Show 368, April 11, 2020: Chef Michael Stamm, MGP Specialty Food and Cured & Whey, Las Vegas

Michael Stamm of MGP Specialty FoodIf you’re in the gourmet specialty food business Las Vegas is the land of opportunity in normal times. There are multiple high-end, fine-dining restaurants located on The Strip as well as in the affluent suburbs of Summerlin and Henderson. Downtown Las Vegas has been enjoying an independent dining revival, too. A great local success story for 21 years is Chef Michael Stamm of MGP Specialty Food. “Specialty Products for the Gourmand.”

His gourmet specialty food retail operation for the public is Cured & Whey. They offer one of the most impressive cheese and charcuterie board selections available in Las Vegas. During the health crisis all soft and hard cheeses are being sold at deep discounts. Cured & Whey also stocks the essential pantry items. Curbside pickup is available.

“It takes a lot of care and integrity to procure just the right products and deliver above and beyond what our customers need and want,” said Chef Michael. Chef Michael’s philosophy is indeed a reflection of his commitment to quality and the extraordinaire.  He shares his manufacturers’ passion for excellence and takes great pride in the products and manufactures he personally selects to represent.

Chef Michael brings out the foie gras just for us and explains how he is navigating this unheard of time where Las Vegas is essentially closed for visitors.

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Show 368, April 11, 2020: Pasta Shop Ristorante and Art Gallery, Henderson, Nevada

Ann Alenik of Pasta Shop and Art GalleryLast year the Pasta Shop Ristorante and Art Gallery celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Over the years two generations of the Alenik Family have brought fresh pasta and creative Italian cuisine to the Las Vegas valley. Inspired by their late chef/founder David Alenik’s experiences as personal chef to Frank Sinatra and Steve Wynn, the family-owned restaurant and artisanal pasta makers use the best quality, local and imported ingredients throughout, including Vegan specialties.

Pasta Shop also supplies fresh pasta to many of the most popular restaurants on the famed Las Vegas Strip!

Mr. Sinatra’s dish of choice remains on the menu as Frank’s Favorite Meat Sauce. It’s finely diced meatballs, onions and spices in a robust tomato sauce served over house-made rigatoni.

Chef David’s widow, Ann, and daughter, Bianca, join us to roll out the pasta…

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Show 360, February 15, 2020: Executive Chef & Restaurateur James Trees – Las Vegas’ Ada’s and Esther’s Kitchen

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasInspired by the spirit of legendary bar woman Ada Coleman of the Savoy Hotel, Ada’s (Las Vegas) is driven by the idea that hospitality begins with offering every guest the best ingredients, preparation, and service possible. With Italian-inspired fresh pastas, artisanal American style pizza, seafood, meat and vegan selections at lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Ada’s offers the best quality version of “something for everyone” in an elegant but casual setting amongst the Italianate streets of Las Vegas’ Tivoli Village.

The Ada’s team is led by Chef/Owner James Trees, General Manager Sonia Stelea and Chef de Cuisine Dylan Jobsz.

Chef James original restaurant in Las Vegas is Esther’s Kitchen in the Downtown Arts District. He likes to describe it as “Seasonal Italian Soul Food.” Trees’ Great-aunt Esther (the namesake for the restaurant) was a tough, smart, no-nonsense type who cared about people and gave good advice. “She was a big support to my mom when I was growing up, and that was huge,” says Trees. “She was always there for us.”

Chef James is also one of the organizers of Vegas Unstripped, which is an energetic, locals’ food festival of impressive, off-the-Strip, chef-driven independent restaurants. It’s Saturday evening, May 2nd this year in Downtown Las Vegas.

We pull Chef James (also Esther’s Kitchen) away from his busy Ada’s kitchen Brunch line for a chat.

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Show 352, December 21, 2019: 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 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 since 2003. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guide series.

Al joins us with an insider’s report on best of the new restaurant openings in Las Vegas. We’ll cover The Strip as well as Downtown Las Vegas.

Al updates us on the progress of the upcoming (and long in the works) Slanted Door (Charles Phan) at the Forum Shops with Lanny Chin now apparently in place as Chef de Cuisine.

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Show 352, December 21, 2019: 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 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 since 2003. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guide series.

As we continue our conversation with Al we’ll look ahead for what’s on the culinary horizon in Vegas for new openings of note in early 2020. Al has already previewed Michael Mina’s upcoming International Smoke at the MGM Grand, a collaboration with Chef Ayesha Curry.

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Show 326, June 1, 2019: Cole Miller, Head Distiller, The Underground at The Mob Museum, Las Vegas

Mixologist Cole MillerThe Underground at Downtown Las Vegas’ The Mob Museum, is an extensive, interactive Prohibition history exhibition featuring a working distillery, brewery and speakeasy. Entirely re-envisioning the typical museum exhibition experience, The Underground takes visitors on an uncommonly vivid journey back in time. Situated discreetly in the basement of the Museum, The Underground encompasses 2,814 square feet appointed with luxurious, Art Deco design motifs.

