Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Celebrity Chefs headline an A-List Bar-B-Q to close the 39th UNLVino in style

In the 38 previous years the Grand Tasting marked the end of the UNLVino weekend celebration. The 39th year brought yet another event to enjoy. The inaugural “BAR-b-q” was held on a beautiful Sunday morning at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Walking into the very unique building of the Cleveland Clinic Ruvo Center put guests in awe of its architecture which closely resembles a Brain. This “brain” however, on this day was full of celebrity chefs, mixologists and an eclectic mix of wine, beer and spirits.

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Just inside the entrance, guests got the spirited afternoon going by stopping at Flight 69 Gin complete with flight attendants and a pilot pouring their gin cocktail. Guests could even choose to be abducted by Alein Tequia and restaurant Mundo before you even walk into the main room.
Flight 69

The Main room was all abuzz with spirits, dishes and celebrity chefs.  A first stop for many was Poppy Den and a visit with Top Chef Angelo Sosa for a photo op, conversation and his unique tasty creations that he is famous for.

 Looking across the room, we noticed yet another big name chef and headed in his direction. Chef Scott Conant needs no introduction as he is well known for “Chopped” , other shows and of course his  renowned Scarpetta Restaurants .
 This Chef / Restaurateur / TV host was on hand serving guests, signing autographs, posing for photos and being the all around great person he is.  Guests also got a bonus treat when Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto stopped in to “hang out “and enjoy the inaugural festivities as well.
Chef Angelo Sosa , Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris

In addition to these world renowned Chefs, local celebrity Chefs and restaurants provided attendees many of their Classic dishes. Local Celebrity Chef Gustav Mauler was on hand as well as local favorites Fiamma and Sibuya at the MGM Resort , The Four Seasons  Charlie Palmer and Todd English PUB just to name a few.

Chef Scott Conant , Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris
The Bar-b-q was not just about food. The afternoon was elevated even higher with craft-cocktail creations by Master Mixologist Francesco Lafranconi. “We are pleased to introduce BAR-b-q as UNLVino’s first mixology-focused event,” said Michael Severino, Director of Marketing & Special Events for Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada. “Given Las Vegas’ burgeoning mixology scene, the talents of Francesco Lafranconi and a truly extraordinary event venue, we are excited for BAR-b-q to join the ranks of UNLVino’s longstanding, signature events.”
This high end event also recognized MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella , an alumnus of UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and 25-year hospitality industry veteran.  Sibella was recognized with the Dom Perignon Award for Excellence by distinguishing himself through inspirational leadership, character and work ethic.
The Inaugural UNLVino Bar BQ with its A-list mixologists and chefs provided guests a lovely, intimate afternoon with delicious bites and enticing spirits that is sure to be added to UNLVino events in the future. We are already thinking about what next year’s Bar B

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2013 Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit Pairs Celebrity Chefs with Rising Stars from Le Cordon Bleu in a Live Grill-Off

Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge Pairs Celebrity Chefs Akira Back and Todd English with Two Aspiring Culinary Students for a chance to win a $20,000 Scholarship Fund
Chase Sapphire Preferred®, a premier travel rewards card from Chase, in partnership with Bon Appétit will host the Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge, taking place on Saturday, May 11, at 8:45 p.m., during Bellagio’s Block Party at the seventh annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit. Award-winning Las Vegas chefs Akira Back and Todd English will partner with two up-and-coming culinary students from the local Las Vegas Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in a live grilling challenge. The winning team will receive $20,000, presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred to help fund the student’s culinary education and dream of becoming a world-class chef. An additional $5,000 will be presented to the runner-up.
Chef Todd English
The cooking challenge will put grilling skills to the test as celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, Akira Back, executive chef of Yellowtail Japanese & Lounge Restaurant at the Bellagio, and Todd English, chef, Olives Bellagio, battle live on-stage to create the ultimate barbecue feast.
“I am thrilled to participate in the Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge to help fund a local culinary student’s schooling,” said Todd English, chef, Olives Bellagio. “Vegas Uncork’d is the perfect stage for a live grilling challenge that supports the next generation of Las Vegas culinary talent.”
Two talented students from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Las Vegas will be given the opportunity to participate as sous chefs during the event. Starting April 9, students can submit a video via Vine, a mobile app by Twitter, using the hashtag #GrillChallenge and provide a short essay to Bon Appétit. Students can share their story and illustrate why they deserve to compete for a chance to win the title and $20,000 from Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Chef Akira Back
Bon Appétit restaurant and spirits editor, Andrew Knowlton, will serve as emcee and head judge for the event, while Robin Leach, entertainment and celebrity reporter, and a Chase Sapphire cardholder will also judge the chefs culinary creations and select the winners.
The event is part of a week-long food, wine and spirits festival presented by Bon Appétit and the city of Las Vegas, in partnership with Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand and Chase Sapphire Preferred. The event brings together famed Las Vegas resorts, celebrity chefs, master sommeliers and true food fans in celebration of the Las Vegas culinary scene and growing food community.

“Las Vegas is one of the nation’s top culinary travel destinations and we are excited to celebrate the food and talent that continues to thrive and emerge from this city,” said Sean O’Reilly, general manager, JP Morgan Chase. “Chase Sapphire cardholders are passionate about unique food experiences. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge not only creates an opportunity for cardholders to taste and witness true culinary magic first-hand, but also allows them to be a part of something greater by raising awareness for local aspiring chefs.”
As part of its presenting sponsorship, Chase Sapphire offered cardholders the ability to redeem credit card rewards points or purchase tickets to select Vegas Uncork’d events and enjoy exclusive perks, such as preferred seating, VIP lounge access and a private brunch with acclaimed Chef Julian Serrano.
For tickets to Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d please visit http://www.vegasuncorked.com/

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Renown Chef Megan Romano of Chocolate & Spice Bakery on West Sahara announced  April, May and June cooking classes featuring personal recipes and professional instruction, small bites and refreshments as well as a take home gift.  Classes are $75 per person and run from 6 pm – 7 pm on Thursday nights.
For more information, visit www.chocolatenspice.com or call 702.527.7772. To sign up for a class, email your name and credit card information including expiration date to megan@chefmeganromano.com.

                   Thursday, April 25 | 6 pm – 7 pm
                        Mother’s Day Brunch
Are you trying to figure out the perfect gift for Mother’s Day? Celebrate with Mom early and take part in an hour-long class where Chef Romano breaks down some of her favorite recipes, providing personal tips and tricks to making a meal fit for the leading lady. Fresh brunch selections include a wild mushroom and gruyere egg white frittata and spring salad of arugula, goat cheese and caramelized hazelnut topped with citrus vinaigrette while blueberry scones round out the meal

                  Thursday, May 30 | 6 pm – 7 pm
                            Spring Cooking Class
Chef Romano serves up spring selections and a sweet treat to top the meal off during her May class. Sharing preparation and cooking techniques, participants will be guided step by step in the cooking processes of lemon thyme chicken and vegetable skewers, sun-dried tomato and basil quinoa and Romano’s signature strawberry shortcake.

                   Thursday, June 27 | 6 pm – 7 pm
                           Selections of Summer
Perfect for grilling season, show off your culinary skills this summer as Chef Romano offers step by step instruction to perfecting practices for barbequed kalbi ribs accompanied by lemon-scented potato and bacon salad. Soothe the heat with frozen watermelon lime skewers and round out the meal with marshmallow chocolate chip rice crispy treats.

Chocolate & Spice Bakery (West of Rainbow at Tenaya),
7293 W Sahara, Suite 8 Las Vegas, NV 89117