Vegas Seven

Cooking With

  • Cooking With

    Bank Atcharawan

    By Max Jacobson

    I first met Bank Atcharawan at Lotus of Siam, when he served me the latest Riesling he had acquired for that restaurant’s impressive list. With his distinctive eyewear and casual demeanor, he looked almost as professorial then as he does now.

  • Cooking With

    The Magnificent Seven

    By Jen Chase

    Holiday food traditions don’t discriminate. They crisscross the globe and resonate with anyone who has ever looked forward to a once-a-year dish. So when Nicole Grimes became chef de cuisine at Rao’s, memories of her Hungarian and Polish grandmother’s Christmas baccalà (salted cod) wafting through her Pittsburgh home compelled her to make the restaurant's holidays just as unforgettable. “I know, when I go out to eat, that feeling of disappointment you get if a meal doesn’t meet expectations,” Grimes says.

  • Cooking With

    Christina Wilson

    Patience does not run strong in chefs, says Christina Wilson. That’s clear in her as she strides across the Gordon Ramsay Steak dining room at Paris Las Vegas as if her kitchen is on fire. She landed the chef de cuisine job after surviving—er, winning the Hell’s Kitchen reality show.

  • Cooking With

    Naira Vardanyan

    After mastering various pastry styles—flaky, creamy French/European delicacies; simple-yet-rich American cakes; Armenian treats filled with nuts, cinnamon and honey—chef Naira Vardanyan experimented with her favorite flavors, textures and preparation styles. What eventually emerged was her signature cake. “It wasn’t perfect at first,” she says. But after multiple taste tests and tweaks, Vardanyan introduced the Manan House Cake, which she sells for $3.49 PER each generous slice at her recently opened confectionery, Manan Bakery (6620 W.

  • Cooking With

    Morgen Van Buren

    By Jen Chase

    Potatoes are the near-perfect veggie, lacking sodium, cholesterol and fat, and for their mega doses of potassium and vitamin C (nearly half of our day’s needs in a single medium spud!). Yet for all that healthy good news, potatoes get a bad rap for the treacherous—er, delicious toppings we slather on them: butter, bacon, cheese, sour cream ... and that’s not even counting the french-fried variety.

  • Cooking With

    Scott Green

    There’s nothing worse than being behind the guy or gal in line at a buffet who scoops up the entire top layer of cheese with their spoonful of lasagna. How about finally spotting the beef and broccoli, only to find a heap of broccoli without a trace of beef, or walking up to the sushi bar for sad and soggy California rolls? All problems of the past.

  • Cooking With

    Daniel Coughlin

    By Brittany Brussell

    Going into my trip to Thailand in March, I never imagined how many meals would be spent crouching over chipped bowls of pad thai from food carts parked alongside rowdy, smog-filled intersections. The more strands I slurped down, the more I realized that it did not matter where I ate—only that it tasted good. Sharing a similar propensity for Thai street food is Daniel Coughlin.

  • Cooking With

    Megan Romano

    By Debbie Lee

    Megan Romano is used to serving sweet endings. As the former pastry chef for Charlie Palmer’s Aureole at Mandalay Bay, she earned accolades for her seasonal desserts and meticulously crafted petit fours.

  • Cooking With

    Mike Minor

    By Debbie Lee

    Fresh fish is the ideal building block for a summertime meal, but there are only so many times you can sup on salmon. This season, chef Mike Minor of Border Grill in Mandalay Bay suggests trying an exotic alternative: Ooh, barracuda.

  • Cooking With

    Michel Richard

    By Debbie Lee

    Despite the late Julia Child’s best efforts, French cuisine is something that continues to confound the casual cook. It’s hard to say why the cooking style is so shrouded in mystery. Maybe the terminology is confusing (do you know your brunoise from your brunir?) or the techniques are too intimidating. Or perhaps the animated film Ratatouille has us convinced that French cooks are ruthless jerks to whom we can’t relate.

  • Cooking With

    Joël Robuchon

    By Grace Bascos

    When we asked legendary French chef Joël Robuchon to name his ideal summer dish, we didn’t need to translate: “le plat aux tomate.” “For summer you’re definitely going to see dishes that are a little more simple, really stripped down to the minimum, [with] fresh seasonal ingredients. We could see a very nice tomato salad,” he decrees of his restaurant’s summer menu, arriving this month.

  • Cooking With

    Costas Spiliadis

    By Grace Bascos

    Chef Costas Spiliadis, owner of Estiatorio Milos in the Cosmopolitan, knows a thing or two about not just selecting the right fish—just take a look at the specimens he proudly displays daily on ice at his restaurant—but also of cooking them properly on the grill. The Greek restaurateur has made it his mission to present his guests with some of the most pristine seafood available in the world, which he treats as simply as possible to let his high-quality products take center stage.

  • Cooking With

    Frank Pellegrino Jr.

    By Cate Weeks

    Go ahead, says Frank Pellegrino Jr., cut those corners. Bottled lemon juice? Yeah, it’s in his fridge. He’s been known to forget to buy fresh lemons. And though he definitely won’t argue with a die-hard outdoor chef about the loss of flavor on a gas grill, who wants to coddle the coals when you could be having a conversation?

  • Cooking With

    Julie Anne Hession

    By Xania V. Woodman

    If you’re someone who thinks granola is just for heath nuts and livestock, you’re not alone. You’re also in luck. All you vocal locavores, it just so happens that the most delicious granola I’ve ever eaten (and you’re hearing it directly from a huge fan) is made right here in Las Vegas from Utah oats, and it’s bound to change your opinion of the stuff.

  • Cooking With

    Gaetano Palmeri

    By Max Jacobson

    When local cognoscenti hear the name Gaetano, chances are they think only of one man and his restaurant in Henderson, at 10271 S. Eastern Ave. Think Frank, Dean and Sammy. Anyone who is anyone in Vegas, to paraphrase the writer John Gregory Dunne, is known by one name. But, if you insist, his full name is Gaetano Palmeri, and he’s been operating his plush, spacious Italian restaurant here since 2002, along with his ever-present partner and wife, Rory.

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