Sunday, August 30, 2009

Indian Cuisine- Tandoori Chicken by Chef Saleh Zulkifli

Chef Saleh Zulkifli:

Indian Cuisine - Tandoori Chicken


6 pieces Thawed chicken, skinned (whatever portions you like)
2 tsp Ground Coriander
2 tsp Masala (Tandoori paste is available) to taste Red pepper powder
Dash Garlic powder to taste Salt
1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 table spoon yoghurt
(needed only if tandoori masala is used)


If you are using the ready made tandoori paste then life is a lot easier. Replace all occurrences of masala and yogurt with the tandoori paste. Take the chicken and make *deep* cuts in it (so that the Masalas seeps in quickly).

Rub in the Masalas as a mixture or one at a time. The idea is to let the Masalas seep in the cuts with the soy sauce. You can leave it for little while to seep in.

If you are using yogurt, you'll get a more authentic taste since the original TC is after all marinated in it. In this case, mix the Masalas in the yogurt first and then rub the stuff into the chicken cuts as before.

The yogurt tends to leave a considerable amount of water behind. DON'T THROW THIS AWAY. Let it evaporate in the oven with the chicken. This will keep the pieces from getting dry if over-cooked.


Special thanks to Chef Saleh Zulkifli

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mon Ami Gabi Executive Chef Terry Lynch creates imaginative dishes paired with Mollydooker wines

It's easy to imagine you are in Paris while dining at Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris Resort in Las Vegas that offers al fresco dining on the Strip.
The Menu is French and simple and highlighted by classic steak frites and a variety of fruits de mer as well as an extensive wine list.

On our visit we met with Sommelier and Fine Wine Representative from Vin Sauvage,Bibiana Escobedo and attended a Mollydooker Wine Dinner she was hosting. Executive Chef Terry Lynch and Bibiana teamed up and paired many of these wines with a memorable 6 course dinner.


Summer wild mushrooms, tiny frisee & Sebastopol apple salad.

The Violinist Verdelho 2008

This lovely beginning with a very well balanced Verdelho and Goat Cheese was just a prelude of what Chef Terry Lynch was about to show us.

Grilled Peaches, Fresh bay leaf gastrique

The Scooter Merlot 2007

The peaches with Duck and the Merlot paired excellently as they combined for one of the most interesting pairings of the evening.

Green Olive Relish

The Boxer Shiraz 2008

The Lamb T-Bone with its gamey notes and a the big bold Boxer Shriaz was truly as classic pairing that exploded on our palates.

Celery Root , Roasted Shallots , hints of lemon and summer sage.

The Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Black Peppercorn Ice Cream and a Drizzle of Chocolate Sauce

The Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

When we saw Ice cream and Cabernet on the menu , we were intrigued with what we thought would be a pairing that we may not enjoy. But , Chef Terry and Bibiana proved us wrong with the peppercorn ice cream combining with the casis of this elegant Cabernet making this dish a real treat and a great way to end the dinner.

Executive Chef Terry Lynch and Bibiana combined their expertise to come up with delicious dishes paired with the renowned Mollydooker wines. The staff of Mon Ami Gabi did a world class job putting on the wine dinner for its guests and making it a true culinary event.

Join the Cuisineist as we speak with Executive Chef Terry Lynch about food and wine pairing at a Mollydooker wine dinner.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Cuisineist takes a journey to Origin India for the best in Indian fine dining

The Cuisienist is all about culinary exploration and we decided to explore Indian Food at its finest as in Fine Dining in Las Vegas .
It did not take long to hear about Origin India Restaurant and Bar. They provide its guests with a modern and refined approach to traditional Indian cuisine.

The menu, created by Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh, embraces the rich culture of Indian cuisine. Voted “Best of Las Vegas” for Indian cuisine and rated “extraordinary” by Zagat. The staff at Origin India to provided us one of Las Vegas’ best dining experiences.

Origin India had a very prestigious journey to its home in the culinary center of Las Vegas. England-based restaurateurs Raja Majid & Alena Olevic-Majid moved to Las Vegas in the fall of 2005 in order to be with Alena’s father who was ill. Unsatisfied by the level of Indian food available in their new city they took matters into their own hands, and in April 2006, opened Origin India Restaurant and Bar. Drawing from their restaurant experience in England. “The level of Indian cuisine found in Las Vegas, and most metropolitan cities throughout the United States, is not truly representative of what Indian restaurants have been serving throughout England for many years,” Raja said.

