Taste of the Nation, the culinary benefit for Share Our Strength, kicks off tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at Rain Nightclub at the Palms, and there's still time to pick up tickets for $100 for general admission and $125 for VIP here. The event — which benefits Three Square Food Bank, Catholic Charities of Las Vegas and UNCE Chefs for Kids and Project MANA — features 35 of the city's chefs and restaurants, including chef Carlos Guia of The Country Club – A New American Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas, who serves as the restaurant chairman for Taste of the Nation Las Vegas. Here's Guia talks about how he got involved with Taste of the Nation, some of the dishes that will be served and why the event is important to Las Vegas.
How long have you been involved with Taste of the Nation?
Fifteen years as a participating chef. As a co-chair, seven years.
What made you decide to head up the event in the first place?
I was on the committee and it went through some changes and most of the people left after 2007. There wasn't going to be an event in 2008 but I called upon some friends and we pulled it together in two months and the rest is history.
What do you think Taste of the Nation brings to Las Vegas?
The main thing I hope it brings is awareness for the growing need of helping to end childhood hunger in Las Vegas and the U.S. in general. We throw a great party that is a foodie's dream, but the main goal is to help our communities children.
Why did you decide to move it from May to October?
It's a long story but I always felt it would be great event in the fall?.and this year it worked out!
Can you talk about some of the restaurants involved and what they will be serving?
N9NE Steakhouse will have a surf and turf with grilled pepper-crusted tenderloin and lobster mashed potatoes. Fleur plans to serve pan-seared diver scallops, Mexican squash, serrano chile and tomato water. Andrea's has a tuna and crispy rice, pickled jalapeño, spicy mayo and kecap manis. Island Sushi is serving a pork belly with Asian slaw and yuzu vinaigrette. Aureole will feature chilled corn veloute with Dungeness crab and ginger salad and waffle cones with seasonal sorbets. Kuma Snow Cream has Nutella snow cream with Oreo, mochi, peanuts and cocoa condensed milk.
How about you? What will you be serving?
A Creole-spice rubbed Prime rib chop with whipped sweet potatoes, roasted garlic mojo sauce and cilantro.
How much has Taste of the Nation raised for Share Our Strength over the years?
Locally in Las Vegas, $983,000.
· All Coverage of Taste of the Nation [~ELV~]