Monday, September 30, 2013


Fall offers a bounty of colorful fruits and vegetables that are delicious and packed with nutritional benefits. This is the best time of year to enjoy a variety of healthful produce such as orange winter squash, yellow pepper, Brussels sprouts, okra and turnips, among others.  They are especially delicious when part of a pasta dish, offering an excellent source of fiber that’s low in calories and cholesterol, but packed with flavor.  De Cecco, the Italian premium pasta maker, invites you to taste the De Cecco Difference using this fall recipe, in celebration of 120 tasteful years in the USA.

De Cecco is unlike many other pastas available on supermarket shelves today.  Carefully made in the mountains of Central Italy, De Cecco uses a proprietary process to make more than 160 different pasta shapes. This process starts with full control of the milling process and using only the heart of durum wheat to produce premium semolina, then mixing it with cool natural waters from De Cecco’s own mountain spring, drawing the semolina dough through bronze dies and drying the pasta very slowly at a low temperature.
Though time consuming, this process yields a great tasting pasta with a perfect semolina color that cooks al dente every time, retaining its shape and all of its nutritional goodness thereby assuring the highest quality pasta for American tables.
Today the family owned company is the third largest pasta producer in the world.  De Cecco pasta has been recognized with several certifications for customer satisfaction, food safety and purity, and is certified kosher.
Use this fall recipe featuring healthy  Whole Wheat or Spinach Fusilli as is, or change it up with your favorite fall vegetables:


Brussels Sprout, Cauliflower and Shiitake Fusilli
Prep Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 8
1 pound De Cecco Whole Wheat Fusilli or Spinach Fusilli
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed
12 ounces cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup De Cecco Extra Virgin Olive Oil 100% Italian Olives, divided
4 medium shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
7 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta and Brussels sprouts according to pasta package direction, adding cauliflower during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook 15 to 30 seconds, stirring constantly, or until fragrant. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned. Remove from the heat.
3. Return hot cooked pasta, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to pot; add reserved pasta water and mushroom mixture. Set aside 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and reserved parsley.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit !

MTO CAFÉ TO OPEN IN DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS THIS OCTOBER Fresh comfort food made to order for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch.

Downtown diners will have a new go-to destination when MTO Café opens this October.  Standing for Made To Order, the café will serve breakfast and lunch daily, with a brunch menu each weekend.  MTO Café is the first restaurant from Las Vegas-based Shift Solutions, a company whose founders have had a hand in numerous venues in the city and beyond.

Located across from the Las Vegas City Hall on the ground floor of the city parking garage, the 65-seat eatery pairs a modern industrial design with a retro comfort feel and features a fourteen seat communal table, ideal for networking in the burgeoning collaborative business environment of downtown.
MTO Café will feature the cuisine of chef partner Johnny Church, who was named by Wine Spectator as a Rising Chef and has helmed the kitchens of several noted Strip restaurants and worked with Gordon Ramsey for the 2013 season of the TV hit Kitchen Nightmares.

Egg-centered breakfast specialties available as a wrap, omelet or skillet include a chile offering with jalapeno, cheddar, sour cream and scallions, one featuring chicken sausage, roasted tomato, caramelized onions and arugula as well as citrus house cured salmon with cream cheese chives and dill.  Pancake offerings include lemon poppy seed with blueberry-ginger compote and vegan carrot and coconut pancakes with pecans and agave nectar while the chicken in a waffle satisfies both savory and sweet cravings.

Lunch features selection of soups and salads, along with inventive wraps such as the Celery Sucker with collard greens, quinoa, tatziki, babaganoush and tomato-basil and the Fat Elvis sandwich with French toast, bacon, banana, peanut butter, strawberries and Nutella. Burger lovers can feast on The Hang Over with bacon, fried egg, Tillamook Cheddar, lettuce and special sauce, a turkey version served open-faced with truffle bread pudding and orange-cranberry sauce, or the Tree Hugger with quinoa, corn, red pepper, spinach, onions, mushrooms and chipotle aioli.

