Monday, April 20, 2009
The Caipirinha is a smooth refreshing blend of Brazilian Rum ( Cachaca ) , fresh muddled limes and a touch of sugar then shaken and enjoyed
Mixologist Pricilla takes us behind the bar at Via Brasil SteakHouse to make this traditional drink
The Slow Food USA movement is a very important issue to all
of us in or out of the Food Industry. Slow Food celebrates food
traditions in North America through many programs. We and Slow
Food believe that we can enjoy food and even life itself more if we slow down and rekindle interest in the food we eat.
Slow Food was recently at Nora's Wine Bar in Summerlin. Chefs Giovanni and Marcello Mauro are
very involved in creating unique , authentic dishes that support
local sustainable food. This is what Slow Food is all about.
Saving Wild Salmon was the focus of the brunch held at Nora's .
We got quite an education from Paul Johnson of the Monterrey Fish Market in San Francisco as well as Bobby Hayden and Joseph Bogaard
from Save our Wild Salmon in Seattle Washington.
Many people think of Nevada as a desert with not much life. But we are so wrong in thinking that. Nevada was once home to abundant Wild
Salmon and Steelhead. Four Rivers in northern Nevada once supported
many runs of these fish
Dams over the years put an end to salmon migration and thus
the large salmon runs of the past. Today only about 2 % of Historic salmon runs remain. Salmon and Stealhead are as much apart of our western heritage as Elk and big horn sheep.
Slow Food Las Vegas is spreading the word about the disappearance of wild salmon from Northern Nevada. This is a very tragic loss but as we found out , it can be reversed. To find out how you can help and more information please go to http://www.slowfoodlasvegas.org/.
After quite an education we were
treated with some wonderful Wild Salmon dishes to celebrate our
Nora's started us off with some lovely Salmon Entrees:
Salmon Benedict , Crepes with Salmon mouse , Salmon salad over puff pastry , Roasted potatoes and Pear and radicchio slaw
The brunch continued on with a
Cheese Course that consisted of :
Of Course no brunch at Nora's would be complete with out desert. The Melon salad , Panna cotta with poached quince and bread pudding was a great finish to an educational and informative presentation about Wild Salmon.
For more information please go to www.wildsalmon.org
Join VINO LAS VEGAS as we learn what we can do to help restore the Wild Salmon runs in the Western United States.
Tom from Slow Foods added the following :
"As you may know, Slow Food Las Vegas, a food advocacy organization, recently teamed up with Save Our Wild Salmon and Nora's Wine Bar and Osteria to celebrate and educate people about Nevada's historic wild salmon heritage.
Paul discussed how the federal mismanagement of salmon-producing watersheds has led to a coastal salmon crisis and urged attendees to "vote with your fork"; that by choosing wild salmon you create market demand for good policy decisions that lead to wild salmon recovery. Bobby highlighted the issues facing Columbia and Snake River salmon and the opportunities in the coming months. Both underscored Nevada's salmon heritage and Nevada's key role in salmon recovery. Take the Next StepThe rivers of northern Nevada once teemed with wild salmon, providing food to local communities and vital nutrients to the surrounding ecosystem. With the right leadership in Congress, Nevada can again enjoy this regional resource and reclaim their rightful place as a Pacific salmon state.
This special salmon brunch is only the beginning. Please help continue this effort by making a quick call today.Contact the offices of Senator Reid, Senator Ensign, and the rest of Nevada's Congressional delegation.
It only takes a moment to let your voice be heard - one quick phone call can make a big difference. Senator Harry Reid - 202-224-3542 Senator John Ensign - 202-224-6244 Congresswoman Shelley Berkley - 202-225-5965Congresswoman-elect Dina Titus - 702-256-3462 Congressman Dean Heller - 202-225-6155 Ask them to protect and restore an endangered national treasure and one of Nevada's key heritage foods - wild Pacific salmon from the Columbia & Snake Rivers - by supporting legislation to remove the 4 lower Snake River dams, and replace them with clean, salmon-friendly alternatives.For more information on Nevada's wild salmon heritage, please visit: http://www.slowfoodlasvegas.org/press0002.htmlSlow Food Las Vegas and Save Our Wild Salmon are planning to work together in 2009. We need you help! Please contact me for more information about how to get involved in this exciting project. "
The award winning Via Brasil Restaurant in New York City opened Via Brasil Steakhouse in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin.
