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Food That Rocks

Question: What would happen if you crossed a cooking demonstration with a concert by Jay-Z or the Rolling Stones?

Answer: The “Guy Fieri Roadshow,” which comes to the House of Blues this weekend.

“Roadshow,” presided over by the spiky-haired chef/restaurateur/author/Food Network personality — and, by the way, University of Nevada, Las Vegas alum — is a rock ‘n’ roll twist on the basic cooking demo, complete with music (spun by Los Angeles-based DJ Cobra), drinks (served up by Australian flair bartender Hayden Wood) and audience participation, all brought to a furious boil by Fieri’s exuberantly enthusiastic personality.

The genesis for the tour — Fieri’s first — was one of the chef’s characteristically over-the-top cooking demos.

When it was over, “my manager said: ‘That was out of control. Can you do that again?’ I said: ‘I can do that standing on my head. I can do it even crazier,’ ” Fieri said, speaking by phone recently while heading to a gig in Indiana.

Thus was born “Guy Fieri Roadshow,” which kicked off in Lowell, Mass., on Nov. 17 and which, by the time Saturday’s Las Vegas date wraps, will have hit 21 cities in 30 days.

At each stop on the tour, Fieri teams up with local chefs and culinary students to celebrate the potent combination of food, drink and fun.

“Basically, it’s just an organized party about food,” Fieri said. “There’s a lot of cooking, lots of friends, lots of stories.”

Here, Fieri’s opening act will be executive chef John Gremo of UNLV’s hotel college, who was a colleague of Fieri’s during their student days at the university.

For his segment of the show, Gremo will prepare pan-seared Nantucket diver scallops served on wild mushroom and fennel ragu, topped with truffle oil, roasted red pepper, roasted tomato, capers and a tomato tapenade and covered with wild greens and assorted micro greens.

In keeping with the “Roadshow’s” concertlike vibe, Gremo promises to bring to the party, in addition to some of his own culinary students, UNLV mascot Hey Reb and a few UNLV cheerleaders.

Fieri “loves UNLV,” Gremo said, so the chef wasn’t totally surprised when Fieri called him about two weeks ago and asked him to participate in the show.

That, Gremo said, is “who the guy is.”

“For me, that’s a great way to highlight UNLV and the hotel program,” Fieri explained. “They’ve got great chefs there and I’m glad to focus on them.”

Also assisting at the show will be students in the ProStart culinary programs at Silverado High School in Las Vegas and Carson High School in Carson City. The students will prep ingredients before the show, and help out behind the scenes during it.

True to its rock ‘n’ roll inspiration, the “Guy Fieri Roadshow” staff includes a 16-person road crew whose own credits, Fieri said, include tours with the Beastie Boys and Gwen Stefani. The crew must assemble a $150,000 stage/demo kitchen, which is carted from show to show in a semi.

“So this is a full-blown rock and roll tour,” Fieri said. “It’s a punk tour, a rock tour, a metal tour. But basically it’s a food tour and a foodapalooza.”

Contact reporter John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280.

 

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