Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 | 2:52 p.m.
The Carnivale du Vin brought together many of the top chefs in the country: Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Bradley Ogden… most of the big names were at the Venetian this weekend.
The Sun caught up with some of the culinary heavyweights to get their personal take on their signature dishes, restaurant trends, favorite kitchen gadgets, and what they would have for dinner if they had just one last supper to enjoy.
Chef #4 Bradley Odgen
How many restaurants do you currently have?
We have 10 in the group and then one I have as an independent in Santa Ynez, called Root 246. It's doing well so I'm hanging my hat so I'm spending most of my time there, besides my fiduciary stuff.
What would you say your signature dish is? What defines you as a chef?
My forte has always been farm-to-table, whatever's fresh that day. Let's just say that, like here at Caesars, (a signature dish) that I haven't been able to take off since day one, is my Maytag blue cheese soufflée. We change up the garnish for it, right now we have it very seasonal, we have it with roasted quince, and then a glazed pear and a little herb salad.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I love oatmeal so I had some steamed oatmeal with fresh banana, a little yogurt, and a cup of coffee
What is your favorite food-related trend right now?
Trend is one of those words that is very, sort of esoteric in a way. Trend is what you make it to be. I'm tired of micro greens. It's really giving back, and I say this sort of economically, but it's sort of getting back to basics but doing it in a sort of a gourmand way. That could be braised pot roast with wild leeks and then roasted root vegetables.
What would you have at your last supper?
If I had my last supper, first of all, it would be outside. I would have the grills going, we'd have lots of iced Cristal Rose, good friends, … I would have fresh flown-in steamed lobster with … butter from Maine, probably Jasper White would send me a few and then I would have whole roasted, naturally fed, corn-fed chickens on the rotisserie, corn on the cobb, just-picked tomato salad, there'd had to be some angel food cake in there with a little wildberry compote on it and lots of whipped cream.
Who would cook it?
Probably my two sons, my two chef sons. Both went to CIA (that's the Culinary Institute of America) as well. Chad is in Hong Kong … and Bryan used to be my chef du cuisine at Odgen and now he's back in Vegas opening a group of restaurants with Pure.
The other one's a doctor, but he loves to cook; they're all under the knife, you know what I mean? (laughs) I'd have my boys cook it.
What is your favorite Vegas-based restaurant (other than your own)?
What's your favorite kitchen gadget?
A microplane (grater).
Next Chef: Kerry Simon
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.