Archive for the ‘ Food Events ’ Category

Cross Country Cookout with the Rib Whisperer

Worlds Largest BBQ
Heads up, Las Vegas. The world’s largest BBQ grill will be rolling into Vegas this weekend and will be serving up free Texas BBQ at the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop parking lot on Las Vegas Blvd. this Saturday.

The 80-foot long Ultimate Smoker and Grill, designed and operated by grill-master Trace “Rib Whisperer” Arnold, is the size of a tanker and is hauled by a semi. In the unique smoker chamber, Arnold can slow-smoke more than 2,000 pounds of meat. Hidden beneath the 20-foot hydraulic lid is a wood-fired grill with the capacity to cook 1,000 hotdogs, 500 hamburgers or 200 16 oz. steaks at once.

History Channel and Pawn Stars fans in Las Vegas are welcome to visit the History Cross-Country Cookout to sample the Rib Whisperer’s tasty hickory-smoked ribs and jalapeno cheddar sausage and play backyard games like cornhole and ladder golf to win History merchandise and prizes. Learn more about the History Cross-Country Cookout tour at

Gold & Silver Pawn Shop
713 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Saturday, August 10: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


San Gennaro Italian Festival 2012

We went to the San Gennaro Italian festival to report on the food today. We were lured by the promise of sausage sandwiches, stuffed artichokes, pizza, cannoli, pasta, ravioli and other Italian delights. Being an Italian from back east, it sounded like a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.

After paying $14 (with a coupon) for two people just to enter the gate, we made a beeline to the food booths. The banners above the two dozen or so colorful booths advertised all that we came to taste. One problem though, only three booths were actually serving food. Apparently, the food vendors didn’t get the memo about the gates opening at 4:00PM.

We headed for one of the booths that actually had someone working in it and ordered a slice of pizza. The man took a pizza box out of one of those thermal bags pizza guys use to keep home delivery pizza hot in transit, and slapped a $4.00 piece on a plate. It was bad. Really, REALLY bad. OK, well, then on to the second place that sort of looked like they might be serving food. We spotted a booth that had workers in it and placed an order for rice balls (arancini), those big plump balls of rice, as big as an orange, filled with meat and deep-fried. For $7.00 I was handed a mini-sized plate with four thimble-sized things that were washed down with a lukewarm bottle of water ($2.00). We think they were pretty good, but there wasn’t enough to pass fair judgment.

Not far away was the booth I was hoping to find. They were selling stuffed artichokes. Thinking I could charm one of the women into telling me how long it would be until they were serving food, I approached the counter. Bad move. All it took to send me running away as fast as I could was the screech owl voice of the lady informing me that, “we ain’t serving no food yet”.

By this time I was beginning to lose my appetite from the heat (we are in the middle of a desert after all). Lucky me, a worker was removing a trash bag from a 50 gallon trash can. The bottom fell out and many gallons of an unidentifiable orange colored, liquidy mass that I suspect was used cooking grease from the night before, spilled out onto the sidewalk in front of us. I say lucky, because that’s pretty much when we decided to leave the festival.

On the way out of the festival that had very little in the way of festivities, we did spot a lady selling Cajun shrimp and a booth selling Thai food, both something I seek out when I head for an Italian festival (sarcasm alert). Those of you who follow this blog know that it takes a lot for me to post a negative review. I don’t want to paint a glum picture of the festival. There was a booth demonstrating Sham Wow cleaning cloths (as seen on TV!). That’s festive.

I’m not sure what that $14 entry fee was supposed to get us since the carnival rides require an additional $25 ticket. Moral of the story, if you decide to go to the San Gennaro Italian Festival this year, try going much later in the evening. If you spot one of those stuffed artichokes, let me know how it was. And take plenty of cash.

San Gennaro Feast, Sept. 11 – 16, 2012
Tuesday Sept. 11- 4pm to 11pm
Wednesday Sept. 12- 4pm to 11pm
Thursday Sept. 13 – 4pm to 11pm
Friday Sept. 14 – 4pm to Midnight
Saturday Sept. 15 – 11am to Midnight
Sunday Sept. 16 – 11am to 10pm

Andrew Zimmern and Bizarre Foods Celebrates 100th Episode in Las Vegas

Not So Bizarre

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Andrew Zimmern on location for the filming of the 100th episode of his popular show, Bizarre Foods. You would think a man whose diet includes insects, entrails and all manner of peculiar food would come off a bit quirky. Yes, he eats that stuff sometimes, but he’s not quirky at all. This James Beard Foundation winner is engaging, gracious and one of the nicest people we’ve come across on the food scene in a long while.

