Tastes like team spirit
Taste of the Nation rallies local chefs behind a good cause
Thu, Jun 3, 2010 (11:02 p.m.)
On the menu at Wednesday night’s Taste of the Nation Las Vegas event at Rain Nightclub were Boa’s filet skewers, fabulous pickled ramps from Zach Allen of Carnevino and a giant bowl of Swedish Fish.
In case you’re not familiar with that particular breed, they’re small, slow-moving and generally prefer dry land to rough seas. They also have chewy flesh, taste like some sort of berry and are a favorite food of one Kim Canteenwalla, the executive chef of Society Café at Encore who served them, as well as caramelized scallops with bacon at the annual charity event.
If the candy wasn’t one of the most gourmet offers on hand at Taste of the Nation Las Vegas, it was one of the most fun. And, like the chefs leaving their cooking stations to mingle with guests and each other, the Swedish Fish were evidence of the casual, convivial atmosphere that makes Taste of the Nation so special in this town. I don’t know about the scene in bigger cities like New York and LA, but TOTNLV feels a little bit like a giant potluck. Only you don’t have to do any of the cooking. That’s my kind of party.
Held for the first time at the Palms club, the June 2 local incarnation of the national event paired local chefs with liquor sponsors, two bands and live and silent auctions to benefit Share Our Strength, an organization that fights childhood hunger across the U.S. Besides the tables decked with delicious offerings — include octopus salad, seared tuna and shrimp ceviche — a wine grab bag invited guests to throw down $20 for a high-quality mystery bottle and bars throughout the club poured glasses of Stella Artois, Champagne and expertly crafted cocktails.
It all boiled down to a successful local outing for the national food festival, but gorging in the name of fighting hunger did leave me with a lingering question: What happens to all those leftovers?