Guests of The Underground are encouraged to ponder the time when consuming alcohol was not only a criminal act, but also bred secret watering holes–some of which became the most glamorous places to be.

Numerous exhibits and artifacts found in the distillery and speakeasy add depth and context to the experience. Exhibits and artifacts on display bring to life the essence of a time that saw organized crime syndicates grow richer and more powerful than ever before, while giving rise to great cultural and societal change.

A Distillery Tour and Tastings are also available at The Underground. (A ticket is required.) Sampling a variety of distilled spirits is part of the experience. Participants will have the opportunity to explore The Underground, learn about Prohibition and its impact on a variety of liquor. As part of the experience guests w are educated on the historical origins of Prohibition and gain insights into the drinking culture that existed before the 1920s era.

The Tasting Experience includes moonshine, vodka and The Underground’s ginger infusion. The tour encourages visitors to develop an appreciation for the flavor of genuine, corn-mash moonshine.

As a great souvenir of The Mob Museum you can buy premium moonshine in various sizes (and flavors) distilled in the working copper still at The Underground.

Our spirited guide is The Underground’s Head Distiller, Cole Miller.

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Show 323, May 11, 2019: Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of primo restaurant news in 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 since 2003. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guide series. Al joins us for his observations on Vegas Uncork’d, Vegas Unstripped and worthy dining happenings about the town.

“Al Mancini is a graduate of Seton Hall University and Brooklyn Law School, who began his career in journalism as a music reporter for ABC News Radio in 1996. He moved to Las Vegas to cover Southern Nevada for the network in 2001, and has covered the local dining scene for numerous publications since 2003. Al joined the Review-Journal in 2016.”

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Show 323, May 11, 2019: Executive Chef / Proprietor Angelo Auriana and Proprietor Matteo Ferdinandi, The Factory Kitchen, Las Vegas Part One

Chef Angelo AurianaThe Factory Kitchen, recently launched at The Venetian Resort, is the outcome of a long-standing friendship between Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana. Ferdinandi and Auriana share the vision of imparting their Italian roots and memories through food and hospitality. The original trattoria, serving traditional Italian recipes, opened its doors on Oct. 24, 2013, in The Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles.

The Factory Kitchen takes its name from the street it’s located on and the former factory building complex that hosts it, but the restaurant’s soul is purely Italian.

The approachable menu at The Factory Kitchen highlights the simplicity of traditional local recipes. These recipes have been passed down from generation to generation within Italian families.

“It’s Italian cuisine at its finest run by Italians.”

Matteo, Chef Angelo, and Las Vegas Chef de Cuisine Eduardo Perez are our guests.

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Show 323, May 11, 2019: Executive Chef / Proprietor Angelo Auriana and Proprietor Matteo Ferdinandi, The Factory Kitchen, Las Vegas Part Two

Matteo Ferdinandi of the Factory KitchenThe Factory Kitchen, recently launched at The Venetian Resort, is the outcome of a long-standing friendship between Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana. Ferdinandi and Auriana share the vision of imparting their Italian roots and memories through food and hospitality. The original trattoria, serving traditional Italian recipes, opened its doors on Oct. 24, 2013, in The Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles.

Later this year, sister restaurant sixth+mill pizzeria and bar will open in St. Mark’s Square inside Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort. The casual dining destination will celebrate the regions of Southern Italy and offer hand-crafted pizzas, pastas and a selection of shared plates inspired by Chef Angelo Auriana’s childhood memories.

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Show 323, May 11, 2019: Donald Contursi, Founder & President, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, Las Vegas

Donald Contursi of Lipsmacking Foodie Tours“In Vegas, you may need Lady Luck at the gambling tables, but not at the dining ones. Not when you rely on Lip Smacking Foodie Tours’ award-winning culinary walking tours that ensure a delicious payoff in the best bites this exciting city offers.”

“Our mission at LIPSMACKING foodie tours is to introduce visitors and locals alike to the best signature dishes, unique preparations and exciting tastes in Las Vegas. The mouths behind Lip Smacking Foodie Tours love food, eating, dining and experiencing. This quartet of passions originally inspired us to pursue careers in the food, beverage and hospitality industries. And ultimately, after years in the game, we created Las Vegas’ premier walking tour company exclusively geared toward those craving the ultimate taste of Las Vegas.”

“Book a tour today and you will be privy to a day or night adventure at up to four top restaurants, on the Strip or downtown, hosted by the citys culinary insiders who will entertain you with fascinating stories about Vegas. At each restaurant, you’re a VIP, whisked to the best table to enjoy 3 to 4 signature dishes at each stop. We take the gamble out of finding the most Lip Smacking tastes among the more than 330 restaurants on the Strip.”

President & Founder Donald Contursi is our guide.

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