Chefs, donations, comedy, holiday lights and Soul Train

America’s top chefs and Bocuse d’Or gold medal winner Mathew Peters and silver medalist Philip Tessier will be taking part in the Team USA National Selection for those 2019 world food Olympics today (Nov. 9) at The Venetian’s Palazzo ballroom. CLICK HERE for our Las Vegas Review-Journal print coverage last Friday.

Three chefs, Ben Grupe from St.Louis and two San Francisco chefs, Jeff Hayashi and Matthew Kirkley, will compete for nearly six hours to determine which one sets out on the “journey to gold,” competing for America against 24 other prestigious global chefs in the 2019 competition held in Lyon, France. They will be scored on a meat platter and restaurant-style dish by judges led by event hosts chef Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud, formerly of the DB Brasserie at The Venetian.

America had never won a podium spot in 30 years, until Philip placed third in 2015 and Mathew won first last January. Thomas told me: “I believe we can have a back-to-back gold win.” Today’s winner and his assistant will spend one year at his famed French Laundry fine-dining restaurant in Napa Valley preparing for the ultimate biennial culinary showdown.

This evening, Thomas, one of America’s top three culinary kings, will host a lineup of 20 top chefs, including former Wynn seafood sultan, Paul Bartolotta to celebrate the new American winner at his Bouchon restaurant in The Venetian and on the terrace of the adjoining Venezia pool. They’ll serve extraordinary cuisine and fine wine pairings to the ‘foodie’ guests.


Ten side-by-side zip lines are to be built at a cost of $20 million over the Linq promenade on the Strip with construction to begin in the spring. It will be the first and only zip line on the famed Las Vegas Boulevard. Fly Linq will have a 122-foot-tall launch tower at the Vortex of the Linq. The innovative, custom-built automated ride system will be the best in-class technology developed by the global leaders in zip line construction.

Xventure who specialize in high-capacity adventure rides in prime urban locations agree that Fly Linq will be its most ambitious project to date. It’s a reunion for many of the team members of Themed Development Management behind the development of the High Roller observation wheel. The eastward ride, which will end at the High Roller observation wheel will be 1,080 feet above the 30 Linq promenade shops .


Guitar guru Carlos Santana is the inspiration behind a new blood drive that gets underway today (Nov. 9) to help our community following the Oct. 1 gun massacre, which injured more than 500 country music fans. The need for blood is still present. Carlos is donating tickets to his House of Blues shows at the hotel and donors will also get the opportunity to win a Santa autographed guitar. United Blood Services will oversee the donations at the House of Blues.


The super DJ lineup of Hakkasan group music stars, including Tiesto and Steve Aoki, raised just over $1 million at Tuesday night’s Vegas Strong benefit show held at the Omnia nightclub in Caesars Palace. The money will go to the $15 million Victims Fund goal to assist those injured and the families of the slain in the Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting. Global superstar Celine Dion surprised Steve when he spun his remix of her cult 1997 “Titanic” song “My Heart Will Go On.” Incredibly, the 49-year-old Canadian songstress, who headlines at the Colosseum in Caesars, turned up in a shimmering silver jumpsuit, and while standing on the DJ booth fell to the floor. Deliberately writhing on her back she held both arms in the air doing body pops to the beats. Fans were open-mouthed at her agility when punching the air. Before leaving the nightclub she affectionately wrapped her arms around Steve.


It’s the most unusual gift bestowed on a hair guru by an adoring celebrity client. My pal Michael Boychuck, colorist to the stars, from the Color Salon at Caesars Palace counts pop star Debbie Gibson as one of his favorite clients. Yesterday (Nov. 8) when she arrived for her appointment she gifted Michael with a souvenir book that contained one each of all her CDs and singles that she’s recorded over the years.


Even the drunken hecklers couldn’t stop Canadian comedian Tom Green from his masterful comedic premiere performance at Bally’s last night (Nov. 8). One even staggered onto the stage midway during the joke-fest, tried to top the comic but failed miserably before lurching out of the Back Room theater of the Indigo Lounge. Tom had an instant savage retort that had the audience in stitches over his heckler put-downs.

Tom’s riff with a front-row couple about giving up Facebook to save their 11-year marriage was fiery-filled unique humor. In fact, the entire diatribe against today’s modern technology via cellphones vs. the one kitchen phone we all had back pre-WiFi in the mid 1980s was simply brilliant.

Yes. It’s gross-out, freak-out, explosive, intense humor complete with a live mouse in his mouth from his “Road Trip” movie. He was the star of man-on-the-street pranks even before YouTube was invented. Tom doesn’t hold back, talking candidly about his testicular cancer, masturbation and how as a teenager in Ottawa he couldn’t wait for the annual Sears catalog with its lacy underwear pages. It’s loud and offensive but hysterically funny. He shows video clips from the three-year run of his hit MTV show and how he was attacked on the first day of filming it by a hammer-wielding resident when he tried to undercut the price of a rival pizza deliveryman.

