Thrillist. To say hello or offer him money for random freelance assignments, send an email to or follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess

Five Years of The Joint at The Hard Rock

Photo Credit Erik Kabik

However, the first stab at a rock residency came with a few problems when Carlos Santana was signed to a deal back in 2009. Bobby Reynolds remembers it well. “We booked it for 36 shows a year for two years and as soon as we launched the show is when the economy really took a dive and Vegas took a big hit. The Santana show was definitely a victim of the economy. In all fairness, we probably booked too many shows but we were hurt by the Vegas economy.” It wasn’t until 2012 that the Hard Rock and AEG decided that the climate had turned around and the demand was there to give the resident model another shot with Motley Crue. “It worked so well and buying twelve shows was the perfect amount. Because if it didn’t work out… well, ok we’re only on the hook for 12 shows. We can’t get too hurt financially. And if it did well – if everyone did their job right – there’s a good chance we’d be able to entice them to come back and try it again. Which of course, they did.” The residency was more than just a string of concert dates. It was… an experience. Before a single note was played, carnival side show acts could be seen marching around the property while Motley Crue music played over the sound system. Fire breathers, magicians and stilt–walkers were attracting attention as fans played blackjack on felts featuring the group’s likeness. “Motley Crue is a perfect Vegas band. They have that bad boy image, they have that party image but they’re pros. They do PR when you ask them too, they bring up great marketing concepts and their demographic is probably more appropriate for the Hard Rock than any other place in town.” Def Leppard followed with Viva Hysteria. Each show featured the band’s 1987 album Hysteria performed in its entirety. However, the rest of the setlist was changed up each night with the spotlight on rarities, overlooked album tracks and vintage material. When Guns n’ Roses came around, that made it three successful rock residencies in a row for The Joint. “The biggest one by a very small fraction was our first run with Motley Crue. The way the production was set up we were able to fit more bodies into the building. We had GA standing room up front and then seats were in the back of the floor. So we were able to fit more bodies in there. We sold 36,000 tickets the first go around with Motely Crue and 34,000 for Guns n’ Roses so a very small difference.” “Def Leppard… their entire show we positioned in a seated configuration and the first time in, they only did nine shows. So there were far fewer tickets available but Def Leppard sold the highest percentage of tickets than any of our residencies did and that was in the upper 90’s percent. So just fantastic business.” Reynolds says the door is open for the band to return with a show featuring Pyromania – their other mega–selling album from the 80s. “I really hope so. I promise you they liked the residency experience. They came here. They stayed at the hotel. They worked on new music while they were here. They went to Cirque shows. They went to shows at the Coliseum while they

were here. They filmed a live DVD and they filmed a reality show while doing their residency.” Ashba says that excitement for staying in one spot for a series of shows is shared by Guns N’ Roses. “They treat us like gold. They always have and they’ve always been supportive,” he says of The Hard Rock. “I know most of the staff there and everybody has been super accommodating with what we need.” Ashba is also fond of the parties after the show. “Axl threw a party up in his suite and had a bowling alley set up. Me and Charlie (Hunnam) from Sons of Anarchy were bowling with our Halloween makeup on… I just remember having a great, great time. There’s something magical about that residency.” So who else would be perfect for a future residency at The Hard Rock? “I’m a huge Dave Matthews fan. That would be an absolute dream of mine,” says Reynolds. “Eric Clapton would be an amazing residency. Roger Waters would be an amazing residency.” None of those acts are currently in negotiations for a run at The Joint. However, the chances may be more promising for KISS – another longtime arena act. “They’re absolutely a natural. You can absolutely say that we’ve very, very seriously discussed a KISS residency at the Hard Rock,” says Reynolds who is hesitant to offer further details. “All I can say is that this is a great time for an artist like KISS to be looking at a residency in Las Vegas and I hope that we’ll have some news soon.“ “A female artist would be really cool,” says Smith. “Like a Pink or even an Adele. We would look at something like that. Our big thing is keeping our options open. We don’t want to be labeled as the 80s rock band residency venue.” “I was watching Outkast (at Coachella),” he continues. “I would love to get those guys back in here. They’re doing a lot of festivals this year though. We actually reached out to see if we could put an offer in but they’re not taking headlining gigs. They’re just doing festivals.” While Smith says the Hard Rock will push again for Outkast later in the year, DJ Ashba still has rock on his mind. “I think Muse would be great. Muse would be an insane thing. That would be a really cool residency,” he says. “I love Marilyn Manson and bands like that… Nine Inch Nails would be fun to see.”

