Show 25, April 13, 2013: Luciano Pellegrini, Executive Chef/Partner of Valentino Las Vegas in The Venetian

Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino Las VegasLuciano has been the guiding force behind Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino Las Vegas since it opened 14 years ago. He relocated from Los Angeles and has very visibly been at the helm ever since.

He’s one of the few James Beard award-winning chefs who actually cooks in a Las Vegas restaurant full-time and lives there!

Unfortunately we missed connecting with Chef Luciano and hope to talk with him at another time. The Valentino news is that the restaurant will be closing at The Venetian with the hope it will soon be transplanted to a new location.

The better news is that Chef Luciano and his fine staff will be serving guests until the end of June if not longer. Enjoy the original Valentino Las Vegas experience while you can. When it comes to elegant Italian fine-dining with exemplary service and a superb wine program you really can’t do better!

Andrew Zimmern and Jet Tila on Appetite for LifeTravel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern is a fan of Chef Jet’s food and has been wanting to cook with him on TV for some time. It finally happened on February 17th when Andrew visited Jet at The Charleston in Santa Monica for their Sunday Jazz Brunch. Jet demonstrated two dishes for Andrew Zimmern for a new Web series Andrew has on MSN. The series goes by the name “Appetite for Life”.

If you go to the Web site, you’ll see a big window on the Home page with color photo links to the Season 5 episodes. If you tab through the 16 episodes presented there (right and left) Jet is Number 5. The webisode itself is titled “A World of Culinary Wisdom”.


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.