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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.”

Sightings

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.

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