Via Brasil is an authentic "Churrascara" that offers a gourmet salad bar with an array of hot and cold dishes, cold cuts, cheeses, and even sushi made fresh daily. The signature of Via Brasil is it's eighteen different kinds of meat, poultry and fish that are carved table side.
On our visit to Via Brasil we were greeted by the hostess and directed to the bar where we enjoyed a wonderful traditional Brazilian Caipirinha prepared by our mixologist Priscilla. After getting a lesson in how to make this wonderful cocktail we were escorted to our table to "learn" how this whole process works.
The MOST important lesson you can learn at Via Brasil is what the colored cards mean. It's very simple actually, but a lesson that you need to know. Green means start bringing the food and Red means STOP....No Mas ! As the evening progressed we kept these cards close at hand.
Before starting our meal we were enticed by their Gourmet salad bar will salads, hot and cold sides, cheeses , vegetables and even sushi that was mouth watering. We knew that this was only a precursor to what was about to begin.
We flipped over our "Green Card " and the parade of " Passadores" , very sharp knifes and meat began. The "Rodizio" style dining is a true show to behold. Our table captains started arriving table side with skewers of Prime Rib, Leg of Lamb, Rib Eye, Top Sirloin , Suckling Pig and Pork Ribs just to name a few. There were 18 meats available in this culinary parade and we did our best to sample as many as we could taking "Red Card" breaks for breathers.
With this amount of meat we knew there had to be a great wine list to add to this experience. Sommelier Jean Richardo Olivera has created a wine list that in our opinion is one of the best off the famed Las Vegas strip. We look for his hard work to pay off when this list could get some pretty high accolades from Wine Spectator. Only time will tell.
We thought that desert was not an option but being that we were dining in Brasil , the Carmel Flan was a dish we had to try along with some cappuccino to put a nice finish on this great meal.
Via Brasil is worth a visit and is truly an interactive dining experience with the mixologists, guests and table captains combining for a wonderful time. For more information about Via Brasil , vist ViaBrasilSteakHouse.com
Join us as we speak to the owner of Via Brasil, learn how to make a Caipirinha and enjoy a parade of food that we have not seen in sometime.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Second Course Braised Beef Ribs and Hanger Steak Truffle-celery root puree wilted swiss chard, cabernet reduction
Third Course CITRUS SCENTED CHEESECAKE WITH HUCKLEBERRY COMPOTE Crème brulée ice cream, essence of Cassis, maple brown sugar sauce. The food was very good. The Braised Beef ribs were a real stand out.
The Castle Vineyard Merlot paired excellent with the meal. Now more about the wine. In the glass it showed light to medium bodied and dark red in color. On the nose, hints of spice and red fruit were prominent. As it opened up, chocolate mocha became prominent as well. On the palate spice, chocolate and red fruit came through with a nice medium silky finish. This vineyard specializes in small production hand crafted wines.
When in Las Vegas Aureole is a must stop !
