Vegas Unstripped, an off-Strip independent food festival held in the midst of the casino-heavy Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit, drew a sold-out crowd to the patio area behind Esther’s Kitchen Saturday night. More than 450 hungry people attended the Arts District festival to enjoy food created by a dozen chefs representing 17 restaurants. In the process, the event’s organizers raised over $8,000 for the Las Vegas-based non-profit Green Our Planet.
While the event was a huge success by just about any standards, it wasn’t without hiccups. A delayed opening, due to the late arrival of the Southern Nevada Health District’s inspector, left many waiting on line for as long as 30 minutes before entering. But all seemed to be forgiven once they started enjoying the food and beverages.
Some news also emerged from the party. Chris Bulen was representing his delayed food truck Gastromix and Andre’s Bistro. That came as a bit of a surprise to some, since it came two days before the official announcement that Bulen and his Gastromix partner Kevin Lopez are taking over the kitchen at Andre Rochat’s casual off-Strip restaurant. The pair both have extensive experience working in Rochat’s fine-dining establishments.