The night was Sept. 7, 2001. The culinary community of Las Vegas and beyond came together in a ballroom at the Rio to support one of its own. Napa restaurant’s chef Jean-Louis Palladin had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and it wasn’t looking good. Upon his death just two months later, The New York Times honored Palladin as “a chef’s chef whose boundless creativity and relentless pursuit of the best and freshest ingredients set an example for countless other cooks.” His inspiration lives on today in the lives he personally touched as well as in the culinary scene at large. The community will gather once again on Oct. 16 for the 10th annual Jean-Louis Palladin dinner at Alizé at the top of the Palms ($295, 951-7000), which will benefit the James Beard Foundation, sending up-and-coming chefs into the world to gain experience and scope.
For Alizé’s chef André Rochat, it’s a bittersweet night; the two chefs were fast friends, and Rochat has championed this event for the last decade in Palladin’s honor. “Restarants give all the time, chefs give their time. This charity is for chefs by chefs and it’s all about the food,” Rochat says. This year, 18 top-name chefs offer up seven alternating courses with paired wines, including Aureole’s Megan Romano and Scotch Myst’s Grant MacPherson, both of whom participated in the original 2001 dinner.
“It’s the most amazing night of the year as far as I’m concerned,” Rochat says. “If there is one night that you don’t want to miss, this is it. This is the night.”