On the other side of the country, Billy Joel is getting a lot of attention for a residency of his own – playing monthly sold–out shows at Madison Square Garden with no end in sight. “That’s a really interesting model and I’m well aware of what’s going on in New York,” says Reynolds. “Billy’s set his ticket prices right and he’s doing great promotion and I think Billy Joel in New York – it’s hard to go wrong there. I think what they’re doing out there is really smart and I think we should be taking a hard look at that kind of model.” Reynolds says it’s not out of the question to see a homegrown Vegas rock band like The Killers have a similar hometown residency at some point in their careers. Imagine Dragons have already headlined The Joint twice while touring behind their debut album. “I think they would consider it their home venue at this stage of their career,” says Reynolds who remembers seeing them play places far smaller than The Joint. “I’ve seen those guys so many times (including) with 14 people at the South Point Casino on a Wednesday night several years back. I saw them and loved them. I got those guys to open up for Interpol back in the day and I got them to open up for Weezer back in the day. And then they really exploded and took off and we couldn’t be happier for those guys.” Despite having their own display case of memorabilia near the entrance of the Hard Rock, Imagine Dragons may have outgrown The Joint – as least for now. “I would love to have them back at The Joint again but in all fairness to that band and their fans, they should book one of the arenas in town and do a big full–fledged show in an arena,” adds Reynolds. “That band is one of the biggest in music right now.” However, the wish list for The Joint is only getting bigger and Reynolds believes the next five years for The Joint will be even better than the first five – with more long–term bookings to come. “I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the success of the Motley Crue residency opened up the door to a Guns N’ Roses residency and a Def Leppard residency. And as long as we can keep doing good business and keep chasing our dream list, more of these nuts will crack. I’m confident about that.”

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 23

By Mitchell Wilburn

Mitchell’s Picks for Spring

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

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us once again; flowers bloom, seeds sprout, and chefs on the Strip change their menus. With a cornucopia of fresh, seasonal ingredients from around the world become available to experiment with. For the most dedicated of foodies and industry pros, this is the NFL Draft, the Oscars, and The Bachelor season premier all in one. Through pain-staking research and much caloric-intake, brought before you here are the best of the best, displaying the great skill, creativity, and utilization of spring’s great green bounty.

Photos by Mitchell Wilburn

Les Cuisses de Grenouille, Le Cirque

exact right notes with a dish, and the lamb loin is no exception. The lean slices of loin were complemented by morels and a charred spring onion reduction, and plated on top of a spring in a lemon buerre blanc and bouillabaisse gel, pea/wheat berry salad (imagine if bulgur and with shaved fennel, micro carrots, and blistered lentils had a baby, and it was raised by flax). tomatoes. Owner Chef Rick Moonen and Then, the real kicker, leaves from celery hearts. Executive Chef Johnny Church knock it out of The green, young bitter leaves add such a unique the park with this one, with an old-world set of aromatic flavor, and from such a humble source. flavors presented in a perfectly unique, complex Yet another great dish among many great dishes way. The quality of the seafood is an amazing on that menu. display in this dish.

Instant Bacon, StripSteak

With each menu changeover, Chef Paul Lee has ventured further and further into unique territory, further cementing Le Cirque as one of the most expressive, artful menus on the Strip. Dishes like this one exemplify that, taking sautéed Florida frog’s legs and creamy potato gnocchi, pairing it with spring ramps (a member of the leek family with a slightly garlic flavor), tomato confit, parsley coulis, and mimolette ‘crisps.’ The result is a wonderful palate, highlighting the quality of the ingredients and dazzling the palate with its savory, bright flavors.

Diver Sea Scallops, RM Seafood

It is of course fitting that one of the premier seafood restaurants in Vegas would have a stellar scallop dish. This one in particular takes soft, seared scallops and perches them on a shrimp carpaccio with octopus medallions. These are

Wild Washington Halibut, Aquaknox

It was big news a while ago when Chef Gerald Chin went from the Wicked Spoon buffet to head up Michael Mina’s steak house, and now with this spring menu changeover, we have his first original dishes on a set menu. Among several real winners (a foie trio with a cured mousse macaroon is a notable one), perhaps the most exiting dish is the “Instant Bacon.” It is a cube of pork belly, rubbed in Chinese five-spice and roasted, with a tempura oyster, soy glaze, and perched on a jicama salad. The “Instant” part that makes it bacon is, it is placed under glass and inundated with hardwood smoke. Calling it bacon doesn’t do it justice, because the final product is so complex and unique, it has shot past the realm of bacon into a whole new territory.

