Tag Archive | "Food"

Gordon Ramsay Brings a British Invasion to the Las Vegas Strip

Celebrated Chef Gordon Ramsay took over the Las Vegas Strip yesterday as he traveled between his two newest restaurants in an appropriately themed red, double decker bus to celebrate the openings of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace and Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Ramsay showcased the ingredients and methods that differentiate Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino from any other burgers in Las Vegas. At Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace, Ramsay introduced the traditional British Sunday Roast to the Las Vegas Strip complete with roasted prime beef rib eye, fingerling potatoes, parsnips, minted English peas and classic Yorkshire pudding.

The opening of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace® on Dec. 18 and BurGR Gordon Ramsay at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Dec. 22 follows the highly successful opening of Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas last May. This is the first time that the Las Vegas Strip has welcomed two different restaurants in two different locations opening within a week of each other from the same chef. The newest restaurant openings mark three Gordon Ramsay restaurants to open in Las Vegas in less than a year, expanding his relationship with Caesars Entertainment Corp.

 

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“The two things missing on the strip were a great burger restaurant and an authentic pub & grill,

so we’re very excited to be opening these two very different, but equally vibrant new restaurants in Vegas for guests to enjoy,” said Ramsay.

Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, the neighborhood restaurant conceptualized by the award-winning chef, opened Dec. 18. The 290 seat restaurant offers the UK chef’s take on an authentic English pub experience in Las Vegas.

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Under the culinary leadership of Executive Chef Jeremy Berlin, the novel pub and grill concept presents as if it is two unique restaurants. The grill section of the restaurant features a relaxed and friendly setting with dishes including Scottish salmon, lamb T-bone, Irish beef cheek stew with spotted dog and potted triple chocolate trifle for dessert. The pub features elevated British pub food in a comfortable and lively setting showing sporting events from across the world on state of the art entertainment systems. The pub includes 24 beers served on tap plus 63 bottled beers including a selection of large format varieties. With an eye towards dishes that pair well with beer, the pub menu includes English ale onion soup, shepherd’s pie, sausages, and the classic pub fish and chips.

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The center piece of the restaurant is a striking bar with an array of beer taps and a backdrop reminiscent of iconic British telephone booths. A patio area extends the restaurant towards the casino floor where guests can be part of the action. Tabletops are comprised of rustic, pottery inspired dishes layered with unprocessed woods and rugged serving vessels. The uniforms are inspired by the English punk scene and feature a number of multi-media pieces designed by Allison Leach, a continuing trend with Gordon Ramsay’s Las Vegas restaurants. With proximity to the Colosseum, the entrance of The Forum Shops and the self-parking garage, the restaurant is a convenient location for both locals and visitors enjoying Caesars Palace amenities.

Four days after the opening of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, the celebrated chef opened his first burger experience restaurant, Gordon Ramsay BurGR at the center-Strip Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. BurGR, a name that plays on the celebrity chef’s initials, is located steps from the famous Las Vegas Strip at the entrance of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino adjacent to the Extra! Lounge.

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The BurGR menu takes the traditional burger, fries and milkshake comfort food combination to an entirely new level with selections like pork belly bao buns, sweet potato fries with vanilla powdered sugar and pudding shakes—a heavenly combination of thick milkshake and silky pudding. Whether traditional or unique burger preparations they are be crafted using the freshest, quality ingredients. Paying special attention to not only the ingredients but the method, beef patties are cooked over an open flame fueled by hard woods, BurGR is the only gourmet burger restaurant on the Strip to use this technique, creating a more complex and powerful flavor.

Not to be neglected, the beverage program features an extensive beer list and robust cocktail program. Focusing primarily on small and large format American craft beers, BurGR serves 30 beers—all from a stunning frozen tap wall—with a selection of bottled beer. The cocktail program features a selection of traditionally made cocktails, crafted with fresh ingredients with made-from scratch syrups.

