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Chef Demonstrations and Seminars
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

After a morning of presentations, IFWTWA Conference attendees were ready for lunch. We had the opportunity to visit several restaurants in the Venetian and Palazzo to observe chef demonstrations or attend a seminar. Many of these visits included the chance to eat the foods the chef was demonstrating.

Chef DemonstrationsAquaknox

The Aquaknox restaurant in the Las Vegas’ Venetian combines delightful friendliness with elegance and fine food. The front of the Aquaknox features vertical flowing water. Colors of blue and black enhance the elegant dining. At the back of the restaurant an open kitchen allows diners to view the preparation of dishes. From the moment the hostess greets and welcomes you, until you leave, you are sure to be impressed with the atmosphere and the food. Seafood lovers should note that fresh seafood from throughout the world arrives at the restaurant daily. To ensure the safety of the seafood at the restaurant, they have partnered with Safe Harbor™.

Chef Moloney is the Executive Chef for Aquaknox. He is friendly and easily answers questions. His focus is on fresh food and seafood although his menus include additional entrees. Chef Moloney’s experience includes opening several restaurants, developing menus and overseeing restaurant kitchens.

He showed us four large fresh fish and then filleted one. He was quick and at ease during the process. The group of 15 watched intently during the process. After the fish was filleted, he proceeded to create a wonderful dish. In small portions, this could be an appetizer or larger portions would suffice for an entrée. We enjoyed the opportunity to taste a sample of this delicious dish.

AquaKnox Seminar

The AquaKnox Seminar was held immediately after the demonstration. Our group sat at an oblong table within a short distance of the open kitchen. Chef Moloney brought in two other experts on seafood. The discussion centered on Safe Harbor™, a company that focuses on consumer safety. Forty restaurants use Safe Harbor™. This program enables consumers to know that their fish is safe. Tags are attached to each piece of seafood to allow the consumer to know where the fish is from and track it. The next time you stop at your local food store, look to see if the fish is labeled with a tracking number.

Chef DemonstrationsPublic House

Visitors to Las Vegas will want visit the Public House located in the Venetian. If you want simply good classic food and beers, then be sure to visit the Public House restaurant in the Venetian. Visitors will quickly discover that the Public House wants “people to enjoy themselves.” The Public House offers an experience of just relaxing and enjoying good simple, classic food. While their specialty beverage is a variety of connoisseur beers, Public House also offers cocktails and a wine list.

Wine enthusiasts will discover wines from around the world beginning at prices in the thirty and forty dollar range while many wines are in the hundreds. The likelihood is that a wine lover will discover a wine to enjoy.

Owner Billy Richardson, Executive Chef Anthony Meidenbauer, General Manager Hugo Moreno and Nevada's only certified beer cicerone have created a restaurant that appeals with a large variety of beers and classic foods.

Our group sat in an enclosed room and while enjoying two beer samples listened to a description of the restaurant with special emphasis on the beer selections. The menu even includes beer flights. At Public House beer is also used in creating dishes. Beers to be discovered include varieties from many other countries.

Our group was treated to marinated ribs that had been marinated overnight. The result was a succulent, tender dish with full flavor. A delicious dessert topped with red raspberries followed.

Chef DemonstrationsLagasse's Stadium

On the floor below the reception desk of The Palazzo, Lagasse’s Stadium sets a high standard for a sports bar. Sports fans can enjoy Emeril Lagasse's cuisine (game day style) and more than 100 flat screen televisions to watch games. One of the busiest months is March during March Madness. Sports fans can enjoy sitting on couches and in easy chairs resembling the comfort of home but in the ambiance of a sports bar.

On the day of our visit, Executive Chef Scott Pajak demonstrated how he makes crab cakes with a Southwestern theme, Tuna Steak and Barbequed Wings. Scott mentioned that he likes to eat anything from the grill. Our group watched the demonstration of each dish and relished in the tasting of each.

With the finger-licking food along with the décor and comfortable seating, one can understand why sports fans come early and spend several hours to an entire day watching their favorite games and enjoying wonderful cuisine.

Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro

Rather than a demonstration or seminar, Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro offered a laid back experience for the 15 in our group. One of the highlights of Morels is a cheese bar with more than 60 farmhouse and artisanal cheeses. Morels also offers 60 wines by the glass and more than 400 varieties of French and California wine by the bottle.

Chef DemonstrationsOur group was led to a private dining area set up with seven tables. Each table featured a cheese paired with a wine; at one table the cheese was paired with a beer. People could taste all the pairings or choose the one they wanted to sample. This was a very relaxed approach to experiencing Morels wines and cheeses.

The first table paired the cheese Valencay Pyramide from the Loire Valley, France with a Sancerre Chateau de Sancerre 2010. The next table had an Epoisses de Bourgogne matched with a 2009 Domaine Servin Chablis ‘Les Pargues.’ The third table paired a Morbier Franche-Comte with a 2007 Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent. The fourth table had a cheese from Spain. The Idiazabel Navarra/Basque was paired with a 2005 Muga Seleccion Especial. Also from Spain the cheese at the next table, a Cabrales (C, G & S) Asturias was matched with a 2007 Chateau Cousteau Cadillac. Perhaps the pairing that brought the most smiles and comments by attendees was at table six. A cheese from New York, Nancy’s Hudson Camembert was paired with a beer from Belgium, Lambic, Stout, Lindemans Framboise. Our last choice was a Stilton Royal Blue from Derbyshire, England matched with a Dow’s 20 Years Old Tawny Port.

The wines, beer and cheese were wonderful. Although many enjoyed the beer and cheese pairing, others also enjoyed the other pairings.

This was a wonderful afternoon event. IFWTWA attendees had an opportunity to acquaint themselves with many of the restaurants in the Venetian and Palazzo, meet chefs and enjoy wonderful food and drinks.






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