Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Epicurean Affair 2010 at The Palazzo Resort shows why Las Vegas a center of the Food and Beverage Industry.

Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants, and the Epicurean event 2010 united some of the best in the world poolside at The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino.

Hosted by the Nevada Restaurant Association (NvRA) and The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino
, the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair was a tantalizing evening of culinary excellence .

Guests savored samplings of cuisine and cocktails from nearly 75 renowned restaurants and beverage purveyors in the luxurious poolside setting at The Palazzo for the palate pleasing event that showed off the culinary destination of Las Vegas.

"The Pools at The Palazzo were the perfect venue to host this prestigious event", said Food & Beverage vice president Sebastien Silvestri. “We were pleased to collaborate with the NvRA, because we know this is an evening that guests won’t soon forget.

“It’s no secret that Las Vegas is on the cutting edge when it comes to hospitality — and our amazing restaurants are a big part of that,” says NvRA President and CEO Katherine Jacobi. “Nevada Restaurant Association is pleased to offer this unique experience at The Palazzo. We couldn’t be more excited to have such a beautiful venue to showcase why Las Vegas is the culinary destination.”

The Nevada Restaurant Association was founded in 1982 and is the leading business association serving the needs of food service operators in Nevada. As an affiliate of the National Restaurant Association, and together with the NvRA Educational Foundation, the Association’s mission is to promote, protect and educate the restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 5,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets employing more than 150,000 people.

The Palazzo, in our opinion, is a crown jewel located right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. With over 3000 suites , luxury shopping and world renown dining, the 1.9 Billion dollar LEED Certified Green Building takes the environment and luxury to new heights not only in Las Vegas but worldwide.

The Palazzo was recently ranked first among Las Vegas hotels in Travel and Leisure's World's Best Awards 2010 as well as being AAA Five Diamond and Mobil 4-Star award winners as well. It was no surprise that the Palazzo showed it's class and sophistication with its Pool as the backdrop to such a glamorous culinary event.

The Epicurean affair is the Gourmet event of the year for locals and visitors alike. The pool side venue at the Palazzo was like a treasure hunt for even the most discriminating palates. Behind ever pool and corner there was a new "world" to explore.

Upon entering the event we noticed the Palazzo's Laguna Champagne Bar right across from us. What a better place to start but with some Champagne. This lovely bar located on the Palazzo's casino floor offers a carefully edited list of Champagnes by the glass, half-bottle, and bottle as well as innovative and classic Champagne cocktails. When you speak about Champagne you think of France and when in Las Vegas you think of Restaurant Guy Savoy .

Restaurant Guy Savoy is the only place in America to experience the elegant cuisine of Guy Savoy which is located at Cesar's Palace but for this night this legendary French landmark was at the Palazzo's pool. One of France's most revered and award-winning chefs , Chef Savoy has received three Michelin stars, an entry in the Larousse encyclopedia, the Legion d'Honneur from the French Minister of Agriculture and was voted France's Chef of the Year by his peers. The Artichoke and Black Truffle soup was by far one of the evenings most delectable offerings. We made
several stops to enjoy this soup from Guy Savoy's restaurant.

If Sushi and Sashimi is your style , TAO Asian Bistro provided some of the best of the evening, making hand rolled sushi as we watched. TAO Asian Bistro from New York has made a home at the Venetian and a big impression, emphasizing Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines.

Their creations include everything from Kobe beef to traditional Peking Duck, all prepared by master chefs from across Asia.

Another favorite stop along our pool side stroll was SUSHISAMBA located in the Palazzo's second level. From the sizzling meats of the robata grill to super-fresh sushi, sashimi and seviche, SUSHISAMBA has something for everyone.

Their menu offers a unique spicy Brazilian, zesty Peruvian and fresh Japanese dishes . The colorful decor and Brazilian music combines for a one-of-a-kind SUSHISAMBA experience. And for those who are not aware Robata means "by the fireside," and that translates to dishes like filet mignon with ginger, garlic and soy; lamb chops with guava ponzu, tobiko and spiced panko; and jumbo prawns just to name a few.

An event would not be complete with out a visit with Executive Chef Sam De Marco of FIRST Food and Bar. "You can build restaurants and have great food, but you can't buy it a soul. It's about the people, the culture and the fiber of the neighborhood. We're in the heart of The Strip, so our "neighborhood" leaves room for interpretation and allows for creativity with my menus," says DeMarco. Located on the 2nd floor in The Shoppes at The Palazzo, FIRST Food & Bar brings the authenticity and character of the neighborhood bar and diner concept back to life. Chef "Sammy D " and his staff provided some of the best comfort food of the night. They always make the guests feel at home.

Widely acknowledged as one of the most popular restaurants in the United States, CUT by none other that Wolfgang Puck himself has raised the bar within the fine dining industry and has garnered high praise from prestigious publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times (Three Stars), Wall Street Journal and Wine Spectator and was named one of the top three steakhouses in America by Bon Appetit Magazine. CUT located between the Palazzo and Venetian it provides guests with a Steak House experience and more. On this night , they did not disappoint.