Tom had a standing ovation from the celebrity-studded, first-night crowd, which included our local stars Chris ‘Zowie Bowie’ Phillips, Anthony Cools, Gordie Brown, Mike Hammer, Kevin Burke and Amy Saunders of the “Miss Behave GameShow” with Luxor headliner Carrot Top even making a short surprise onstage appearance. Our thanks to photographer Denise Truscello for her first-night photos.

Tom joked about putting a wall around his hometown of Ottawa to combat all the Americans who threatened to move there when Donald Trump was elected president. It was brutal but dazzling humor at its finest — both rude and raucous. And his story of a night out on the town in New York with Dennis Rodman while filming three week’s of “Celebrity Apprentice” that led to The Donald firing him was downright hysterical.

Former Vegas swimsuit contest winner, supermodel Brittany Mason, now the director of the Miss Universe Ireland organization attended with her Nov. 26 pageant competitor, 23-year-old model, Cailin Aine Toibin, from Cork. “His strange humor has even made it to Ireland but seeing him live on my first night ever in Las Vegas was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard,” she told me.

Tom says he’s bought a condo here in Las Vegas as a result of this open-ended, first-ever residency here produced by Vegas manager Seth Yudof. “After touring the world for 10 years doing standup — it’s going to be nice to be in one place for a long time. I’m loving Las Vegas. You even have Ethiopian restaurants here. The service is very slow and there’s not much food on the menu.”

Tom, already a big fan of our new Golden Knights ice-hockey expansion team, plays Bally’s nightly Sundays through Wednesdays at 8 p.m., with an additional midnight show on the day of rest with the new “X-Rock’s” topless temptresses show sandwiched in between.


Summerlin is about to get a brand new Italian restaurant that’s proved to be wildly popular in other American locations. North Italia is set to open at Rampart Commons on December with executive chef Phillipp Norsetter in charge of the 254-seat, 6,970-square-foot restaurant from cookbook author and restaurateur of the year nominee Sam Fox. He runs 14 unique dining concepts with more than 4,000 employees in six states.


You can tell that Christmas is now just around the corner when the annual Glittering Lights of Las Vegas are turned on at the Motor Speedway — just 10 minutes from downtown. There’s just 46 days remaining until the North Pole’s jolly bearded fat man shimmies down the chimney with his sack of goodies! But tonight (Nov. 9), Glittering Lights, which has been Nevada’s largest holiday drive-thru light show for 17 years, turns on its illuminations.

More than 3 million lights are strung along the 2.5-mile course that intertwines through the speedway. Three new displays have been added this year with a Christmas Tree entrance made of lights, the interactive automated Noble talking tree and a special Las Vegas tribute area for the victims of the recent shooting. Zany comedian Tape Face from “America’s Got Talent” will perform with the Jingle Bells. Also, attending will be Brett Raymer from the Animal Planet’s “Tanked” reality series, MMA fighter Ana “Hurricane” Julatn and pro BMX Rider Ricardo Laguna.

The holiday tradition will remain open nightly from dusk until Jan. 7 and the $20 fee applies to each car, however, many people you pack inside it!


The royals of rap and the sultans of soul turned out in force for this year’s Soul Train Awards held at The Orleans. Photographer Glenn Pinkerton of the Las Vegas News Bureau was on red carpet duty for the souvenir photos.


• Please remember that Andrew Dice Clay’s three nights of shows at the Red Rocks Lounge in Summerlin have been postponed due to medical reasons.

• The 17th annual red carpet celebration to launch Glittering Nights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway begins at 6 p.m. with zany silent comedian Tape Face.

• Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak is honored at the Opportunity Village Camelot gala at the charity organization’s Magical Forest.

Cher returns to “Turn Back Time’” at the Park Theater in the Monte Carlo for a run through Nov. 25.

• DJ’s Bayati & Casanova are behind the dual decks at Chateau nightclub atop Paris Las Vegas.

• DJ Kayper pulls off one at Drai’s nightclub atop the Cromwell.

• DJ Vice twists the turntables at Intrigue in the Wynn.

Las Vegas Yard House margarita changes color in the glass
The cocktail, as made by lead bartender Taylor Cole at Town Square in Las Vegas, changes from deep blue to magenta because of a chemical reaction between its butterfly pea flowers and citrus agave. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Black History Month Festival
Las Vegas residents gathered on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd, to celebrate Black History Month. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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