Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas celebrated their five years of culinary education excellence July 14 at a reception and dinner for invited guests at Cafe Bleu at school. The reception took place in the college’s Garde Manger Two room, where large ice carvings of the college’s logo served as backdrops for the wine and beer bartenders.
It was a special evening for chef Heinz Lauer, executive chef of Le Cordon Bleu College. He was inducted into the International Food and Beverage Forum Hall of Fame Society and the World Gourmet Club.
Many of the event’s attending guests were from various Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America who were in town attending the national convention of the American Culinary Federation at the MGM Grand.
Canapes were passed to guests, including Lisa Lauer, Claude Cevasco, Rick Baumes, Carlos Gia, Lorri Davidson, Kathi Jacoby, Adrieas R. Adrian, Michel Re, Nin and Bob Ansara, Christoph Hoeflich, Sig Ortloff, Patricia Pollak, Betty and R.H. Duke, Charlie Peters, Larry Lucian, Jean Hertzman, V.C. Wiley, Joanna Turtletaub, Virginia and Mark Martino, Dena Jackson, Benita Martinez, Kevin Quinn, Brian Silver, Thomas Mihalko, and 80-year-old Harry Hoffstadt of Chicago, chairman of Les Amis d’Escoffier Society and a member of the IFBF Hall of Fame.
At the reception’s conclusion, Le Cordon Bleu students escorted the guests to Cafe Bleu, where the dining tables were covered in sparkling white linens with Le Cordon Bleu’s bright blue trademark napkins. Centerpieces were carved honeydew melons holding a candle and ferns.
Ken Hause, president of Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas, welcomed the 80 guests and he recognized three members of the college’s faculty: Chanh Boupha, Valentina Columbo and James McParland.
Cordon Bleu’s executive chef Carlos Ferandez and 40 of his students prepared dinner, beginning with a duo of foie gras, followed by forest mushroom soup en croute. The fish course was scallops and lobster mousse wrapped in savoy cabbage with lobster sauce. The intermezzo was cucumber lemon sorbet. An entree of lamb loin roulade was accompanied by parsnip puree and miniature root vegetables. Selected wines were served with each course. Dessert was passion fruit Bavarian with tropical fruit salad.
Following dinner, speakers were Peter Kimball, ACF accreditation coordinator, and Candice Childers, assistant director of accreditation for the ACF, who spoke about the open-admission college. She mentioned that Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas opened its doors five years ago with 80 students and by 2008, 1,600 students have graduated, and there are 500 students enrolled in the program.
Kurt Fisher, president of IFBF inducted Lauer into the IFBF Hall of Fame and presented him with a proclamation from Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada. Hause made concluding remarks.
MOSIAC PERFORMANCES: The Public Education Foundation was the beneficiary of two performances by the six-man a cappella group, Mosaic. It was the first time Mosaic has performed a full-length show for Las Vegas audiences.
The concert took place in Harrah’s main showroom July 13 and 14. The show opened with high school ddancers, Porcia Hendrix, Taylor Crosta, Stephanie Eary, Lara Deluna, Hayley Lathan and Jessica Connell, performing alongside professional dancers from Stratosphere’s show “Bite” and the Rio’s “Show in the Sky.” They performed in a theme routine choreographed by Katy Tate of Bette Midler’s “The Showgirl Must Go On.”
Entertainer Clint Holmes introduced Mosaic to the sold-out crowd. Mosaic blends elements of funk, jazz, hip-hop and opera.
For this particular engagement, Mosaic presented “Evolution,” a journey through the history of music, and concluded their performance with well-known TV themes such as “Love Boat,” “Brady Bunch” and “Three’s Company.”
Judi Steele, representing the Public Education Foundation, was invited to the stage to speak about the organization, which was established in 1991 to take on big tasks for the school district.
Spotted in the audience were cast members from the shows “Jersey Boys” and “Menopause,” and entertainers George Wallace and Earl Turner.