When we asked Andrew what he hoped we would take away from his TV series that explores the underbelly of the world’s cuisines, he explained that food is a common denominator for the divergent global community. By understanding how different cultures obtain, prepare and consume their food he hopes we will gain an enlightened non-political acceptance for cultures unfamiliar to many of us. He also explained that a large part of his show’s demographics includes children. He’s hoping their interest in his travels will help teach tolerance and respect for unfamiliar food and the people who eat it.

He seems genuinely surprised about the success of his show, but not all is serious with this teddy bear of a man we’d love to have for a next-door neighbor. He spoke with amusement and a bit of surprise about the results from a poll of adult film entertainers. Along with Anthony Bourdain and Brit chef Heston Blumenthal he was chosen as one of the top three people they would most like to appear with in a one of their films. We aren’t surprised; the combination of good food and charming company are a globally stimulating recipe.

Andrew Zimmern’s current series “Bizarre Foods America” airs Monday nights on the Travel Channel. The episode starring the Las Vegas food scene is slated to air in July. If you are already a fan of his we highly recommend following him on Twitter. His frequent posts and photos are a real-time extension of his home life and travels.

South Point Food Truck Fest-Dinner and a Movie

Gourmet food trucks are rolling in from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix and Denver serving up their finest dishes and specialty sweets.

Bring your friends, family and an appetite to indulge in the vast array of innovative cuisines and warm up with an adult beverage at the hot chocolate and coffee liqueur station while enjoying a night under the stars.  The event will feature a screening of the John Wayne hit The Searchers.

Admission to the event is FREE to the public; however the food trucks will accept cash for your food and drink purchases

Trucks include  BBQ Boy… Ludo Truck…Biker Jim… Luncha Libre…Border Grill …Nom Nom Truck…Charlie’s Lunch… Pie N Burger…CoolHaus… Pops On The Go…Curbside Café… Rolling Sushi Van…Devilicious… Slidin Thru…Haulin Balls… Tasty Bunz…Ichimas… The Chairman…Longboards Ice Cream… Tornado Potato…Love Grub… Wake n Bake Wagon

Wednesday, February 1, 2012   5PM – 9PM
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas
Interstate 15 at Silverado Ranch

South Point Spaghetti Eating Contest

South Point Gourmet Food Truck Fest

On Saturday, November 5th South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa will host Las Vegas’ first big gourmet food truck rally, the South Point Gourmet Food Truck Fest. The event will feature several of Las Vegas’ most popular restaurants on wheels as well as food trucks rolling in from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.

Guests can expect a wide variety of entertainment including live music throughout the day as well as the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer garden, a wine area and Absolut Vodka bars where guests can enjoy a few drinks while watching football.

The event is free to the public; bring cash to enjoy the wide array of mouthwatering meals on wheels! If you haven’t already experienced the national food truck craze, this is a great chance to see what it’s all about.

When: Saturday, November 5, 2011 11:00AM – 5:00PM

Where: South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa 9777 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas Interstate 15 at Silverado Ranch. Additional Parking is located at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Pyle Ave (shuttles provided)

Food Trucks:
Sin City Wings…Nom Nom Truck…Tasty Bunz…Food Slingers…Biker Jim…Cool Haus…BBQ Boy…Wings on Wheels…Food Slingers…Slap Yo Mama…Fuku Burger…Haute Chix…IchiMas…Ludo Truck…Pop’s Philly Cheesesteak Truck…Slidin’ Thru…The Chairman Boa

Roasted New Mexico Green Chilis

If you live in Las Vegas, mark your calendar, especially if you are a fan of those celebrated roasted green chilis from Hatch, New Mexico.

On Saturday, August 13th starting at 6:00AM, the Albertsons at 1650 N. Buffalo Drive will be doing their annual Hatch Chili Roasting. Shoppers can buy a 30 pound bag of fresh Hatch chilis for $34.99 and have them roasted on the spot free of charge.

The peeled, roasted green chilis are a staple in our kitchen. We pack them in quart freezer bags and stow them in our freezer for use all winter for our green chili cheeseburger cravings. We couldn’t do without pork and green chili sauce for our enchiladas and scrambled eggs. And then there’s green chili salsa and chiles rellenos….the list goes on!

When these not-too-spicy green chilis are roasted, the bitter peels blister and are easily slipped off the flesh. The seeds and stems are discarded and what’s left are luscious filets of savory, almost sweet, peppery goodness that have made the folks in Hatch, New Mexico world famous

As if having your chilis roasted for you in a traditional New Mexico chili roaster isn’t entertaining enough, from 7:00AM to 4:00PM, there will also be food and wine samples, free samples of favorite Hatch chili recipes, recipe cards, music, and multiple vendor booths.

For additional information, phone the Albertsons store at (702) 562-6079.

