weather icon Clear

Chef at Marche Bacchus in Las Vegas exits for Big B’s barbecue kitchen

Chef Amanda Hamilton-Purdy will exit her chef de cuisine position at Marche Bacchus on June 23 to join the team at Big B’s Texas Barbecue, in advance of the latter’s expansion to the west side of town. Have no fear, however, the Texas style barbecue will not be changing. We spoke to Brian Buechner, who’s currently in Texas with his wife and partner Natalia Badzjo stocking up on wood for their smokers, and he promised us he will remain the pit master, overseeing the recipes that have drawn Big B’s its following. But he and Hamilton-Purdy both expect the new chef will make her presence felt on other parts of the menu.

“The meat is definitely not going to change because that’s something that he’s developed and it’s great,” Hamilton-Purdy says. “But I’d like to change up some of the sides to bring some more flavor and different things. Also making our own desserts, and bringing (some) more creativity.”

Big B’s is hoping to open its second location on Fort Apache Road in mid- to late August.

In the meantime, over at Marche Bacchus, owner Rhonda Wyatt tells us that sous chef Paul Boyd will take the reins in the kitchen. He’ll continue to work under the guidance of consulting chef Luciano Pellegrini.

Birthday bash

Happy birthday to Hubert Keller. The celebrity chef behind Fleur by Hubert Keller and Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay and Mandalay Place celebrated Sunday night with a Summer of Love-themed poolside party at his Southern Highlands home, thrown by his wife, Chantal. Guests included chefs Julian Serrano, Brian Howard, Kamel Guichida, Justin Kinglsey Hall, Khai Vu and Adam Sobel.

Kings of hopped tacos

Chef Matt Meyer of Served was the big winner at the third annual Hopped Taco Throwdown, with chefs Philip Dell and Roy Ellamar also taking home trophies. The event, which was part beer festival and part taco competition, took place in the Zappos Headquarters backyard on Saturday night, featuring over 100 craft beers and original tacos created by more than a dozen local chefs. Meyer’s “Pickled Mick” taco, which the chef describes as a take on Guinness stew served on beet tortillas, was chosen as Best Hopped Taco. Ellamar, of Bellagio’s Harvest, won the Taco Dulce prize for the best dessert taco. And Dell, who operates a local food truck, received the Taco Loco award after his “Original Pork Star Taco” was deemed the evening’s most creative offering.

Restaurant community gives back

Just a reminder that Las Vegas Restaurant Week starts Monday, with nearly 200 local restaurants designating special menus and set amounts donated to Three Square food bank for each menu sold. For breakfast, brunch, lunch and/or dinner, they range from $20 to $80 and will be available through June 28, or longer, in some cases. For a list of participating restaurants, menus and donation amounts, go to helpoutdineoutlv.org.

Chef unveils tiki bar menu

It took a while, but Sheridan Su starts offering his new bar menu at The Golden Tiki to the public on Thursday. In addition to the Fat Choy and Flock & Fowl chef’s famous pork belly bao, guests to the Chinatown bar will be able to enjoy snacks such as the “gilded weiner,” Mermaid Lisa’s hot lil’ tots, kung pao Brussels sprouts, the James Beard semi-finalist’s spin on the pupu platter and a sundae made with the bar’s famed Dole Whips. There’s even a vegan char siu tofu bao for those who enjoy partying among shrunken heads, but prefer not to eat meat.

New bao cart debuts at arena

If you’re at J-Lo’s show Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena, keep your eyes open for Graffiti Bao chef Marc Marrone’s new addition to the venue’s dining options. Pina by Graffiti Bao will be offering what’s described as “chef-driven nachos.”


Christina Aguilera at Topgolf at MGM Grand. Singer-actor Riker Lynch and his fiancee, Savannah Latimer, celebrating their bachelor and bachelorette parties with friends and family at Tao at The Venetian. Drag queen Aquaria (Giovanni Palandrani) and “Dancing With the Stars” pros Emma Slater and Sasha Farber on separate evenings at Tao. Record production duo Play-n-Skillz and TV fashion correspondent Kahlana Barfield Brown on separate evenings at Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