At the age of 18, while attending a college that specialized in hospitality, he was offered an amazing opportunity to become a partner of Passage to India and his passion for the restaurant industry was born. Raja continued as a successful restaurateur and over the next 20 years opened several restaurants from Portugal to Philadelphia, though his most beloved restaurant was in London and featured Indian fine-dining. After years of good press and critical acclaim, Raja's London restaurant Origin Asia was invited to cater former Prime Minister Tony Blair's Annual Summer Garden Party, one of London’s social events of the year, and an event Raja would cater for the following seven years.

“At Origin India our chef and entire staff strive at putting forth the best the city has to offer in food and service to create a memorable and enjoyable dining experience. Our cuisine is absolutely Indian food, incorporating my native country’s flavors and spices, but at Origin India it’s presented in a more refined and modern fashion.”

Recently Origin India announced the addition of Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh to its culinary team. Chef Singh is a seasoned kitchen veteran who has extensive experience working for some of the world's finest resorts and restaurants in Ireland, England and India. Chef Singh’s expertise does not end with his knowledge of Indian cuisine, but is rather a reflection of his world experience, showcasing Asian-Indian food with a modern and refined flare. Owner of Origin India, is thrilled to have Chef Singh onboard.

“We have known Chef Singh for several years as he previously worked at one of our restaurants in London,” Raja said. “We have been working very hard to bring him to Las Vegas to run our kitchen at Origin India since we first opened in 2006 and know our guests will truly love his food.”

Examples of some of Chef Singh's dishes include filo-wrapped fresh Atlantic ‘black pearl’ sea scallops in lime and chili, crisp fried with beetroot and olive chutney; roasted striped bass marinated in coriander, cumin and lime zest served on sautéed garlic spinach with coriander vinaigrette and red pepper extract; and Rogan Josh New Zealand lamb shank with sun dried ginger, tomato and Kashmiri chili served with saffron rice.

We took a tour of the menu with General Manager Avi Mishra with each course paired with wine by mixologist Jozef Letasi and entree suggestions by none other than Chef Singh himself. His five course tasting menu at $45.00 is a real steal considering the quality of dishes you receive. All five courses were outstanding. The New Zealand Lamb Shank with sun dried ginger, tomato , Kashmiri Chili served with saffron rice was a real stand out.

The staff was very attentive and explained each dish as we were just learning about high end Indian Cuisine. Our only regret is that we did not try one of Jozef's Letasi's signature cocktails. But , thats just gives us a reason to come back and we will !

Origin India Restaurant and Bar’s Executive Chef, Kuldeep Singh, is a seasoned kitchen veteran who has extensive experience working for some of the world's finest resorts and restaurants in Ireland, England and India. Born in Meerut, India (about 40 miles northeast of New Delhi), Chef Singh’s expertise does not end with his knowledge of Indian cuisine, but is rather a reflection of his world experience, showcasing Asian-Indian food with a modern and refined flare.

Chef Singh has the finest training one can receive in India, graduating from The Institute Of Hotel Management in his hometown of Meerut (about 40 miles northeast of New Delhi) before going to work for two of the nation’s luxury five-star hotel and resort groups including The Oberoi Hotel & Resort Group and the Taj Group of Hotels. From India he moved to London where he worked in one of Raja’s fine dining restaurants, Origin Asia, and further practiced the art of preparing refined cuisine. His approach is one of style and flare, respecting his country’s flavor profiles and food, but presenting it with his own unique approach.

“I love the food from my country, its spices, herbs and flavors that are native to my hometown of Meerut and the other regions where I trained professionally including Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai,” Chef Singh said. “But what I serve is very different than other Indian food found in Las Vegas. I stay true to the flavors and spices I grew up with, though I tone down the heat, and instead focus more on taste and texture combinations to create a modern interpretation of Indian cuisine.”

Origin India offers a full bar including a selection of signature cocktails created by resident mixologist, Jozef Letasi, that combine premium spirits with fresh fruit, juices and spices that compliment the restaurant’s cuisine. Its wine list includes interesting choices from both the US and abroad while its beer list includes several hard-to-find imports including Piraat, Cantillion Rose de Gambrinus and St. Bernardus.

On the back of Raja Majid's business card it reads " Our mission is to create an unforgetable experience for every guest , every time. By providing exceptional food and memorable service we transform easy customer into a loyal friend. Its my sincere belief that our customers are our friends, and that they wont find a better Indian dining experience anywhere in Las Vegas "

We must say that they succeeded and we hope we are now " loyal friends" of Origin India.

