One of Las Vegas’ favorite adopted sons will be remembered from 7-8 p.m. on October 18 with video memorials on the marquees of casinos and properties throughout the city. Participating resorts will include the Palms, all Station Casino properties, the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, the Gold Spike, Inspire Theater and Fremont Street Experience.
Kerry Simon, who moved to Las Vegas in 1997 to open Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio for Jean-George Vongerichten, revolutionized Las Vegas dining when he introduced the town to high-end comfort food, first at Hard Rock Hotel and later at the Palms. And his decision to open Carson Kitchen gave the new Downtown its first true destination-dinner restaurant. Simon died on September 11, less than two years after announcing that he was battling a severe neurological disorder, multiple systems atrophy (MSA).
As I’ve mentioned before, I am honored to have been asked to participate in telling Kerry’s story by writing the memoir portions of an upcoming cookbook that will document both Simon’s recipes and his life. The response from Simon’s many superstar friends anxious to share stories about the chef has been overwhelming. And having had the pleasure of relaying some of those stories to Simon while he was vacationing in Malibu, and watching him laugh and smile at so many of them, was one of the high points of my summer.
After Simon’s death, his longtime friend and business partner Elizabeth Blau discovered some of his handwritten journals and audiotapes. Incorporating those should add even more of his personality to the project, which we hope will be published in the first half of 2016.