Star chef Jose Andres making deliveries in Puerto Rico

Updated October 1, 2017 - 7:38 pm

José Andrés is known in town for his restaurants Bazaar Meat at SLS Las Vegas; and China Poblano and Jaleo at The Cosmopolitan. If you especially groovy, you might have dined at the exclusive é by Jose Andres, also at the Cosmo, a cozy enclave tucked away on the hotel’s third floor.

But Andrés is on a campaign of a different flavor, leading a relief effort to feed thousands of displaced Puerto Rico residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. He and his team of Chef Network volunteers have descended on the country’s disaster zones and have tens of thousands of meals (mostly sandwiches and wraps), averaging about 8,000 meals a day, over the past week.

Andrés is publicizing his effort on Twitter, often chiding President Donald Trump for how he responded to the tragedy. In a post from Saturday, Andres is shown next to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and in front of a pickup full of meals to be delivered.

The star chef posted the message: “If I was .@realDonaldTrump I would not Attack a leader that has work non stop for her people.”

Andrés an immigrant who was born in Mieres, Asturias, Spain, operates the restaurant Mi Casa in Dorado, west of San Juan. That restaurant was hit by the hurricane and is closed, Andrés plans to reopen when the region has stabilized.

Until then, he is working feverishly to feed the masses. A typical post from Friday: “Quick update from #PuertoRico: Firing on all burners – sandwiches, pastelon, paella, food trucks. Trying to deliver as many meals as we can!”

Record for the Route

The 25,000 who turned out all three nights for Route 91 Harvest was a record attendance at the Village on the Strip. The mark matched the previous record attendance marks set by the three-day event across from Mandalay Bay and Luxor. It was jammed for Saturday’s headlining set by Sam Hunt, who reminded the crowd of his debut in VegasVille.

“How many people remember us from our first show here?” he shouted. There was a cheer, and he called out toward a resort to the north, “Up there, at The Cosmopolitan!”

Hunt headlined the Chelsea on Dec. 4, 2015, coinciding with the National Finals Rodeo’s annual appearance in Vegas.

The 32-year-old Hunt is a dominant showman and a forceful singer. He galvanized the crowd by saying, “When this generation takes over, we’re gonna tear down the walls that are dividing us!”

The tightly packed crowd roared back. There was no room for walls at the Village.

Righteous night

Two hall-of-famers and a TV and movie star highlighted our American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink campaign on Friday night at Tuscany’s Piazza Lounge. The night was a loosely assembled fundraiser for the annual effort, where a collection of gents in VegasVille (including this one) raise money and awareness to fight breast cancer.

The theme for Kenny Davidsen’s regular Friday night show was Songs About Drinking. Taking the stage were Adrian Zmed (the TV star, known mostly for “T.J. Hooker” and “Grease 2”), Al Bernstein (the International Boxing Hall of Fame broadcaster) and Righteous Brothers Bill Medley and Bucky Heard. Medley and original partner Bobby Hatfield are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and also headline at Harrah’s.

Other top-notch singers belting it out were Lannie Counts, Kim Wood, Joe DiNunzio, Sandra Huntsman, Justin Michael Rodriguez, Enoch Augustus Scott, Kevin Mullinax, Armi Guzman, Valerie Witherspoon Knecht, David Tatlock, Jonathan Alan Arak, Katy Monroe, Mario Rosales and Rita Davidsen. Bassist Bill Pearce and drummer David Ramirez (who was beating back a sinus infection) backed Davidsen onstage.

The Costume of the Night went to Scott of “Zombie Burlesque,” who wore a Tyrannosaurus rex head for his Lounge Lizard character. Always, you can count on E.A.S. for something different.

Medley dropped in and hadn’t planned to sing. But with an anonymous offering of $100 for one song, he hit the stage and summoned Heard for an impromptu run through of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” the 1965 classic.

Afterward, I thanked Medley, and he smiled and said, “That should have cost $300.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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