With a location that draws on the energy of both the casino and the nearby Miracle Mile shops, the room is designed in a youthful way with a stylish and modern ambience. The vividly colored room seats 200 and is be accented by an undulated ceiling, steel and concrete floor and open kitchen. The uniforms, designed by Allison Leach, contrast the bright colors of the restaurant with their muted tones.

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Cochon Seattle – what’s not to love about a pig event?

Traci and I were recently treated to an assault on the senses – what could be considered by some as the “Mecca” of all things pig-related. Cochon 555 is an event that goes around the country and pits 5 of the best Chefs in each city against each other (each chef prepares pork dishes) and invites 5 wineries as well. Attendees sample the foods prepared by each chef and then vote for their favorite – the winner is crowned the “Prince of Princess of Porc”. It’s a way to honor the age-old tradition of sustainable farming practices with heritage pigs and draws special attention to both the butcher and chef.

Cochon 555 is the brainchild of Brady Lowe, a self-described foodie who loves, wine, cheese and sustainable, local food. Overall, I’d say there were 200-300 people at this show – the turnout of support was really good – it’s nice to see folks take an interest in the foods they eat and where that food is sourced from.

One of the more interesting events of the evening was the live butchering demo – they ended up giving away each cut during a drawing. Traci ended up winning the feet and was very excited about it.

Here he takes the scalp from the head and fills it with various cuts of meat from the rest of the pig and then sews it back together. The idea is to slow roast it in the oven – or I’d also consider smoking it as well.

One of the best Ice-Cream sandwiches I’ve ever had – the shortbread was made with bacon.

These were the most amazing pork rinds I’ve ever had! They literally melted in the back of your mouth like cotton candy.

The “Pig Chicks” brought out various pieces of pork goodness during the roasted pig eating.

Enjoying some of the blood sausage.

The winner of the sewed-up pig head! :)

Even our wine glasses had little pigs in them.

Overall, this was a good event in what it set out to do – draw attention to the sustainable farming of heritage pigs and getting people back in touch with the sources their food comes from.

I will say, however, that I was totally bummed not to see a single winemaker at the event – on Cochon’s website it says: 5 chefs, 5 pigs, 5 winemakers. Really? Hmm, perhaps next time?

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President Obama Grilling with Bobby Flay

A good video showing Chef Bobby flay grilling with President Obama on the White House lawn.

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Taste Washington Seattle 2009 – Food

By Traci Garrett

I’ve finally recuperated from Taste Washington. (3 full days later)! I always look forward to this fabulous wine and food event.  

What a terrific way to reconnect with all the people in the industry you know and meet some new faces all under the same roof. The air is filled with electricity as people rally to hit as many wine stands as possible in the short time they have.  Let’s face it folks after the first 10 stands it all starts to taste the same to me.  The food on the other hand plays second fiddle to the wine. 

There are many food aficionados who look for that special something to wake up their palate but I believe most of the people eat the food with no appreciation to what they are really putting in their mouth.  They just want to shove something down to soak up the wine action in their gut and this, of course is all wrong in my book.  I look for that interesting morsel that will pair nicely with that fabulous wine I want to try. Something out of the ordinary — something that will scream out “wash me down with that fantastic Cab over there!”

As a matter of fact, there were quite a few eateries that impressed me this year just for this very reason.  

The first was Salty’s WOW Tri-Colored Vichyssoise topped with a little crab salad – pure heaven and beautiful to boot!

Honorable mention goes to Perche’ No because besides taking a huge risk of serving, God forbid, beef tongue they also served asparagus, which for some folks screws up their wine – tasting buds and changes the whole wine tasting experience for the worse.

On a side note: I kinda like how asparagus changes my taste buds!  I tried several big reds with the tongue and the roasted red bell peppers! What a great way to enhance your wine experience.

But my favorite was without a doubt Pike Place Chowder. Those guys dished up the most amazing Chorizo, Crab, Clam Chowder in a little bread bowl.

