Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Show is UP: Chefs!

A food episode, yum! Dig in! Subscribe (it's free!) in iTunes or in Zune. Click on the date below to make it play or right-click to save it and listen at your leisure. Enjoy!

June 28: Hot Air In The Kitchen
...with Rick Moonen & Jet Tila

You know what group of Vegas notables rarely, if ever, find themselves at the center of controversy? Chefs. Normally, they just oversee their kitchens, sell their books and show up on daytime TV feeding perky anchors delicious treats. That's why it was so jarring when Rick Moonen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay ended up in the middle of a feud with Top Chef Masters judge Jay Rayner this month over why Moonen came in second in the Bravo series. We'll talk to Rick about that and then turn to another outspoken Vegas chef, Jet Tila of Wazuzu at Wynn Las Vegas. Tila talks about his Guinness record attempts, local restaurant picks, and shows he loved and hated. Plus, he discloses the ingredients of Steve Wynn's special California roll, which is not on the menu. Tila says you can ask for it, though.

In Banter: Vegas downscaled with Ross Dress For Less and more, the wacko Jacko auction, the silliness in Vegas! The Show's advertising and a special cameo by a friend playing WSOP events this weekend.

Links to stuff discussed:

Rick Moonen’s website, book and restaurant
Jet Tila’s Las Vegas Weekly blog and Facebook page
Steve’s AOL News piece on the chip collector’s convention
The McKee-Prosser wedding blog post
Rob Walch’s Podcast411 and Today in iPhone podcasts

Steve’s AOL News report on the MJ auction
Kardashian store coming to the Mirage
Riviera act claiming he's 2009 Nevada performer of the year, Greg London
An image of Vegas! The Show’s ridiculous rack card
Hubert Keller’s TV cooking show, which is moving to Vegas
Facebook page for The Strip Podcast
Steve’s LVW column on the Top Chef outcome


atdnext said...

Since this is right up my foodie alley, I've already uploaded this episode onto my iPod and I'll be listening soon. I'm sorry I haven't been in the chat room in a while. I've actually had several busy Saturdays in a row, but hopefully some time soon I can pop back in and listen to a live show. :-)

atdnext said...

And btw, here's another interesting tidbit. Remember when Vegas was considered a "culinary hell" as big chefs passed us over for LA? Well, it's interesting how more and more "celebrity chefs" are either coming here first before making the splash in LA... Or even coming here and bypassing LA altogether.

- Rick Moonen left NYC to build and run RM Seafood here. And if "The X Train" is developed and he gets some sort of restaurant at the train station (didn't he mention this in the interview?), he'll be another Vegas chef to then hit LA.

- Of course, Kerry Simon blazed this trail just 3 or so years ago when he debuted Simon LA long after building quite the "celebrity chef" reputation with Simon Kitchen & Bar at Hard Rock, and now Simon Restaurant & Lounge at Palms.

- I believe Mario Batali inked his deal with Sheldon Adelson to open B&B and Enoteca San Marco at The Venetian (and later Carnevino at Palazzo) before he teamed with Nancy Silverton to do Pizzeria & Osteria Mozza in LA.

- "Culinary God" Thomas Keller debuted Bouchon here long before he just recently opened Bouchon LA (late last year).

- And of course, the LA foodie set (and not to mention, NYC foodies!) are still kicking and screaming over "French Invasion Warriors" Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy, and Pierre Gagnaire completely passed up LA (and even NYC!) to debut their US fine dining palaces here in Vegas.

It certainly makes me proud to see how far Las Vegas has come in dining. We really have evolved from cheap buffet/inedible "$1.99 steak & eggs special!" food hell to foodie paradise. And while I still think we have some room for improvement (mainly with unique, quality dining options off-Strip), it's great to even see amazing chefs like Rick Moonen and Hubert Keller flourish here.

Now if only Fleur de Lys didn't have to close for that "small plate concept"... Sigh...