Sides include 3rd Street Farmers Market vegetables, fries and gravy and more, and the meal can end on a sweet note with treats including banana split bites, fried apple rings or walnut tossies.MTO Café will be open weekdays from 7 am – 3 pm and from 8 am to 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. 

Chef, author and television personality Giada De Laurentiis will open her very first restaurant in early 2014 at the upcoming and all-new luxury lifestyle resort Gansevoort Las Vegas.

She’s here !  Finally, Chef, author and television personality Giada De Laurentiis will  open her very first restaurant in early 2014 at the upcoming and all-new luxury lifestyle resort Gansevoort Las Vegas. This innovative concept is expected to open in early 2014 in conjunction with the hotel and casino.
Located in the heart of the dynamic city of Las Vegas, De Laurentiis’ outlet will become the cornerstone of the hip and luxurious destination, located on the second level above the casino floor. This outlet will boast al fresco dining and breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip and the Bellagio fountains.
"Ever since I was a little girl hanging out at my grandfather's restaurant, I've dreamed of having a restaurant of my own,” says De Laurentiis. “I've held back on past opportunities because I really wanted to be ready for the responsibility and challenges that come with a restaurant. Now, I couldn't be more excited about working with Gansevoort Las Vegas and Caesars Entertainment to turn this dream into a delicious reality. The location, the al fresco dining and the views were just too good to pass up!"
De Laurentiis’ cuisine will embrace her birthplace of Rome, mirroring her passion for Italian cooking with lighter, Californian influences. Guests can enjoy her signature dishes made famous through her many cookbooks and “Food Network” television shows, along with uniquely crafted family recipes that focus on quality ingredients and great flavors.
Guests will be greeted with delicious aromas of bread baking along with a signature antipasto station, a first for Italian eateries on the Strip. The appeal of an open and airy kitchen will set the space apart giving guests the opportunity to watch chefs prepare the specialty pasta of the day, create beautiful flatbreads and bake divine desserts.
“Gansevoort Las Vegas will be a completely unique boutique resort experience and will bring a new level of social excitement to the Las Vegas Strip. Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub, Drai’s After Hours, the signature lobby bar, and now Giada’s very first restaurant, are certain to set the destination apart,” said Tariq Shaukat, chief marketing officer for Caesars Entertainment.  “Giada’s exuberant warm personality and dynamic style will undoubtedly result in a restaurant that will not only be a perfect match for the experience we are creating, but also will become a destination in itself.”
With De Laurentiis’ vision in mind, the restaurant will be a completely new build-out, revealing a modern, yet sleek design with clean lines and pops of color.  Los Angeles-based Studio Collective, whose prestigious portfolio includes several well-known hospitality venues including Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills and Hyde Lounge at the Staples Center, will lead the overall design. The restaurant space will extend over the pedestrian walkway below, featuring large glass windows with daytime and nighttime views of the Strip. The overall design will bring forth a comfortable, warm and welcoming charm with natural light and unique energy. Posh living room-style furniture will provide a cozy space for guests to relax, while views of the open kitchen from the bar will create an air of excitement. Private dining room space will also be available for larger parties or group functions.
“Giada is a gem,” said Caesars Entertainment Regional Vice President of Food and Beverage Jeffrey Frederick. “She’s the first female celebrity chef to join the Caesars Entertainment family in Las Vegas and will fit right in with our lineup of many renowned chefs including Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa and Guy Savoy. Finally fans will experience firsthand Giada’s style and sophistication via her restaurant’s ambiance and cuisine.”
The new restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner and will accommodate nearly 300 guests.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Evening of Cuisine, Wine,Books and Angels with Iconic Chef Charlie Palmer.