We  really enjoyed the Kestrel Chardonnay across the aisle with it too! I was ready to take both those Chowder guys home for some chowder making lessons!


Cindy Sido of Maryhill Winery

I also have to mention:  Maryhill Winery’s Sangiovese paired with some of Cindy’s homemade BBQ sauce.  The only problem with that taste of pure heaven was the cracker they used for the BBQ sauce, both Duane and I thought a spoon, or maybe a shovel, of this stuff with the Sangiovese would work!

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Pick a wine for this burger!

ODD Bodacious Ballpark Burger

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A dying breed – your local butcher shop

Let’s face it, when it comes to picking the perfect compliment to an elegant wine, there are fewer things out there than meat that fits the bill. It’s as if God made cows, pigs, chickens, lamb and Duck for us to be able to fully experience what bliss comes from pairing cuts of the cow with a great red wine. 

What surprises me – sort of – is that, as a culture, we’ve become acustomed to accepting the meats our local grocery store sells and never question its origins, the quality or whathaveyou. Heck, we even buy the crap they sell from the McDonald’s dollar menu without batting an eye. But when it comes to wine, we get all up in it – trying to find out all the details we can about the wine – the fruit source, the “terroir”, its wine maker, this history etc. 

I’m not at all suggesting that we stop doing that in regards to the wines we buy – it’s what makes the wine experience half the fun. But have you ever stopped to consider the meats you so readily eat? Have you ever wondered if there are better quality products out there? Why is it – when it comes to the quality of food we shove down our pie-holes – we rarely ever ponder these type of awareness issues? Do you honestly think the F.D.A can protect us 100% of the time? 

When generations past grew up, one of the shopping highlights was that of going to a butcher shop – you know, the artisan purveryor of meats that takes as much care and puts as much love into its products as Silver Oak used to when it made great cabs? A local guy who not only knew how you wanted your lamp-chops prep’d but also knew the names and ages of all your kids – someone who had a mutual interest in knowing you as much as your family does them.

Today’s consumer-crazed grocery shopping experience – for the most part – has turned a once fine-art into a frenzy of wanna-be meat-shops that hire a bunch of kids to package and put it out on display. There’s no heart, no soul and no sweat-equity that goes into those products – it’s a completely different experience once you find a butcher you trust.

I can tell you that from my perspective, as well as Traci’s, we are fortunate enough to not have fully lost touch with that aspect of quality and ours happens to come in the form of Doug Chiechi of Doug’s Quality Meats in Kent, WA. Doug comes from an italian family of 9 children and has been in the meat business for over 22-years – his passion for quality is almost as big as his passion for life and pursuing excellence in the products he sells.

Guys like him play a pivotal role in not only providing the best-possible quality meats but also – ultimately – our family’s health. You can think of a good butcher as your “go-to-guy” – the wide reciever who knows how to go wide in the last few seconds of the 4th quarter to make that deal-clinching touchdown catch.

A good butcher will first and foremost insist on only working with the best, local producers – locally-harvested meats help ensure the best freshness. Secondly, they go to great lengths of all the prep work into those meats that we either don’t want to do or don’t know how to do – they truly are an artist. Finally, they sell meat-packs – that’s right, you can fill your freezer up with meats which means you won’t have to make the trek back to the shop as often as you would other grocery items.

A few guidelines for finding a good butcher are the following:

  • Upon entering the shop, it should NEVER have a foul odor – fresh meats don’t stink – leave asap.
  • The phrase “cleanliness is next to Godliness” definitely applies here folks
  • Find out how long they’ve been in business
  • Talk to others customers in the shop about their experiences
  • Find out who supplies the meats
  • Ask how long they age their meats for – is it dry or wet-aged?
  • Find out how long they hang the beef for before processing
  • Don’t focus in on price as much as you should the quality and level of service – remember, you DO get what you pay for when it comes to meat quality!

If you live in the greater Seattle area and would like to experience some of the best meats around, then check Doug out at: www.dougsqualitymeats.com for store hours, location and phone number.

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