Prepping for Project Dinner Table

dscn2392.jpgChefs, start your burners! Project Dinner Table’s 2013 season kicks off April 20 at Downtown’s Neon Museum with the chefs of the MGM Grand.

The first in the annual series of communal, outdoor dinners puts participants at one long table that will wind through the boneyard where Las Vegas history, written in neon, is preserved. Chefs representing each of the six dinners between April and November (the event goes on hiatus July and August) met among the iconic marquees and relics Wednesday for a photo shoot with Project Dinner Table’s founder, Gina Gavan.

New partners this year include Tivoli Village, TPC Summerlin, Tao Group and Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants in the Venetian and the Palazzo. Along with the Museum, Dream Racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway joins the lineup of intriguing new dinner locations.

The timing was perfect, chef Bradley Ogden says, to participate in the May 18 dinner in the streets of Tivoli Village. Ogden’s eponymous restaurant at Caesars Palace closed in August 2012 to make way for Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, and his new farm-to-table restaurant Hops & Harvest opens June 1 at Tivoli Village. “We’ll have a menu that reflects our opening menu at Hops & Harvest,” Ogden says. He will prepare dinner for about 200 that night along with chef Sam Marvin, whose Echo & Rig Steakhouse and Butcher Shop opens at Tivoli in mid-to-late July, serving USDA Natural Prime nose-to-tail cuisine in reasonable portions and at affordable prices. “We’re changing the way people eat,” Marvin says.

Echo & Rig should fit in very well with Gavan’s commitment to social responsibility; in its first three years, Project Dinner Table has raised more than $70,000 for local charities.