As I’ve said in the past, Chef Steve Aguglia has taken Aquaknox to new and exciting levels with every menu change. I wanted to put their incredible Chicken Tandoori on this list as well, but in the interest of round numbers, let us just imagine I did that one too. The dish that tied with the chicken but I felt displayed more of their spirit was the Wild-Caught Washington Halibut. Harvested by a Quinault Indian tribe and processed that day (halibut is rarely ever day-boat), they poach it in butter, sear it, and plate it with a shrimp, corn, and edamame succotash with basil-butter. The fish has a ton of meaty, buttery flavor, and goes well with the super fresh and unique succotash. Aquaknox has been going way above and beyond with their sourcing (much of their produce, herbs, Colorado Lamb Loin, and microgreens comes from Pahrump and Sage surrounding farms), and really taking the task of I can honestly say I have never had a poorly churning out exciting food every menu change. executed dish at Sage. Chef Richard Caramota Dishes like this are raising them to some real is almost superhuman with hitting just the specific prominence.

24 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014

By Michael Oshman

Sustainable Sources of Energy Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued their latest study, showing a strong likelihood of food shortages in the near future. It says: Based on many studies covering a wide range of regions and crops, negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts. Climate change has negatively affected wheat and maize (corn) yields for many regions and in the global aggregate.” The restaurant industry is dependent upon many things, such as a good workforce, consistent supply of electricity, natural gas, clean water and customers with enough income to dine out. But, at the center of the restaurant industry is food — an abundant and safe supply of food. With lower supply and higher demand of an expected 2 billion more humans on this earth, it is necessary for industry to protect the resources upon which our success depends. The industry is innovating to help address our overdependence on unsustainable sources of energy. For example, did you ever think of all the heat that is being lost through your hood? What if you could capture that heat, transfer it to heat the water in your pipes, and therefore need less money and energy to heat your water. Well, thankfully somebody thought of that already. There is a company, called Thermo Green Filters, that does exactly that. It takes the heat, which is a byproduct of the natural gas and fire used to cook the food, and turns it into a new source of

Michael Oshman is the founder and executive director of the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national non-profit organization formed in 1990 to create environmental sustainability in the foodservice industry.

free energy. See http://www.thermogreenfilters. com/#sqs-video-opaque to watch a simple video explaining the process. How many other places in our restaurants do we throw money and energy/water out the door? Plenty. If you are still using incandescent bulbs, you are literally paying 7 times more for your lighting needs, plus you are paying more in labor to change and order bulbs, and you are increasing your liability by employees getting up on ladders to make those changes. Save money, energy, liability and time. These new LED bulbs work phenomenally. And manufacturers, such as Phillips, make the bulbs in the sizes and shapes that accommodate a restaurant’s needs. For every ton of recycled paper used, we can save 4100 kwh of energy and 12 trees. Instead of using napkins made from a tree that needs lots of energy and water to turn into a usable product, you could be using a 100% Recycled, 90% Post Consumer Waste Recycled Napkins, such as SCA Tissue’s Xpressnap Dispenser Napkin. These are just three examples, out of hundreds, that almost every restaurant could do. It’s smart business in the short term, because saved energy and resources means saved money. But, it is also smart business for the medium and long term. When resources, such as energy, water and food become more expensive, the restaurant that invested in efficiency will weather the storm the best.

ACF Chefs Las Vegas

2014 marks the 24nd anniversary of the Green Restaurant Association’s (GRA) founding in 1990. The Green Restaurant Association is a national non-profit organization that provides the only official Certified Green Restaurants® mark in the country. For two decades, the GRA has pioneered the Green Restaurant® movement and has been the leading voice within the industry encouraging restaurants to listen to consumer demand and green their operations using transparent, science-based certification standards. With their turnkey certification system, the GRA has made it easy for thousands of restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable in a profitable manner. The GRA is endorsed by scores of national environmental organizations such as NRDC and Environmental Defense, and esteemed trade organizations including the New York State Restaurant Association, Orange County Restaurant Association, and America Public Garden Association. The GRA is also an Energy Star partner. In 2010, Citysearch announced the GRA as their official Green Restaurant® listing partner. The GRA has been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, NPR, and in The New York Times, and The Washington Post. For more information visit

By Juanita Fryer

Juanita is currently a culinary student at UNLV, previously at CSN and is the ACF Chefs of Las Vegas liaison journalist working at South Point Hotel’s main kitchen in the garde manger department. Born and raised in Asia, she brings a unique view to this industry page! For inquiries and suggestions email

In a city filled with numerous culinary endeavors, filled with numerous students and industry professionals, there is an organization that welcomes all. The ACF Chefs Las Vegas organization is the Las Vegas chapter of the American Culinary Federation, a nationwide chef organization comprised of over 22,000 members. Throughout the year they participate and sponsor numerous community events. Within the ACF chefs Las Vegas organization is the junior chapter. This chapter is dedicated to the local student members.

