ELV was as proud as pea soup to have his labor of love recognized on the CNN.com national website yesterday.
FYI: The tasty snap at the top of the article (on the Eatocracy website) is of Pierre Gagnaire’s snow crab Aoyama at Twist — one of many art-y pics from ELV’s alimentary archive.
Every so often, we’re highlighting a local or regional blogger we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.
Who: John Curtas, of Eating Las Vegas
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
To be a restaurant critic for traditional media and then decide to blog about restaurants as well, you have to be obsessive, completely in love with your subject, and a little bit insane.
As cookbook author/chef Coleman Andrews has written: “Restaurant reviewing is a lot like being a horse put out to stud; it sounds like a great idea until you have to do it on command, all of the time.” That being said, if you love dining out as much as I do, it never gets boring …even if you’re hitting your tenth different eatery in a week.
By the time Eating Las Vegas started in 2008, I had been reviewing restaurants for Nevada Public Radio and a number of publications in Las Vegas for thirteen years. In that capacity, I’ve had a front row seat for the biggest restaurant revolution any city in the world has ever seen. In less than ten years (1993 to 2003), Las Vegas went from “The Town That Taste Forgot” (known primarily for buffets, prime rib specials and cheap shrimp) to one of the world’s top ten restaurant cities.
It was easy to see that there was a world wide audience for what was happening on our restaurant scene, but no local media was utilizing the Internet to get the word (and opinion) out there, so into the void I stepped. That step wouldn’t have been possible without my webmaster and eldest son, Anthony, (an aerospace engineer by trade) setting up the platform for me to post everything from my radio commentaries to original reviews to videos of my guest appearances on our local CBS affiliate. Along with those, we feature exhaustive analysis of Vegas’ significant restaurants like Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, Joël Robuchon and ALEX, along with short, pithy and (I hope) humorous “quips, picks and pans” of ten-seat ramen parlors to whatever Celebrity Chef Hell is being foisted upon us.
ELV (my alter-ego that writes the blog) even takes the occasional flight of fancy into absurdity when describing a place – all in trying to keep it entertaining as well informative.
Our motto is: The job of a good critic is to educate rather than pander to the lowest common denominator. ELV takes that responsibility seriously, and considers himself first and foremost a consumer advocate with a twinkle in his eye and someone who is trying to make food fun. Yes, we are a little bit touched, but we’re also consumed by cravings that are never quite satisfied and by a stomach that’s never quite full in one of the most fascinating places on earth.