Show 390, September 12, 2020: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part One

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series.

Al joins us with his quarterly update report on the Las Vegas dining scene. First is a tribute to fondly remembered Rock ‘n Roll Chef Kerry Simon whose impact lives on in Las Vegas. There is a development this week on whether Vegas bars that serve food can reopen counter service that has created a lot of confusion for restaurateurs Al will also preview what’s of particular interest to him in some major restaurant openings on the horizon (including the future dining establishments in Virgin Hotels and Circa.)

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Show 390, September 12, 2020: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review-Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series.

Al continues with an update report on the Las Vegas dining scene. Labor Day Weekend was huge for them. There is a development this week on whether bars that serve food can reopen counter service that has created a lot of confusion for restaurateurs. status of the iconic He’ll also preview what’s of particular interest to him in some major restaurant openings on the horizon. Additionally we’ll find out about food & beverage available at the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, when the fans can attend events there.

 

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Show 151, December 19, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer Andy Harris on Las Vegas Dining

Deviled Eggs at db Brasserie in Las vegasChef Andrew always enjoys Chef Jose Andres’ first restaurant in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, Jaleo. As he says it never disappoints. His go-to dish is the chicken croquettes artfully served in a shoe.

db Brasserie (Daniel Boulud) at The Venetian just celebrated their first anniversary in May so Producer Andy wanted to revisit them. The food is always consistently good but what really impressed him was the level of attentive service and welcoming environment when the restaurant was not terribly busy. (It’s a slow Weekend in Las Vegas with Christmas coming up.) That’s the sign of a well-managed establishment. The executive chef, Vincent Pouessel was out in the dining room touching tables. His pastry chef was doing the same thing.

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March 8: Brock Radke, Maui Brewing, Big Island Chocolate Festival, 800 Degress Pizzeria, Passmore Ranch, Robert Schueller

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Three: Garrett Marrero, founder, Maui Brewing Co.
Segment Four: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Five: Executive Chef Anthony Carron, co-founder, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
Segment Six: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part Two
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Let’s talk pure chocolate indulgence. We’ll be previewing the Big Island Chocolate Festival. Then it’s time for a Las Vegas dining update. Brock Radke, our Las Vegas insider, brings us up-to-date. There is a new Neapolitan pizzeria in town that’s generating long lines. The co-founder & executive chef provides the tasty details.

You’ve probably never tasted farm-raised fish like this unless you’ve dined at a Rick Moonen restaurant or at The Meadowood Restaurant. A purveyor to the best restaurants is now serving home chefs with fresh fish on a very limited basis. There is an incredible craft brewery success story in Maui and you’ll hear all about it. They actually package their premium beer in cans! Organic fruits and vegetables are top of the mind. Our resident produce expert, Robert Schueller (The Pastor of Produce) from Melissa’s, is back with an informative update.

All of this and lots more incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyBrock Radke is our “in the know” guy in Las Vegas. He’s the respected Food editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Brock brings us up-to-date on the Vegas dining scene. We’ll find out about the soon to open Linq on The Strip, the 411 on Giada De Laurentiis’ first restaurant in Las Vegas, and a collection of enticing new restaurants in Las Vegas’ Chinatown.

Garett Marrero of Maui Brewing CompanyMaui Brewing Co., founded by Garrett Marrero, is a craft brewery based in Maui, HI. As the largest authentic Hawaiian brewery, it currently has one brewery in Lahaina, and one brewpub in Kahana that creates more than 40 different styles on a rotating basis. In 2005 Maui Brewing Co. produced 400 barrels from the single brewpub and expanded into an additional brewery location in 2007, producing a little over 20,000 barrels in 2013.

MBC has remained consistent in the vision, “Handcrafted Ales & Lagers Brewed with Aloha.” The beers have been recognized worldwide for quality and innovation winning more than 100 medals in a short history. MBC was one of the first craft brewers to package their products in recyclable aluminum cans.

MBC is currently in construction to move production to a state-of-the-art brewery in Kihei.

It’s the only Hawaiian brewery with product available in the continental United States where the beer is actually brewed, and packaged, in Hawaii.

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalThe alluring, rich taste of chocolate, in both its sweet and savory forms, is showcased at the 3rd Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival, May 2 to 3 at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Headlining the event is “Mr. Chocolate,” Jacques Torres, Food Network celebrity and acclaimed pastry chef from New York. Also appearing is Donald Wressell of Guittard and Derek Poirier of Valrhona USA.

“The Big Island Chocolate Festival is a fantasyland of chocolate.” Says Kona Cacao Association President Farsheed Bonakdar (Bone-ak-dar.) “It inspires our chefs, encourages our island farmers to grow cacao and shows our chocolatiers that chocolate can be a viable business.” Farsheed Bonakdar of KCA is our guest.