Las Vegas has no shortage of celebrity chefs, perhaps one of the biggest names throughout the world is Chef Charlie Palmer. This renown Chef ,restaurateur , author and television host has collected a plethora of awards ranging from a James Beard award and coveted Michelin Guide stars just to name a few .

Recently we visited with this iconic Chef at his Michelin award winning restaurant Aureole in the Mandalay Bay  Resort in Las Vegas. Charlie has been a fixture in this culinary epicenter for many years. Always keeping things fresh , He was in town to launch his new cookbook , Camp Cooking and to show off the new “wine angel “ costumes that are shall we say , pretty delightful to say the least .
Arriving at Aureole we were escorted to a private dining area where we were met by none other than the legend himself and settled into what would become an evening of signature dishes prepared by Charlie and a selection of wines that caused us to do some serious research on indigenous varietals  from Spain, France and Austria.
Elaine Harris, Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief and Chef Charlie Palmer
Elaine Harris, Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief and Chef Charlie Palmer
Chef Charlie Palmer has been known for years for his Progressive American Cuisine built on big flavors and surprising combinations with an infusion of classical French technique.Today, a big “buzz word” is farm to table cuisine. Chef Charlie Palmer explained that he was an early advocate of farm over factory food. In 1988, he made a commitment to creating dishes featuring regional American ingredients at his three-star Aureole Restaurant in New York City.
It was now time to enjoy some of this renowned cuisine prepared by Chef Charlie just for us. Our first course was a succulent Santa Barbara Spot Prawn Duo paired with Txomin Etaniz Txakoi, Hondarribi Zuri, Getariako Txakolina, Spain 2012.
Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise
Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise

Our second course featured a lovely Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise” joined by a very nice Moulin de Gassac, Picpoul de Pinet , Languedoc, France 2011.
Keeping the culinary hits coming, Charlie Palmer delivered a perfectly prepared Roasted Moulard Duck Breast  with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired with a Schloss Gobelsburger , Zweigelt, Kamptal , Austria 2010 that was a perfect marriage of cuisine and wine.

 Roasted Moulard Duck Breast  with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired
Roasted Moulard Duck Breast with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired
Three courses of gastronomic artistry and Chef Charlie Palmer still had one more treat for us. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms and a Chene Bleu Heloise, Syrah/Grenache/Viognier , Rhone Valley, France 2007.Pastry Chef Megan fished off our evening with a rich Roasted fig and Goat Cheese Cake with chicory ice cream and a Toro Albala,Don PX Gran Reserva, Pedro Ximenez,Montilla-Moriles, Spain 1985.

. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms
. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms

The evening was not just about great cuisine from Chef Charlie Palmer and his kitchen but also about his new cookbook, Camp Cooking.  This leather bound book complete with a Remington stamp is all about cooking and eating outdoors compete with selections from the Remington Arms Art Collection and is a must for any kitchen and lovers of the great outdoors.
Camp Cooking
Camp Cooking

Charlie Palmer is always keeping things fresh and his wine angles are no exception.The wine angles have been soaring for years overseeing almost 10,000 bottles of wine are stored in the iconic tower. The “angels” ascend and descend the climate-controlled, stainless-steel columns on mechanical hoists fetching wine for their guests.
Wine Angels
Wine Angels
They how have new uniforms that make them very hard to miss with new two-piece outfits outfitted with more than 100 LED bulbs. “We were often given feedback by our guests that they were hard to see in the tower, so we really wanted to make them shine, now they have a uniform that suits the excitement of their job “stated Charlie Palmer. The new uniforms are a creation of Las Vegas fashion designer Bunker Hill Bradley, who won a competition among local designers.The uniforms feature a progression of colors that symbolize the hues found in various wines and they made of recycled materials.
Chef Charlie Palmer
Chef Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer’s new cookbook and new wine angel uniforms show this iconic Chef is not afraid of innovation or invention which keeps him and his Charlie Palmer Group at the forefront of the culinary industry around the world.