If enjoying sweets before dinner’s first course sounds a little out of the ordinary, it was a celebrated indulgence at Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada’s annual gala, “Dessert Before Dinner,” which took place at Caesars Palace on Saturday, September 9.
Local top-rated female pastry chefs created unique Girl Scout desserts inspired by this year’s chosen signature cookie, the Girl Scout S’more. The sweet start was the prelude to a night of celebration and inspiration for the future of girls in the community.
The event kicked off with this year’s cocktail, created by Francesco LaFranconi of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Nevada. The sumptuous and playful “Less Is S’more” was created with a scoop of chocolate sorbet surrounded by Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum and OM dark chocolate and sea salt liqueur. The festive libation was rimmed with torched marshmallow to complement the marshmallow-on-a-stick garnish drizzled with caramel chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of graham cracker.
To accompany the fireside libation, the all-female lineup of Southern Nevada chefs created s’mores-inspired desserts for guests to sample and then their vote for their favorite.
A few highlights included Chef Elizabeth Solarick of Wynn Las Vegas, whose themed desserts were based around the forest honey bear. Her desserts were in the shape of beehives, made of meringue and topped with a whimsical honeybee jelly bean with golden wings. Cynthia Werth of Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower incorporated raspberry in her s’mores-inspired dessert, made with raspberry brownie and raspberry cheesecake and chocolate mousse, served in mini copper pans as if cooked over an open fire.
After guests cast the votes for their favorite desserts, winners were announced. Chef Kristen Hutton (Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill) took third place with her whimsical beach-themed “Little Sand Bucket,” made with chocolate crémeux, graham cracker cake and cheesecake mousse. The California native said her campfires were always at the beach, which inspired her beach pail–themed dessert. Second-place winner Chef Michelle Flores’ (Caesars Palace) “S’mores Drumstick” was a playful reincarnation of the popular store-bought frozen ice cream–filled cones. And the winner was first-time participant Chef Mei Shimizu of Aria Resort Casino Las Vegas, who wanted to provide a cool and refreshing dessert in contrast to the traditional toasty s’more confection. Her creation, “S’more Glace,” was the s’more ice cream bar, made with nougat and caramel glace and chocolate graham cracker, topped with a torched marshmallow knot.