Fresh New Mexican Green Chilis

Great Food Truck Race-Las Vegas

Contestants for the TV Food Network will be around town this weekend vying for spots on the next season of Tyler Florence’s Great Food Truck Race.

We’re rooting for Cleveland’s Hodge Podge truck. They’ll be at the El Cortez today (Saturday 4/23) at 11:30 selling lobster, surf & turf and other goodies. Boston’s Roxy Grilled Cheese will be at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Garces. If you want to see what the buzz with these gourmet, rolling resturants is about, today is a good day to check it out.

Those food trucks we often see around Las Vegas construction sites have blown into a major food craze in cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. We aren’t talking the “roach coaches” that have long been rolling around Vegas. These new food trucks-more like mini restaurants on wheels-are serving up high end gourmet food-to-go. Often owned and operated by young culinary graduates with a vision, these modern food trucks are sometimes a non-conventional gateway to financing their dream restaurant, and to have what is sure to be a lot of fun along the way.

Many of these food trucks have been responsible for sparking new food trends (Korean tacos from the Kogi food truck in Los Angeles are one of the most written about). Some have a huge loyal following of fans that follow the trucks wherever they may be parked on a given day. And a few get enough of a following and publicity that eventually earns the owners the backing they need to secure the financing for the restaurant of their dreams.

Check our twitter site for updates throughout the weekend.


We just returned from the event. All of the trucks can be accessed from the entrance of the El Cortez on Fremont Street. Park at the main Fremont Street parking garage, just a 4 minute walk to the El Cortez from there. The weather is great this weekend and the lines aren’t long……must try: the Hodge Podge dog from Cleveland’s Hodge Podge Truck. The truffled ketchup and pear/dragon fruit tea rock!

Celebrity Chef Tour-Las Vegas-November 15, 2010


Rick Moonen’s rm seafood
3930 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89119

November 15, 2010

6:30 PM

PRICE: $150 per person inclusive
Tickets available October 7, 2010


Visa Signature Price:  $130 per person inclusive
Visa Signature® tickets available October 4, 2010

HOST VENUE – Rick Moonen’s rm seafood
At Rick Moonen’s rm seafood, we are committed to use organically grown, sustainable produce and sustainably caught seafood. We have made a public commitment to solely purchase sustainable wines by June 2008 and 95 percent of the menu proteins come from sustainably raised or caught seafood. It is our goal at Rick Moonen’s rm seafood to help our guest connect their individual buying decisions to the health of the oceans and the soil.

Rick Moonen’s rm seafood offers intimate fine dining serving state of the art seafood preparations in a setting that resembles the interior of a swank cruise ship with stunning wood and glass appointments. Rick Moonen’s rm seafood is the perfect place to entertain guests, spend a romantic evening with a loved one or just mingle with friends in the beautiful lounge.


RESTAURANT – 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge, Philadelphia PA

Jennifer Carroll is the celebrated chef de cuisine of the award winning 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge by Eric Ripert in Philadelphia, Pa. Carroll is also well-known for starring on Bravo’s Emmy and James Beard Award winning television show Top Chef. She was a finalist and fan favorite on the sixth season of the popular series.

Born and raised in the Somerton section of Northeast Philadelphia, Carroll’s notion of meals consisted of protein, starch and canned vegatables. “My Dad was a steak and potatoes guy,” said Carroll. “My Mom took cooking classes and read about cuisine, but my Dad would have none of it. So our meals were pretty basic.”

Carroll’s passion for restaurant work, service and the art of cooking led her to attend Philadelphia’s Restaurant School. Upon graduation, Carroll worked at Derek Davis’ Sonoma and Arroyo Grill, as well as Neil Stein’s Avenue B, under Chef Patrick Feury. She also spent time in San Francisco, where she was sous chef at Julia and Cafe Kati. Carroll’s aspiration to work in a classic European kitchen led to her role as sous chef at Eric Ripert’s prestigious Le Bernardin in New York City.

When 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge opened in May 2008, inside the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, Carroll was personally selected by Ripert to lead the kitchen. Carroll brings a wealth of experience to her position, where she combines her knowledge of West Coast cuisine, international fare and classic European fine dining. Her work in a three star Michelin-rated restaurant has allowed her to grow into a well-rounded culinary professional with an impressive command of simple, high quaility flavors prepared with pristine ingredients.

At 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge, Carroll creates menus of modern American cuisine with an emphasis on local ingredients. The restaurant is a AAA Four-diamond award winner, and in 2009, was bestowed the Event of the Year award from the Philadelphia chapter of La Chaine des Rotisseur, the oldest gastronomic association in the world.

