Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 | 3:01 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 eight of the culinary heavyweights and asked them eight questions, including their 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 #5: Kerry Simon
How many restaurants do you currently have?
What would you say your signature dish is? What defines you as a chef?
There's too many of them to say that one dish (represents me as a chef). There's the tuna tartare with lemongrass, there's the meatloaf, there's the mac and cheese, there's the crispy sesame rice with tuna … I started making pizzas. Sushi pizza and a carpaccio pizza…
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I had for breakfast this morning fruit and yogurt, I had Synergy which is one of those Kombucha drinks, and then I had a latte with non-fat milk, and later I had a protein shake.
What is your favorite food-related trend right now?
For me, raw vegetables, I like that a lot. But I also like going back to dishes and trying to find the history of, like, pizzas, hamburgers, and those kind of things. The roots.
What would you have at your last supper?
Oh my god how can you ask something like that? I have a passion for food; I can't limit it. I'm going to eat a lot of stuff, I don't know. I'll have In-N-Out (Burger), I'd have a roast chicken, I'd have the Bobbie from Capriotti's, I don't know. … maybe it would be, like, the best sushi chef in the world doing, like, the ultimate dishes or something. But then I love Thai food! You can't ask questions like that, it's just not fair.
All right, well, then the next question, who would cook it, is also not fair. How about… a supermodel?
A supermodel! I like that idea. Yeah, that's a good idea.
What is your favorite Vegas-based restaurant (other than your own)?
What's your favorite kitchen gadget?
There's a couple things I really depend on. I depend on a juicer and a blender so those would be my kitchen favorites.
Next Chef: Sammy Hagar
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.