Join Elaine of the Cuisineist as she speaks with Avi Mishra , visits the kitchen and embarks on an unforgettable trip to India guided buy Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh

Origin India is open 7 days a week from 11:30am-11:30pm. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday from 4pm to 7pm; featuring half-off appetizers and two-for-one drinks from the signature cocktail list. Become a friend of Origin India on Facebook and receive exclusive discounts, restaurant promotions, food & beverage specials and event information. For more information visit OriginIndiaRestarant .com

The Venetian / Palazzo puts on a Culinary Show at their Carnival of Cuisine

The Venetian /Palazzo Resorts are well known for world class resturants and renowned Chefs. For the second year, these resorts celebrated their Carnival of Cuisine held in the massive and luxurious Venetian Ballroom. Over 20 restaurants in the Venetian / Palazzo resorts as well as Nine James Beard Award winning Chefs treated the guests with culinary delights.

The restaurants included many familiar names like, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante , Enoteca San Marco and Carnevino. Wolfgang Puck's classy CUT and Postrio were also represented. Chef Sam DeMarco's FIRST Food and Bar was serving t some of their finest and of course Charlie Trotter's Restaurant Charlie was a real treat.

Chef Luciano of Valentino and the Grill at Valentino was serving the guests some of his classic Italian dishes. ZINE , WOO and Sushi Samba were treated us with mouth watering Asian cuisine.

Morels French Steakhouse , Pinot Brasserie , Table 10 , TAO and TAO beach , Dos Caminos , Canaletto ,
LAVO the Grand Lux Cafe and Canyon Ranch were spoiling the guests with their specialties

In addition to sampling many of these great dishes We were treated with
Chef demonstrations from Valentino, Woo, B&B Ristorante, Restaurant Charlie, and Canyon Ranch Grill .

The chefs showcased their techniques and prepared a selected dish and answered questions from the audience. Music was in the air as we walked amongst the resturants with a live 3 piece band that kept the atmosphere fun as Venetian entertainers mingled throughout the event. Raffle drawings were also a highlight as winners received show tickets or restaurant gift certificates as prizes.

The 2nd Annual Carnival of Cuisine was a true showcase of what culinary choices you have when you visit these resorts. Whether its lunch by the pool , a casual dinner or Fine Dining the Venetian /Palazzo as some of the best . We are already looking forward to what the 3rd Carnival of Cuisine will have to offer.

Join the Cuisineist as we indulge in some culinary treats at the Venetian / Palazzo

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chef Sam DeMarco has found a niche at FIRST in Las Vegas

From breakfast to late-night, the menu at FIRST features American culinary classics and drinks created by Executive Chef Sam DeMarco. The Cuisineist stopped in and enjoyed a great brunch and conversation with this renowned Chef.

Sam DeMarco is no stranger to creating a late-night culinary destination. He put industry dining on the map in the '90s with the opening of First in New York. The restaurant became a mecca for NYC society from Mayflower Madam Sydney Biddle Barrows and Judge Ed Koch to famed chefs including Wolfgang Puck and Charlie Trotter. Sam had truly become " a chef's chef "

After his culinary education at the famous CIA, he apprenticed under such chefs as Gray Kunz and David Burke, both of whom have restaurants Cafe Gray, DavidBurke and Donatella, and David Burke in Las Vegas . He gained a great deal of culinary knowledge from those masters, but has gained insight over the years and created his own specialties and techniques.

FIRST has found a niche in the competitive Las Vegas market with comfort food and one of a kind cocktails for locals and tourists alike.
We have had the pleasure of watching this one of a kind venue grow from concept to reality and has been well received in a short time.

The FIRST Food and Bar Sunday brunch is the newest addition to this hip venue that is only closed 3 to 4 hours a day. We enjoyed the wonderful view though the floor to ceiling windows over looking the Las Vegas Strip. The Brunch menu features many of Chef Sam DeMarcos trademarks like his delicious mini burgers but also features classics such as Eggs Benedict and a few other Chef Sam's specialties. For the amazing price of $ 19.90, endless Champagne and Chef Sam's dishes provide one of the best Sunday brunches in town. FIRST Food and Bar has found a place in Las Vegas with comfort food that brings back memories . This special restaurant has quickly become favorite of ours and with the new Sunday brunch we plan to visit more often.

Join The Cuisinest as we enjoy Brunch with a great view overlooking the Las Vegas strip and spend some time with Chef Sam DeMarco.

For more about FIRST Food and Bar visit