Carroll also contributes her culinary talents to many charitable causes, including Philabundance, Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Slow Food USA. She is the winner of the 2009 Dish It Up! cook-off for Women Against Abuse and is the Chef Chair for Share our Strength’s 2010 Taste of the Nation in Philadelphia.

“To be in my ‘city’ is so great, especially being close to my friends and family,” says Carroll. “The city and its restaurant scene have evolved in a positive way over the last decade, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it as the chef of 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge.

RESTAURANT – Rick Moonen’s rm seafood, Las Vegas NV

An advocate for sustainable fishing and seafood, Rick Moonen’s passion for conservation has led him to national acclaim. A native New Yorker, Moonen graduated first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in 1978. He apprenticed at L’Hostellerie Bressane in Hillsdale, New York where he built both his confidence and experience working side by side with Chef Jean Morel.

From there, Moonen assumed the position of saucier at Manhattan’s La Cote Basque. This experience was followed by two years at Le Cirque working with the legendary Alain Sailhac. In the ensuing years, Moonen continued his career in New York, becoming Executive Chef at some of New York’s most iconic restaurants, including Le Relais, Century Café and Chelsea Central before joining Buzzy O’Keefe at The Water Club. After six years, Moonen left to become Executive Chef and Partner at Oceana where he helped garner the restaurant national recognition and three stars from The New York Times. His next step was partnering to create Molyvos, a Greek fish house, which would further demonstrate the range of his culinary skills. Here he created Greek cuisine on another level, and Molyvos was the first Greek restaurant to earn three stars from The New York Times.

It was after five years that Moonen decided to develop his own highly anticipated restaurant. As Executive Chef and owner of New York City’s rm, Moonen earned critical acclaim and, once again, received three stars from The New York Times. In 2005, he was drawn to the rapidly developing culinary scene in Las Vegas and as such he closed his doors in New York City to bring his unique flavor and specialties of the seafood world to the west coast.

In February 2005, Chef Moonen opened his multi-leveled restaurant Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The lower level of the restaurant offers regional coastal favorites and a bountiful world-class raw bar in a bustling market atmosphere. The upper level offers a more elegant experience featuring Chef Moonen’s inventive tasting and à la carte menus, a signature of his craft.

When not behind the stove, Moonen can be found throughout the country educating about the dangers of over-fishing and ocean conservation. As an industry leader, he has testified several times for environmental and sustainable policy issues in Washington, DC and New York. He is a founding member of the Seafood Choices Alliances which named him “Seafood Champion” in 2006 as well as an active member of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Seaweb, and a chef’s advisory board member of Ecofish. He also has served as a spokesperson for American caviar, a more environmentally sound alternative to the Caspian Sea varieties, and he is often quoted for his expertise with various indigenous and exotic fish.

Moonen is happiest doing the things that originally brought him to a culinary career—cooking, teaching and writing about fish and seafood. His current passion has been the writing of his first cookbook, Fish Without a Doubt. A practical, hands-on guide to buying, preparing and cooking a wide array of fish, Rick’s focus is on delicious recipes prepared with easily obtainable ingredients.


Oysters with Vodka Mignonette Sauce

It’s the beginning of oyster season now. The following recipe features oysters but the real star is a take on the classic Mignonette sauce often served with raw oysters on the half shell. In the classic version a white wine reduction is the base for the sauce. In this updated version, vodka is substituted. Many people wouldn’t think to pair a distilled spirit with food but the super premium vodkas are distilled and filtered to remove impurities and flavors that can clash with food. These vodkas actually enhance some flavors that contain flavor compounds that are most soluble in alcohol.

Don’t try this with bargain brand vodka, the results are too harsh. We used Crystal Head, a relatively new brand on the market but any premium brand will work well.

Vodka Mignonette Sauce
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon premium vodka (Crystal Head, Grey Goose, Belvedere..etc)
2 ½ tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 shallot, very finely chopped
White pepper to taste
Salt as needed

Place ¼ cup of the vodka and the vinegar in saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Turn off the flame and stir in the shallot and white pepper. Reserve the liquid from the oysters as you shuck them. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and add up to ½ cup of the strained liquid to the vodka/vinegar mixture. Stir to combine and taste. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of vodka and a pinch of salt if needed and chill till serving time (oysters tend to be salty so taste carefully).

Serve the sauce in small dishes or ramekins, letting your guests spoon it on top of each chilled, raw oyster (or clams) on the half shell.

Yield: Sauce for 18-24 oysters

The Ghostbusters and Blues Brothers star himself, Dan Aykroyd, will be in town on Friday, October 29th to promote his popular, super-premium vodka, Crystal Head Vodka. He will visit Boca Park’s Total Wine & More at 730 South Rampart Boulevard from 4:00 to 6:00PM for a bottle signing.


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