Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vegas Uncork’d: Grand Tasting, Sip and Stroll

Friday night’s Tasting, Sip and Stroll

Talk about an event! Outside of Caesar’s Palace on their Roman Plaza in a huge tent with over three dozen restaurants, wineries, food and beverage companies represented. Hundreds of people waiting to get in, to see and be seen. Many famous chefs were in attendance, including Wolfgang Puck, Richard Chen, Hubert Keller, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. Silent auction. Book signings by Alan Richman, Dorie Greenspan, Cat Cora, Barbara Fairchild et al. French television crews interviewing French chefs like Joel Robuchon, Daniel Boulud, François Payard, Guy Savoy, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ... What a scene!

Everybody was getting into the act!

A representative from Stella Artois coaxed me into trying this combination of their Leffe Ale with some key lime cheesecake. I sipped the Leffe Ale first. I ate a piece of cheesecake and drank some more of the ale. It was so smooth!! It blended so well together!! The cheesecake and the Leffe Ale didn't fight with one another!! I was blown away!!

Susan Feniger of Border Grill; Eric Klein of Spago Las Vegas; John Curtas of KNPR with One Hot Tamale

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vegas Uncork’d: Sensi

And now for the entertainment portion of the conference: lunch at Sensi.

Host Alan Richman and chef Martin Heierling were doing an almost convincing “schtick as introduction” exchange of
each other’s biography,
followed by a description of the luncheon menu. When the Wagyu course was described, I raised my hand to ask a question. Chef Martin referred to me as a Japanese man. I quickly corrected him and identified myself as Chinese. Laughter ensued. The chef replied, saying something like, “That wasn’t in the script!”

Lunch was going to be fun!

Crispy tempura Maine lobster
Malayasian mango slaw, umeboshi plum, sesame citrus soy dressing

Taittinger, cuvee prestige brut, Reims, France

Chinese sausage in the mango slaw? That’s incredible! A European-trained chef who knows the intricacies of Asian cuisine. His experiences over in New Zealand and Asia are noticeable.

Miso-glazed sea bass
Water spinach, lily bubs, lotus seeds & ginger foam

Lergenmüller Riesling “Schäwer”, Pfalz 2005

There was a sweetness when I tasted the sea bass. I definitely noticed the ginger. Chef Martin admitted later that he loves ginger.

Duo of Wagyu Kobe beef
Sugar-cured striploin, spring pea puree, baby porcini mushrooms, tamarind-braised shortrib,
pickled green mango & onion seed grits

Stella Artois

Yes, the beef was paired with a beer. I got to converse with representatives from Stella Artois. The talks were very informative to me. On this occasion, the beer was an acquired taste to me with the beef.

The Lemon drop
Soft meringue, citrus semifreddo, pineapple confit, mandarin jelly & raspberries

That lunch was really good. Martin Heierling is a very talented chef. I would go back and eat there again.

NB I went back and had lunch at Sensi in August 2008. The food was excellent!

3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 693-7223