Anthony Carron of 800 Degrees PizzaChef Anthony Carron is the creative force behind 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria which is growing rapidly with a devoted following. His background is in fine-dining. It started in Westwood in 2011. A “To-Go” branch was added in Westwood. Santa Monica recently opened. Las Vegas, Pasadena, Hollywood, and New York are on the horizon.

It’s thin crust pizza that follows the traditions established in Naples. What’s really different is that once you choose your toppings the pizza is then flash-cooked for about a minute in a wood-burning over at 800 degrees!

“800 Degrees strives to honor the tradition of classic Neapolitan pizza where the integrity of handcrafted ingredients is paramount. We use natural grown California tomatoes, our mozzarella is made for us every day right here in L.A., and our crust is crafted in house from only Italian flour, wild yeast, sea salt and filtered water.”

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchThe always colorful Michael Passmore is a fish farmer in Northern California.

Passmore Ranch is a premium freshwater, sustainable fish ranch in California. They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly made them a premier purveyor for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs throughout the State and country.

They offer the freshest fish, aged, sized and delivered to order, almost as if chefs were pointing and saying, “I’ll take that one.” They continue to build new partnerships with some of the country’s best chefs, including renowned restaurateur Rick Moonen, three-star Michelin chef Christopher Kostow, Napa pioneer Cindy Pawlcyn, and Dallas chef and “Top Chef” Season 10 contestant John Tesar.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized caviar. Most are available in any form a chef would like – live, filleted, special cuts and everything in between – coming straight, as the Passmore crew says, “fresh from our ranch to your kitchen.”

Michael Passmore speaks about the launch of Provisions. “Home Chefs, we’re very excited to bring you our fish and produce, fresh from our ranch to your kitchen just like we do with Michelin starred, James Beard awarded, and just plain great chefs in restaurants around the country.”

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasMichael is joined by Chef Rick Moonen of rm Seafood and Rx Boiler Room in Las Vegas. Sustainable seafood is his specialty. Chef Moonen was at Passmore Ranch curing a batch of American caviar. He explains the process.

Organic fruits and vegetables are getting a lot of attention these days. With the fresh concern about GMOs in food, certified organic fruits and vegetables are, by definition, free of GMOs.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur resident produce expert, Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, is back with us to discuss what’s new in organics. Melissa’s is the largest variety supplier of fresh organic produce in the USA. They have been distributing organic produce for over 16 years.

What’s hot? All varieties of organic Kale are at the top of the sales charts currently.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Three: Garrett Marrero, founder, Maui Brewing Co.
Segment Four: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao Association
Segment Five: Executive Chef Anthony Carron, co-founder, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
Segment Six: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Passmore, Fish Farmer, Passmore Ranch Part Two
Segment Eight: Robert Schueller, Produce Authority, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.

Show 22, March 23, 2013: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor of Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyA few weeks ago Brock wrote a piece for Las Vegas Weekly’s Web site on the 20 most important restaurants in Las Vegas. That generated such an enormous reaction that Brock’s Editor asked him to revise the piece and rank the “Top 20” in his order of his preference. The cover story for the March 14th issue was “The 20 Most Important Restaurants in Las Vegas: Brock Radke ranks the landmarks and upstarts defining how we eat right now.” There is also a fascinating sidebar where Brock interviews the chefs and restaurateurs who made the Top 20 and gets their pick for most important restaurant.

The Top 5 in order are L’Altelier de Joel Robuchon, Raku, Picasso, Lotus of Siam and a tie between Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon for the 5th position. It’s significant to note that two of the Top 5 choices are off Strip locations outside of luxury hotels.

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Show 14, January 26, 2013: Al Mancini, restaurant critic for CityLife (Las Vegas)

Eating Las Vegas the 50 Essential RestaurantsAl is part of an unlikely group of three local restaurant critics who dominate the Las Vegas restaurant review scene. The other two members of this exclusive trio are the scholarly Max Jacobson who reviews for Vegas Seven and John Curtas, esq., a practicing attorney.

Over three years ago Al Mancini came up with the idea of penning the definitive guidebook to the 50 essential restaurants in Las Vegas. The thought was that it would be updated annually. Al brought in fellow critics Max and John to add diversity to the selection process and sold the idea to Huntington Press in Las Vegas.

For a restaurant to make it into the “50 essential” all three critics must agree. This is where the fun starts because the three seldom agree on anything! One of the highlights of the book is the list in the back of restaurants that didn’t make it because of a veto. You have the explanation from the nominator about why it was included and then the thumbs down from the critic who disagreed.

Also in the book is a useful section on where to get specific food items. For instance there are helpful listings for beer, buffets, burgers, pizza, steakhouses, Sunday Brunch, and sushi.

Eating Las Vegas : The 50 Essential Restaurants is now in its 3rd Edition.  It’s a value @ $12.95.

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