Passed Hors D’Oeuvres
Rose Wine Poached Silk Chicken and Ginger Radish
Kobe Shabu Shabu, Potato Dill Cake and Lobster Bolognese
Wolfgang Von Wieser – Bellagio Hotel and Casino
Foie Gras and Chicken Pressed with Brioche and Black Truffle
Kampachi Sashimi with Cauliflower Rémoulade and Meyers Lemon Emulsion
Bruno Davaillon – Mix Restaurant, THEhotel at Mandalay Bay
Ruinart Blanc de Blanc, Brut, Reims, NV
Maine Lobster, Florida Stone Crab, Deer Creek Oysters with
American Caviar and Spicy Cocktail Sauce
Barry S. Dakake – N9NE Steakhouse, Palms Casino Resort
Napoleon of Alaskan King Crab and Celery Root Rémoulade
Jean Joho and Joung Sohn - Eiffel Tower Restaurant, Paris Hotel
Langwerth von Simmern, Estate Riesling, Rheingau, 2005
Chicken Jus and Banyuls Vinegar, Petite Mâche with Hazelnut Oil
Laurent Pillard and Hubert Keller - Fleur de Lys,
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
Stuffed European Calamari with House-Made Chorizo and “Basquaise” Vegetables
Vincent Pouessel - Aureole, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
Qupe Chardonnay Reserve, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Block 11, Santa Maria Valley, 2004
Mark Purdy – Alizé & Greg Engelhardt, Andre’s
White Marble Farms Pork Belly Braised in Almond Milk with
Celery Root Purée and Blood Orange Gastrique
Michael Demers – The M Resort
Etude Pinot Noir, Carneros, 2005
“Langoustines Poached in Capon Broth with Brussels Sprout Leaves and White Truffle”
Paul Bartolotta – Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Wynn Las Vegas
Kuentz-Bas Pinot Gris, Cuvee Tradition, Alsace, 2004
Bordeaux Braised Cured Leg of Duck of a Bed of French Green Lentils
with Sizzle Leeks and Infused Garlic Oil
Michael and Wendy Jordan - Rosemary’s
Chateau Gruaud-Larose, St. Julien, 1998
Baby Farm Yellow Frisée and Celery Salad with
Hazelnuts Oil on a Toast of Roasted Flour Bread
Aged Port Wine in Tube
Eric Damidot – Caesars Palace
Black Truffle Salad with Walnut Brioche
Sven Mede – Nobhill by Michael Mina, MGM Grand
Moet et Chandon, Brut Imperial Rose, Epernay, NV
Timbale of Pistachio Financier with Passion Fruit Chiboust and Compote of Exotic FruitQuenelle of Coconut Sorbet with Wild Strawberry Coulis
Jean-Philippe Dufoin – Café Soleil
Hazelnut Fondant filled with Caramelized Bananas and Chocolate Custard Topped with a Crispy Tuile and White Chocolate Creme Glace
Celebrity Chefs take Dining to New Heights in Las Vegas as they are raised 180 feet above the Las Vegas Strip.
We have said for years that Las Vegas has taken its place as one of the worlds top Food and
Wine destinations and the recent Michelin awards barred that out.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Bon Appetit Executive Chef Cat Cora along with some of
the biggest culinary stars in the world celebrated Las Vegas's accomplishment with a Champagne toast 180 feet above the Las Vegas Strip seated at a "table in the sky"
The day was cold by Las Vegas standards but that did not deter big name award winning Chefs like Kerry Simon, Francios Payard, Hubert Keller, Alex Stratta, Michael Mina, Rick Moonen and many others as they sipped Champagne and toasted what Las Vegas has become.
Scott from The Cuisineist spoke with Chef Michael Mina , Chef Kerry Simon, Chef Francois Payard, Chef Rick Moonen, Chef Mike Minor and Chef Theo Schoenegger of the new Sinatra at the Encore and Chef Marc Poidevin of Switch also at the Encore. They all spoke about what Las Vegas has become and where it is going in the culinary world as well as their own restaurants.
If this meeting of the Chefs is any indication, this years Bon Appetit's Vegas Uncorked will surpass last years event which was an incredible experience. Where else in the world can you sample the artistry and meet the worlds best except right here in Las Vegas. For more information about Vegas Uncorked please go to www.vegasuncorked.com/
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Executive Chef Nico Chessa is a native of Sardinia and has worked throughout Italy mastering the special dishes of each region. Nico had the privilege to be the executive Chef for the gala reopening of the Sistine Chapel and served Pope John Paul II. He joined the Valentino Restaurant Group in 2003 and is currently the Executive Chef at Ristorante Giorgio in the Mandalay Place in Las Vegas. Nico's culinary artistry is focused on truly authentic Italian dishes.