ACF Chefs Las Vegas

This monthly page will be dedicated to informing all our readers of the multitude of events hosted by ACF Chefs Las Vegas and the junior chapter, in hopes that this will bring culinarians and non-culinarians alike to join this prestigious organization which prides itself in establishing goals of fellowship, networking, professionalism and contribution to our community.

For more information please feel free to inquire at .

About the Green Restaurant Association

June 5—27th Annual Chefs Food Fest at Aquarius Pavilion in Laughlin, Nevada June 8—Annual Chef of the Year Gala at the Smith Center in Las Vegas, Nevada July 25-29—ACF National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri September 13—ACF Practical Workshop at Art Institute of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada

American Culinary Federation Chefs Las Vegas Post Office Box 93933 Las Vegas, NV 89193 June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 25

HUMAN RESOURCES INSIGHTS By Linda Westcott-Bernstein

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


Email: Booksite:

How to Maintain Fair and Consistent Workplace Policies What’s in a reputation? Well, if you are a surgeon, and you have a poor operating room success rate, the word gets around. If you are an investment banker and your clients regularly lose their money, your reputation may scare away new clients. So, it stands to reason that, unfair and inconsistent workplace policies will tarnish your reputation. No matter the industry, your business reputation does matter. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect …what are you known for in the business world? If you do anything well in your business, beyond making a good product or providing a valued service, it must be to maintain a sound reputation for being fair and consistent with your employees. Some years ago, I had the honor of working for an icon in this town – Bill Boyd. Someone who I found to be down-to-earth with every employee regardless of their station in life. What impressed me the most about this man’s style was his superior ability at listening and his unwavering commitment to his reputation. I remember thinking… “this is someone who embraces the value of his reputation and works to ensure that his management team supports the individuals that he believes are

the backbone of his success – his employees.”

2. Make decisions that are consistent with the same/similar decisions you have made in the past.

Any organization can achieve and maintain a good reputation. This 3. Don’t treat one employee concept, fairness and consistency, will preferentially because of their manifest with your perception of the association with you or others in value of your most important asset – management. your employees. So let’s look at what 4. Avoid making assumptions about acts can tarnish a reputation? what the facts are in a situation and • Giving a person or person(s) reserve your opinion until you have preferential treatment, or making gathered all the information. exceptions or special arrangements. 5. Treat your leadership team with • Saying that you are supportive of fairness and exemplify what you employees and then acting in a way expect – they will see the example that is opposite of that ideal. they are expected to follow. • Allowing a bully to treat others badly and run rampant over your The reality is, when you fail to maintain equitable and consistent employees’ self esteem. workplace policies you face costly, A fair and equitable workplace truly time consuming, and damaging begins with your support of the role lawsuits and litigation. Unfair and your employees play in your success, inconsistent practices are illegal, valuing their contributions, and finally, especially when you apply them in the embracing the importance of fair and following workplace situations: hiring, consistent treatment of all employees. promotions, compensation, discipline, Here are five steps to take to ensure disability and separations, to name just an equitable and consistent workplace a few areas. The best rule of thumb that and hence, a good reputation. I have found to be true in just about 1. Act (take action) in ways that show any business situation or environment you support fair and consistent is the “golden rule” – treat others the treatment of all individuals. way that you would like to be treated!



Next month’s topic: Bullying; it’s Alive and Thriving in Business HR Question for next month: Does your Question of organization allow bullies to run unchecked? the Month Are they being allowed to treat people with hostile and harassing behaviors? Share your comments on this topic or a situation. Send to Responses for next month’s column earn a copy of my book (see above, left). Be sure to include your mailing address when sending useful responses.

5 . 22 . 2014

ho st e d by c he f se rrano

Photos by Danette Chappell

June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 27

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT Bursting with Flavor! If you want to add the wow factor to your sandwiches or club, add a little Major Mari Base Marinade to your mayonnaise or fillings and prepare to be amazed. With nine flavors to choose from you will be taken on a journey from the white sands of the Caribbean to the distant shores of the Orient including: Barbecue, Bombay, Caribbean Jerk, Fajita, Mediterranean, Moroccan, Piri Piri, Tandoori and Thai. Available in 1.25 L tubs, Major Marinades are all Gluten Free, Suitable for Vegetarians and offer authentic flavors that deliver every time! Major Products can customize and develop any flavor profiles specific to any client’s needs, thanks to its development chefs, food technicians and production specialists. For a free sandwich recipe booklet, sales demonstration or for more information on any of the Major Products lines call 800-222-1296 or visit us at

