Dine n Dash Las Vegas was an epic night! So epic that we have to blog about it in two separate blogs. This one is all about the atmosphere and the show. The next one will be about the incredible food.

As I blogged about before, we were so incredibly excited that our trip to Vegas lined up with this charity event that featured our favourite chef Joes Andres, and the favourite chef of most of my female friends Curtis Stone. It was a promise of a fun night with sensational food that completely delivered.

The venue was the new SLS hotel and resort in Las Vegas. It’s on the strip, but a bit of a hike from anything else (closer to the Stratosphere than any of the action). When we walked in, we were greeted by a really cool LED screen above the main casino bar that has a 3D effect.

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After a bit of a wait in a quiet casino, we got our VIP tickets (with a couple hundred other people) and were ushered into a red casino space beside the Jose Andres restaurant Bazaar Meat. We were greeted by a glass of Cava and a few special bites that made it clear we were in for a very special experience.

Foie gras wrapped in cotton candy sounds pretty gross. In fact, it was a decadent sweet and savoury experience that we smiled about.

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Waiters started to come round with special treats, including a caviar cone.

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Then, David got in a long line (we weren’t sure what it was for) and had our socks knocked off! While in line, a lovely lady came over and shucked an oyster for us (adding the toppings we asked for) and turned her back to us where she had a couple of jugs tied to her for us to throw the oyster shell into.

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When we got to the front of the line, we watched two women chefs making a Kobe Airbread. This reminded us of our Ferran Adria dinner at Tickets in Barcelona – which makes sense because Jose Andres trained under Ferran Adria at the famous El Bulli.

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Basically, the Airbread was a light pastry piped with a cream cheese with a very thinly shaved piece of Kobe beef on top (the real stuff, the female chef excitedly told us). Then, it was hit with the flame of a torch for a short second, and voila. Melt in your mouth perfection.

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We had hoped that we would get a chance to meet Jose Andres, but with so many people already there (with VIP tickets) we knew it likely wouldn’t happen.

After about an hour, it was time for the show!! We went into the brand new concert venue right beside Bazaar Meat called The Foundry. It was all set up for a cooking demonstration, that turned out to be standing room only laughs and fun.

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As Jose Andres and Curtis Stone took the stage, they had great energy and a fun banter (Stone making fun of Andres’ accent of “eh-Spain” and Andres swearing up a storm and advising people to find a chef friend in a very charming way). As Andres told us, we weren’t here to learn anything.

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The demonstration was all about making drinks, and all about Iberico ham. If you have never tried it, it is hard to explain how perfect it is. Like prosciutto, but not. Cured meat from acorn-fed pigs, a crispy yet soft texture. Andres joked about rubbing the grease from the ham onto your lips before bed. It’s that good!

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Lucky for us, there were two legs of ham being shaved throughout the one-hour show, and thinly shaved slices were passed around the crowd. We had several slices and enjoyed each one – taking us back to the discovery of this amazing ham during our honeymoon in Barcelona.

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When the show was over, we waited a little bit as the chefs poured Cava into a pyramid of glasses. We wandered down as the crowd dispersed heading into the dine n dash portion of the night. We grabbed a glass and watched the chefs for a moment. Andres motioned for people to come to the side of the stage for photos. Well, I was right on that!!

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In a wonderful turn of events, David got the chance to take a photo of me with both chefs (although I wish he could have been in the picture too). I told Jose Andres he inspired our honeymoon to Spain and love of Spanish food. It was Curtis Stone who was the best with fan banter, engaging me in conversation and asking me where we went.

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What a great start to the night. We were both beaming with the chance to get up close to such a brilliant chef, and feeling blessed to be able to experience a night like this.

The next part of the night was the actual Dine n Dash, but I will leave that to the next blog (because there is so much to share it will take a while to write about it).

The night ended with a concert in the new Foundry venue by AwolNation. The only song I really know of theirs is “Sail” and it was a bit hard rock for me (and I was pretty tired from the night at that point)… But it was a really fun experience.

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What a seriously epic night!!

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