A Taste of Vegas Uncork’d

I’ve been here only 36 hours and already I’ve got too much to tell you and not enough time to sit down and do the telling.  So, I’ll mention just a few things and then try to tell you more when I’m not in the midst of it all.   In no particular order, here are some tidbits …

Fr_chocolates

I’m staying at Wynn and being spoiled silly.  When I toddled into my room last night I found this amazing box of chocolates by Frederic Robert waiting for me.  It was very late and I was very tired, but as soon as I spotted the huge box I started giggling like a little kid.  From left to right by rows, there’s:

  • Candy bars — coffee and coconut
  • Caramel bouchee and milk gianduja bouchee
  • Lollipops
  • Chocolate-covered hazelnuts
  • Tablets of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate with fruit and nuts
  • Chocolate-covered almonds
  • Spiced mixed nuts
  • Popcorn, and these

Pretzels

  • Soft pretzels with mustard, which made a great snack this afternoon

These chocolates — I called them, the package and the thoughtfulness amazing already, didn’t I? — joined another little goody, which also came with a story. I was picked up at the airport by someone from Wynn (told you I was being spoiled) and, in the course of our chatting, I mentioned that I love M&Ms and was hoping to find time to visit the M&M museum.  Thirty minutes later, when the bellman arrived with my bags, he said, “I understand you like M&M’s, so maybe you’ll like these,” and he handed me this:

Mms_2

a bowl with enough M&Ms to keep me for the weekend.

In between chocolate treats, I hosted a dinner at Payard, Francois Payard‘s gem of a patisserie and dessert restaurant in Caesars Palace.  Here I am with Francois and Mario Rinaldi from Champagne Paul Goerg, who makes Francois’ excellent rose Champagne (if you know my blog, you know that I almost never appear in pictures, but last night, whenever I said I wanted a picture of someone, I seemed to get pulled into the shot)

Rinaldi_payard_and_dg_4

I was so busy eating and chatting with guests that I didn’t get to take food shots, but if ever you’re in Las Vegas, you’ve got to go to Payard, have the four-course dessert menu — all of which will be prepared in the kitchen-in-the-round in the center of his beautiful and very intimate (only 40 seats) restaurant — and hope that the Milk Chocolate Payard Candy Bar with Gianduja and Caramel Glaze is on it.

At the dinner was someone I think many of you know

Adam_roberts_3

the adorable (funny and smart) Adam Roberts, The Amateur Gourmet and the star of The FN Dish on the Food Network’s website.

Then this afternoon, I played sidekick to Anthony Amorosa, executive chef of Michael Mina

Anthony_amorosa

Anthony did a workshop that had us all mesmerized — he prepared a lobster cannoloni and a boneless rack of lamb sous-vide and got everyone in the overflow audience (me included) so excited about the possibilities of cooking this way at home that we were all teasing that soon we’d be competing against one another on e-bay to buy immersion circulators, the tool chefs use to keep water at a constant 68 degrees C, the ideal sous-vide temp.  Because it was so fascinating, I’ll tell you more about Anthony’s workshop and what I learned in a separate post.

The workshop was in the Bellagio, which means I had the chance to ogle Jean-Philippe Maury’s pastisserie.  In the pastry case, I found Maury’s contribution to rose fever

Jp_maury_rose_macaron

and on display, this whimsical assemblage of sculpted cakes

Jeanphil_maury_bag_cake

There’s more, but I’ve got to get dolled up and get over to Caesar’s for the Grand Tasting.

Dorie Greenspan

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