James Beard Foundation Gala – Best Food Week Ever – (Conclusion)

The good photos are by Erik Kabnik, the rest are by Eating Las Vegas.

As you can see from the pics, Las Vegas’s Best Food Week Ever culminated with an auction to benefit the JBF. Unfortunately for auctioneer you-know-who (along with his plucky sidekick Alan (The Hitman) Richman), there weren’t enough high-rollers in the crowd to make  things more beneficial for the Foundation. There were some punters (like Au Bon Climat’s Jim Clendenen — whose bids and contributions were greatly appreciated), but most just sat on their hands, despite ELV’s vociferous entreaties…And we’re not saying the crowd was cheap but:

>  After shaking ELV’s hand, most of them counted their fingers;

> Before counting their money, they get drunk so they’ll see double;

> ELV knows a few of them who married girls born February 29th, so they only have to buy birthday presents every four years;

> Some married skinny girls so they could buy a smaller wedding ring;

> Even if they were in a canoe, they wouldn’t tip;

> They count their money in front of a mirror so they won’t
cheat themselves;

And one guy in the crowd is so cheap, ELV knows for a fact:

> He swallows his food without chewing so he won’t wear
out his teeth.

 It was a  ton of fun, but also kinda painful for the audience to watch me cajoling with no discernable effect. But a good-n-tasty-time was had by all, and it was great to rub shoulders with all that gastronomic greatness.

And live and learn we say….but next year, we’re hedging our bets by inviting this guy.

1 thought on “James Beard Foundation Gala – Best Food Week Ever – (Conclusion)

  1. ELV, you are far to hard on yourself. It was not at all painful, (in fact it was quite pleasureable), seeing you lead the auction.

    The discernable effect of your lively performance was that you kept the bidding process spirited and fast-paced. Without the added humor of your quick-witted jokes, the crowd would have literally fallen asleep in their risotto!

    Richman and Valdez were merely side props to your command of the stage. (And I’d like to give a not so subtle hint to those who ply their trade in the kitchen-some Chefs are not inherently as humorous as ELV and should not crowd the stage while ELV is in command of the audience).

    Now speaking of the food, what a gustatory fete it was-imagine a kitchen full of James Beard Award-Winning Chefs working alongside some of the finest culinary stars in Las Vegas. And when Beard meets Vegas, one simple menu for the masses is not enough-each “quadrant” of the dining room was graced with its own team of award-winning chefs and a different menu.

    While the aforementioned Boneless Quail ala “Escoffier” that ELV so beautifully photographed was quite delicious, my personal favorite dish of the evening was delivered by the skilled hands of two of Las Vegas’s finest Chefs-David Robins and Matt Hurley of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group-“Pan-Roasted French Sea Bass with Micro-Basil and Warm Tomato Vinaigrette.” The soft, buttery fish was accented by the texture of the crispy skin. I have not had a dish in recent memory that came close to matching the intense, pure, tomato flavors that I tasted in the warm vinaigrette that dressed the fish.

    It was the crowning affair to a week of culinary celebration in Las Vegas and not a week that will soon be repeated-talented chefs, delicious food, vintage wine and grand conversation. As your foil Richman would say, “Oeh-vay, I should die already.”

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