By Victoria Pindrik


Epicurean Corner

California leaving at 2:00 a.m. that morning with a back seat full of decorations. By the time the doors opened at 11:30 a.m. the entire room sparkled with a colorful bright spring theme that also garnished each of the 10 tasting stations that offered our chocolate treats. The Fest was wonderfully successful and truly worthy of any chocoholic’s fondest desire and our student club owes a great big thank you to our local BAKEMARK company and two of its representatives, Rick Albrecht and its new General Manager Peter Levos, for donating a “ton” of chocolate without which it would have been a very vanilla day. Hopefully this was just the first of many annual Chocolatefests to come! Next, we had an end-of-the-year Epicurean Dinner where Matt Fischer and Hamilton Tran prepared a delicious four-course dinner. The dinner included charcuterie platter, crab salad, tomato bisque, mushroom and shrimp risotto,

steak au poivre, and pumpkin cheesecake. It was great for the club to get together for one last time, whether it was to cook or to eat. Lastly, we want to congratulate our Epicurean graduates: Ada Ma, Matt Fischer, Joyce Ng and Victoria Pindrik. Upon graduating Ada Ma took a position in management training with Wyndham. Matt Fischer plans to take some time off and spend it with family in Florida. Joyce Ng took a position in management training with Panda Express. Victoria Pindrik upon graduating will take a position as Front Desk Manager at Marriott Teaneck and will be relocating to New Jersey at the beginning of June. As a club we have spent a lot of time together during our college careers and know that no matter where we go in our future we will have our Epicurean family. We wish all of our graduates the best of luck in their new chapters of their lives. Once a Rebel, always a Rebel.

photos by Victoria Pindrik

The student Epicurean Society ended its spring semester with a Chocolatefest. From concept to production and staging the entire event was orchestrated by one of our city’s top pastry chefs and Hotel College graduate, Amy Byro. The student production team managed by Hamilton Tran and Matt Fischer and assisted by other club members worked for two days to produce most of the featured chocolate treats that were on display and consumed during the event that was held on the UNLV campus in the Hotel College’s Boyd Dining Room. Using many of Amy’s personal recipes and working alongside her, the students produced an assortment of desserts that included cookies, cheesecakes, fudge, toffee, rocky road popcorn and a mousse, each sweetened with a chocolate flavoring. A different team of students organized the service area, under the direction of Aliyah Nunez and her mom, who drove from Southern

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

28 The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional I June 2014




S, N V





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

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



6960 W Warm Springs Road #130 • Las Vegas, Nevada 89113 (1/2 block west of Rainbow Blvd)


• Open to the Public • Restaurant Quality Spices, Herbs, and Blends • Over 250 Spices, Herbs and Blends • Foodservice Pack Sizes Available • Blended and Packed on Premises • Sign up at 6960 W Warm Springs Road #150 • Las Vegas, Nevada 89113 (1/2 block west of Rainbow Blvd)

702-534-7883 Mon-Sat 10am - 6pm





Ongoing in June

August 17-19 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo Anaheim, CA

Every Saturday Fresh 52 Farmers Market Tivoli Village

July 19-23 Retail Tobacco Dealers of America Sands CC

June 5 Laughlin Chefs Food Fest Aquarius Resort - Laughlin, NV

July 19 Big Dog’s Brewery Summerfest & Reggae Party—N. Rancho June 8 ACF Chefs Las Vegas Chef of the Year

July 10-13 Annual Central Coast Wine Classic Pismo Beach, Ca

Awards Dinner Smith Center

July 25-29 ACF National Convention Kansas City, Missouri

June 16-18 Travel Trade Show Venetian

Al Dentes’ Provisions 702-642-1100

page 30

JCCNV 702-428-0555

page 13

Big Dog’s Brewing Company 702-368-3715

page 26

Major Products 702-838-4698

page 29

Visstun Visually Stunning Cups 800-401-2910

page 18

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse page 31 702-851-8050 Cicerone Certification Program page 32 Designated Drivers, Inc. Las Vegas 702-456-7433(RIDE) Jay’s Sharpening 702-645-0049

page 13

White Soy Sauce

page 8

Zonin Prosecco

page 2

page 8

To see more events, visit calendar.htm

June 17-19 Licensing Expo 2014 Mandalay Bay Convention Center

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

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

CENTENNIAL | 702-851-8050


SUMMERLIN | 702-853-2300


HENDERSON | 702-473-2980

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

“Wow – I love this place!”® June 2014 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 31 6/12/12 2:04 PM

June 2014  

Trade publication for food & beverage professionals

June 2014  

Trade publication for food & beverage professionals