Giorgio Ristorante offered a Three Course "Ides of March" Roman Themed Menu to celebrate Julius Cesar's last day as ruler of Rome.
Mazzancolla avvolta con guanciale servita con insalata di fave ruchetta carciofi pecorino con olio alle acciughe
(Pork cheek wrapped shrimp alongside artichoke salad with arugula, fava beans, pecorino cheese, white anchovies and extra virgin olive oil)
Abbacchio primaverile in umido con farrotto alle erbe (Stewed spring lamb with herb spelt, risotto style)Falesco Umbria Merlot 2006
The entree dish showed off Nico's passion for authentic Italian fare.
The idea of a caramelized yellow onion with Lamb stew in one side and herb spelt in the other was very original and our favorite of the night.
Crema di ricotta ai frutti di bosco
(Mousse of sheep milk ricotta with spiced wild berry honey and grape must)Passito 2004 Zaccagnini
The Best wine pairing of the evening came with dessert.
The Sheep milk ricotta and the fresh wild berry must burst
with flavor when paired with the Passito
Not only is the food delightful but the interior of the restaurant is lovely featuring an incredible hand blown crystal glass bar imported from Italy. Stop by and have a cocktail and appreciate this work of art.
Above you at the bar is another colorful display of glass balloons, created by Dale Chihuly. Inside
the banquet area are two signed Murano glass statues that accent the room with Italian flair
Giorgio Ristorante, the casual expression of its partner restaurant, Valentino Las Vegas (located inside the Venetian Resort) specializes in both traditional and contemporary Italian dishes and reflects Sardinian Executive Chef Nico Chessa’s versatility with home-style cooking and authentic Italian ingredients. Giorgio Ristorante boasts one of the best appointed private dining venues on the Strip, ideal for wedding receptions, corporate events, holiday parties and banquets for up to 200 people. The restaurant is easily accessed via the Mandalay Place valet parking on Mandalay Bay Road between the Mandalay Bay and Luxor casinos. The restaurant’s hours are 11am to 10pm (MON-FRI) and 12pm to 10pm (SAT-SUN). Learn more at www.giorgioristorante.com or call (702) 920-2700.
The Cuisinist's Elaine Harris enjoys some traditional Roman fare and speaks with Executive Chef Nico Chessa about his background and his culinary artistry.
We are always on the look out for great culinary secrets when we travel. While driving up the
California Coast we came across the lazy beach
town of Cayucos.
Hoppe's is located on scenic Highway One between Cambria and Morro Bay. When we asked where we should eat from our winemaker friends the answer was a unanimous HOPPE'S. Less than 100 yards from the Pacific Ocean HOPPE's provided us with a great culinary venue.
Officially called Hoppe's Garden Bistro and Wine Shop locals simply call it HOPPE's. They feature
organic meat and produce from both local farmers and farmers markets and use local Lobster and shellfish, including farmed Abalone direct from the nationally renowned Abalone Farm.
The first thing we always look at anywhere we go is the wine list.
Each of the 200 wines is hand picked by Chef Hoppe who has complied a unique list of wines from greater California as well as imports from around the world.
The menu has everything from Hamburgers to "Plateaus" of fresh seafood as well as wild game and venison to prime meats and vegetarian and vegan items all at a reasonable price.
HOPPE'S has been known as a local legend but not for long . In addition to many other honors, "Hoppe's Garden Bistro and Wine Shop" is currently rated as the number one restaurant on the Central Coast catering to discriminating individuals, groups and special events and they received a score of 26 out of 30 in the Zagat Survey.
HOPPE's was a very special find and will be a regular stop for us along the coast. Stop for some great food or have some wine at the bar. Most likely the person sitting by you is one of many winemakers who make HOPPE's their home .