In what is the last big foodie event of the season, Emeril Lagasse’s Carnivale du Vin kicked off last night at Lagasse Stadium at The Palazzo with a panoply of epicurean professionals hobnobbing amongst themselves whilst a few friends and fortunate media (like ELV and his staff) mixed amongst them like kids in a kandy store.
And it’s one thing to get Joachim Splichal, Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, Sam Choy, Jim Clendenen,* Garen Staglin, Kerry Simon and Bartholomew Broadbent (not to mention Official Friend Of ELV Robin Leach) in the same room together, but when Le Grande Orange, Rusty Staub walked in, we at ELV were truly starstruck.
Besides being one of the greatest baseball players ever, Staub has had one of the great second and third acts in American life — as a world class gourmet, restaurateur, wine collector, and philanthropist.
The guy may not have been Lou Brock on the base paths, but he can suss out a good Bordeaux like nobody’s business.
Tonight is big top night in the big casino (The Venetian Ballroom), as this galaxy of culinary and wine stars gather to auction off some of the rarest wines in the world, all for the good cause of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation.
And while we’re sure the auction will be a big success — with rare lots of Gemstone, Staglin, Caymus, Qupe and Au Bon Climat to be sold, how can it not be? — if you’re looking for ELV, you’ll probably find him buttonholing Staub somewhere, asking him what it was like to hit 3 home runs against the Reds in the 1973 MLB playoffs, or whether he thinks Frank Robinson or Roberto Clemente was the better right fielder.
* Not to be confused with Donn Clendenon, for whom Staub was once traded.