Monday, October 27, 2008

More than 12 James Beard Award Winning Chefs take us on a trip aound the U.S at the JBF Gala at the Venetian-Palazzo Resorts

The James Beard Foundation' s Taste America spent 3 days in Las Vegas where this special group of JBF award winning chefs showed off their skills to benefit the James
Beard Foundation.

" Taste America Las Vegas will salute America's newest and most exciting culinary capital in fitting style, with exclusive dining experiences , educational events and an all-star list of participating James Beard Foundation Award-winners," said Susan Ungaro , President of the James Beard Foundation.

The Gala event held at the Venetian/Palazzo was hosted by Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation and JBF Award Winner Charlie Trotter , Restaurant Charlie.

Many local Las Vegas Chefs hosted the event as well . Zach Allen , Carnevino/B&B Ristorante/Enoteca San Marco , David Burke, David Burke Restaurant, Olivier Dubreuil and Long Nguyen from the Venetian Palazzo Resort , Ludovic Lefebvre , LAVO, JBF Award Winner Luciano Pellegrini , Valentino and David Robins, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group all welcomed more than a dozen JBF award winners to the Gala.

After a warm welcome from Terry Jicinsky, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors authority and JBF President Susan Ungaro the festivities began.

We began the coast the coast tasting trip with Chef John Sundstrom of Lark, Seattle . His Hamachi Crudo with Fennel, Preserved Lemon, Picholine Olive and Wild Fennel Salt paired with Au Bon Climat 2004 "Hidegard" Estate.

Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino , Las Vegas was back
at work again with his Creamy Rabbit Spezzatino with
Fontina-Stuffed Bucatini and Funghi di Bosco this wonderful creation was paired with Umani Ronchi San Lorenso 2004 Montepulciano

R.J Cooper III from Vidalia, Washington, D.C was next with his creation of Sage Fennel Sausage, Stuffed Stoltzfus Farm Suckling Pig with Rye Berries, Huckleberry
Mustard and Rye Jus. The David Bruce 2005 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir paired well with this dish.

Adam Siegel of Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, Milwaukee finished up the 4 course meal with Strauss Free Raised Veal Cheeks with Onion Compote , Arugula and Celery Root Salad. Hahn Estates 2006 Meritage complemented Chef Adams creation very well.

As we were taken on this culinary journey throughout the U.S , Restaurant critic Allan Richman and local critic John Curtis conducted the live auction which featured items that many could only dream of and the James Beard Foundation could make a reality.

These items included many tempting choices like a culinary road trip stopping at over 7 culinary cities and dining at the JBF Award winners home restaurants , Dinner with JBF Award winner Charlie Trotter, Las Vegas shows with VIP treatment and many more. The funds raised from the dinner and auction help to support many JBF programs such as their large scholarship program , the award ceremony that is know throughout the world and educational conferences. What a better way to enjoy some VIP treatment and support a great culinary organization.

In accordance with JBF tradition, the local host chefs join the featured chefs on stage for a procession of chefs. It was truly an amazing site when more than 12 JBF Award winners took the stage in Las Vegas. Patrick Connolly, Bobo NYC , RJ Cooper III Vidalia, Washington D.C, Traci Des Jardins, Jardiniere, San Francisco, Jean-Louis Gerin, Jean-Louis, Greenwich Ct, Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans, Shawn McClain, Spring, Chicago, Adam Siegel,Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, Milwaukee, Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland Wa, Robert Stehling, Hominy Grill, Charleston SC, John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle, Celina Tio, Julia, Charlotte, NC and Fabio Trabocchi, Fiamma, NYC were joined by the seven host chefs for the procession .

For us at VINO LAS VEGAS this whole event awe inspiring. Meeting many young "upcoming" chefs along side these legendary chefs was a humbling experience . These JBF Taste America events are something we will soon not forget.

Join Elaine and Scott Harris of VINO LAS VEGAS as we take you inside the Gala and meet some of the people involved.

The James Beard Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating America's culinary heritage. To find out more about the James Beard Foundation you can visit

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott