An Executive Chef’s Kitchen, a Father’s Café and a Farmer’s Table

Not Your Daddys BBQ

Photo from MTO’s Not Your Daddy’s BBQ dinner

Johnny Church's Pickles

Johnny Church’s Pickles

“Learn to cook” is glaring at you from its spot on your resolution list, isn’t it? If you’re ready to move beyond boiling water to hands-on cooking tips from some of the best chefs on the Strip, Bellagio’s An Executive Chef’s Culinary Classroom (866-906-7171, is the ticket to your new gastronomic education. Once a month in the Tuscany Kitchen, small groups led by hotel executive chef Edmund Wong will be able to learn step-by-step how to prepare various three-course meals aligned with a holiday or seasonal dish. The first, on February 12, introduces students to contemporary Italian cuisine from antipasto to pasta, inspired by Julian Serrano’s new Bellagio restaurant Lago, which is set to open in March. If you’ve wanted to unlock the secrets of Chinese dim sum, the March 19 class will teach you the time-honored techniques of noodles and dumplings. Tickets are $135 per person, and of course, you get to eat your creations, paired with wine. Learning to cook is so much better with booze.

If you’re still good with others preparing your food, head to the north Strip. Westgate continues its quiet transformation from the LVH (nee Hilton) with a new 24-hour dining option. Sid’s Café (800-732-7117, is named for owner David Siegel’s father who used to frequent Las Vegas, David says, because of the level of customer service he received, where everyone knew not only Sid’s name, but catered to his every need. That sentiment is echoed in the café’s slogan: “We treat everyone like a high roller.” That treatment comes with the Americana-style menu, featuring such fun items as the New York Reuben Burger and a deep-fried peanut butter, jelly and banana dessert known as the Elvis Sandwich.

Oxtail from MTO Not Your Daddy's BBQ dinner

Oxtail from NYD’s BBQ

Now that MTO has settled into its new digs at Downtown Summerlin, chef Johnny Church will resurrect his Sunday Night Supper Series at the Downtown location ($65, 500 S. Main St., 702-380-8229, “A Farmer’s Table” on January 18 benefits local farmers devastated by flooding in Moapa. Chefs from around the region will come together to cook the five-course feast from the first crop of produce since the flood, gathered by Kerry Clasby of Intuitive Foraging and 3rd Street Farmers Market. Joining Church are Jeff and Emily Brubaker of Five50 and Sage at Aria, respectively, and Chris Bulen of Andre’s in Monte Carlo, along with Jay Melton of Seattle’s Corfini Gourmet, James Trees of West Hollywood’s Hutchinson Cocktails & Grill and Sonia El-Nawal of Las Vegas’ Rooster Boy Granola. This definitely fulfills your resolution to “eat more locally.”


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