Have an item for Kitchen Confidante? Email hrinella@reviewjournal.com or amancini @reviewjournal.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terra Rossa Returns To Red Rock. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort is set to open on Aug. 26.
Hubert Keller’s Backyard Kitchen
Chef Hubert Keller of Fleur and Burger Bar shows off his backyard kitchen in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Watermelon Mojitos and Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Bartender Cassy Leedom and Chef Norberto Ortega make a Watermelon Mojito and Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas celebrates National Fajita Day
Cook Ruben Fuentes and general manager Taylor Pulliam of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas prepare steak and shrimp fajitas with the restaurant’s signature fiery treatment. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pasta Shop Ristorante serves a watermelon-shrimp salad
Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson serves a summer salad that combines watermelon with greens, feta and shrimp. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Factory Kitchen in Las Vegas makes classic affogato
Jorge Luque, pastry chef at The Factory Kitchen at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes affogato with two simple ingredients - house-made gelato and fresh espresso. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review Journal with image from The Factory Kitchen)
The Cereal Killerz Kitchen serves over 100 cereals
Christopher Burns, owner of The Cereal Killerz Kitchen at Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson, makes a Milk & Cookies Shake from his more than 100 varieties of cereal. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in Las Vegas makes a State Fair CrazyShake
Bianca Zepeva, a shaker at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes a State Fair CrazyShake with a kettle corn rim, caramel, corn-based ice cream, popcorn brittle, crushed kettle corn, sprinkles and a cherry. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Balboa Pizza Company makes Thai peanut chicken wings
Irma Perez, kitchen manager at Balboa Pizza Company at The District at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, near Las Vegas, brines chicken wings for 24 hours before roasting and frying them and finishing them in various styles such as Thai peanut. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
New Venetian pool deck
Final touches are currently being added to the hotel’s main tower pool deck, which consists of five pools. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who is Vegas Vic? (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada State Museum Director Dennis McBride explains the origins of the Vegas icon.
Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas serves a 4-pound Big Island Feast Burger
Cindy Sun, general manager of Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas, makes the Big Island Feast Burger with 2 1/2 pounds of the house bacon/beef blend, Napa-cilantro slaw, six slices of American cheese, a can of grilled Spam, six slices of chargrilled pineapple, four fried eggs and a drizzle of teriyaki and serves it with macaroni salad. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
Shark Week cupcakes at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas
Brittnee Klinger, a cake decorator at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas, makes Shark Week cupcakes with ocean-blue buttercream, fondant fins and a blood-red strawberry filling. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fans and friends recall Elvis opening in Las Vegas
Fifty years ago on July 31st 1969, Elvis Presley opened at the International hotel in Las Vegas. He went on to do 837 consecutive sold-out shows at the property.
Hot peach cobbler at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen at Texas Station
Michael Ross, room chef/pitmaster at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen at Texas Station in Las Vegas, makes peach cobbler by baking peaches in a cast-iron pan with batter and crumble, then topping with Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and bourbon-caramel sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Water Grill opens at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas
Water Grill, from a 30-year-old California company opening its first Las Vegas location, specializes is fresh seafood including 16 types of oysters. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cat's Meow comes to Las Vegas
New Orleans-based karaoke chain opens new location in Neonopolis. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making the Loco Moco Breakfast Burger at Broken Yolk Cafe in Las Vegas
Manny Menina, line cook at Broken Yolk Cafe in Las Vegas, stacks 8 ounces of beef, 2 strips of bacon, hash browns, caramelized onions and 2 fried eggs on 4 King’s Hawaiian slider buns to make the Loco Moco Breakfast Burger. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SecretBurger at China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Carlos Cruz, executive chef of Jose Andres’ China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, makes the SecretBurger off-menu, one-night-only ‘All Quacked Up’ with a kimchi pancake, Peking duck, house-made hoisin sauce, a fried duck egg, pickled micro-vegetables, caviar and gold flakes and serves it with a Stillwater Artisanal Ale. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Famous Blue Angel statue commemorated in downtown Las Vegas mural
The 16-foot tall Blue Angel statue that stood above the Blue Angel Motel for six decades is featured in a mural spanning three walls at a downtown Las Vegas building. James Stanford designed the “A Phalanx of Angels Ascending" mural based on his photography, and Cliff Morris painted the mural at 705 Las Vegas Blvd. North, near the Neon Museum. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Making Castle Frites at the new Frites at Excalibur
Tom McGrath, district manager/executive chef at Frites at the Excalibur in Las Vegas, tops his beef-tallow fries like a loaded baked potato - with white and yellow cheddar, sour cream, bacon and chives. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hello Kitty Cafe on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
The Hello Kitty Cafe opens Friday, July 12th, 2019, between New York, New York and Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Amano Las Vegas' Fat Baby Sandwich
Chef Jason Weber of Amano Las Vegas has created a sandwich stuffed with pasta, and it's a hit. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A class at Melissa Coppel Chocolate and Pastry School in Las Vegas.
Melissa Coppel, who teaches classes in various countries around the world, attracts students from far and wide to her eponymous school in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Havana Lobster at Boteco in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marcus Fortunato, co-owner of Boteco in Las Vegas, learned to make Havana Lobster from the chef at El Figaro, a favorite of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Chef Gustav Mauler Is retiring
Las Vegas chef Gustav Mauler announces his retirement on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
Bellagio Conservatory unveils Italian summer exhibit
The Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens have opened the gates to its summer display. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
A.D. Hopkins on his debut novel
Veteran journalist introduces readers to “The Boys Who Woke Up Early.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Andiron Steak & Sea to close for renovation

Andiron Steak & Sea will close its doors for a major renovation at the end of the month and has announced a new partnership that will be in place when it reopens.