Where do we stop next, but at Jasmine, for a taste of China. Executive Chef Philip Lo and Head Sommelier Sarah Pamatat
Provide guests with exceptional dishes and wine from their lakeside venue at the Bellagio. They did not loose a step when located pool side with Cantonese, Szechwan and Hunan cuisine as their aromas filled the air.

The Las Vegas Palm, located at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace, has become a haven for Las Vegas's movers and shakers since it opened in 1993.

This landmark has a well deserved reputation and their Shrimp Cocktail dish made us come back again and again.

We started the Epicurean Affair with Champagne and went on to sample some of some of the best dishes offered in Las Vegas. Moet Chandon has been the center of celebrations for over 260 years and was a great libation to stimulate the palate.

The Epicurean Affair not only featured many of the best culinary experiences in Las Vegas but cocktails , wine , Champagne , Sake and Beer as well. This event is about the total Las Vegas Food and Beverage experience.

Canyon Ranch Spa was in attendance showing off the Canyon Ranch Grille in the Palazzo . Guests enjoyed innovative, fresh, healthy gourmet cuisine that Canyon Ranch is famous for. And specialty cocktails and a variety of homemade soft drinks and juices along with organic, biodynamic and sustainable spirits, beers and wines.

One of the healthiest cocktails of the night was inspired by the legendary Robinson Crusoe "a first class environmentalist." CRUSOE organic rum is a modern take on a classic spirit. CRUSOE is made from organic, fair trade sugarcane which has developed flavor and aroma at its own pace, not hurried along by chemicals. This results in great tasting rum that helps keep land and water clean. CRUSOE spiced, goes WAY beyond the typical vanilla + sugar profile of ordinary spiced rums to bring you a bold dance of spices "cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, vanilla" coupled with orange zest and molasses. It’s mighty good for sipping and cocktailing and of course it's certified organic. Organic products are better for the planet and generally taste better. Good design doesn’t need to weigh a ton or create extra waste and pollution. That’s why Crusoe use strong, lightweight bottles (600 g) and 100% post consumer waste recycled labels printed with soy inks. In addition, for every bottle of CRUSOE sold, they provide one month of clean water for people in need around the world by building and maintaining wells in partnership with CHARITY:WATER, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean, safe water to people in developing nations.

We saved one of the best for last. We visited Valentino located at the entrance to this prestigious affair.

Valentino Las Vegas
, the sister restaurant to the classic original in Santa Monica, remains the premier Italian restaurant in Las Vegas and is located in the Venetian's casino level.

James Beard Award-winning chef Luciano Pellegrini was there behind the table serving his best dishes. This amazing Chef heads the kitchen of both Valentino and the casual Grill at Valentino. He personally over sees the daily changing menus , supervises the preparation of his inspired tasting menus and the Selvaggio’s expansive wine collection.

The Best of Las Vegas came together to show off what they could provide to the world.
A-ha Toro Tequila
Banzai Beverage Corporation
Binions Ranch Steakhouse
Bollini Wines
Bradley Ogden
Canyon Ranch Grill

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
d.vino Italian Food & Wine Bar
Dos Caminos
Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar
Elements Kitchen & Martini Bar

FIRST Food & Bar
Fosters America
Gilley's BBQ
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Grand Lux Café
Granello Bakery
Grape Vegas
Hash House A Go Go

Hugo's Cellar
II Mulino
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
Karlsson’s Gold Vodka
Khotan Asian Bistro
Lagasse's Stadium
Laguna Champagne Bar
Leblon Cachaca
Lolita's Cantina & Tequila Bar
Louis Jadot
Maggiano's Little Italy
Marche Bacchus
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant
Memphis Championship Barbecue
Michele Chiarlo
Moet Hennessey USA
Morel's French Steakhouse & Bistro
Nobu Las Vegas
NU Sanctuary Lounge
Palm Restaurant
Paymon's Hookah Lounge
Postrio Bar & Grill
Prime Steakhouse
Remy Cointreau USA
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Rombauer Vineyards
Santos Spirits (Ambhar Tequila)
Shangri-La Tea
Sierra Nevada
Silk Road Wine & Spirits
Skyy Vodka
Southern Wine & Spirits
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Stella Artois
Table 10 by Emeril Lagasse
The Cupcakery
Three-Olives Vodka
TYKU Premium Asian Wine & Spirits
Valentino Las Vegas
Van Gogh Vodka
Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Zine Noodle
Walking around the luxurious pools of the Palazzo Resort, while exploring the culinary wonders of Las Vegas with Champagne and Organic cocktails,created a memorable evening . The Epicurean affair gives guests get the best of Food and Beverage that cannot be rivaled anywhere else.

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