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How Las Vegas' Restaurant Industry Would Change the World Through Food

How would you change the world through food? Local experts weigh in.

To mark the relaunch of Eater today, the Features team compiled a collection of seventy-two of the best ideas for how people around the world are or how they plan to or how they want to change the world through food. A lot of the ideas are incredibly earnest. Some are ambitious beyond reason. But what they all have in common is a belief that, with hard work and good food, the world is headed in the right direction.

As a local component to this feature, we asked the Las Vegas community to chime in. So check out the national responses over here and scroll below to see what local thinkers and doers would like to do to change the world through food. Have a suggestion? Add it to the comments.

John Arena, Metro Pizza Las Vegas: Let's get rid of the "badass chef" myth. Poaching fish and peeling carrots doesn't make you a warrior no matter how many tattoos you have.

Shirley Chung, chef partner, Twenty Eight Modern Chinese: I would teach kids that our food is not from the supermarket, we grow it.

Christian Dolias, founder and president, CuTThroat Culinary, executive chef Desnudo Tacos: Don't reenact, recreate.

Olivier Dubreuil, executive chef, Venetian and Palazzo: It's time to trust a skinny chef. The old adage of "Never trust a skinny chef" should no longer be applicable in today's world. A healthy chef reflects healthy eating. Chefs are now challenged with creatively combining flavors, palates and traditions to design dishes that achieve their culinary goals but also provide nourishment and healthy menu options. It's no longer about sauces and quantities. The flavor and nature of the food should stand alone and stand strong.

Paul Pace, director of food and beverage at Treasure Island: If every food industry, in every country, donated one percent of their daily product to food banks in their respective countries, everyone in the world would be able to go to bed with a full stomach. It's harder to hate people when they are feeding you and world peace might stand a chance.

Yvonne Maatouk, executive chef at PBR Rock Bar & Grill: I would merge history and culinary classes in grade school. Discovering the connection between the two adds a much more tangible appreciation for other cultures.

Tad Carducci, beverage partner at Mercadito and co-founder of Tippling Bros.: I would outlaw the use of the word skinny in any drinking establishment. I would endorse the phrase, "Drink tequila and look better naked." I would make mezcal a condiment.

Saul Ortiz, corporate executive chef of Tacos & Tequila: I would start by introducing vegetables with protein flavor profiles. Meaning, that by cooking certain vegetables in a special method I could resemble a protein flavor profile. For example, if I could make a vegetable that tastes like bacon, you could eat lots and lots and not get heart problems. Then I would move to make "new Mexican dishes" with these special vegetables and introduce them to the world.

Brian Lhee, executive chef at Yusho at the Monte Carlo: I would expand the spectrum of guests' taste buds, offering new experiences of textures and flavors while stretching diners' comfort zones. There is such a variety of ingredients savored around the world, such as sea cucumber, abalone and offal meats, that these little bites of joy could be experienced by all.

Susan Wolfla, executive chef of Mandalay Bay: I would change the world through food by solving the issue of world hunger. I believe there is enough food on the planet and we need to continue to find ways to distribute it equally.

Susan Feniger, co-owner of Border Grill: If I could change the world though food, the waste from every restaurant would be collected daily and be distributed so no one goes hungry. There are so many people, especially kids, who do not get enough nutrition. If cities could figure out how to get food from restaurants to those in need every day, it would feed so many people and help to nourish their young minds and create an environment where they would not go hungry, could learn more in school and be a part of our community.

Mary Sue Milliken, co-owner of Border Grill: I would propose a contest to create the best plant based dish in the world, judged by..... die hard carnivores. The winning recipes would then be championed and promoted by celebrities and incorporated into the public school feeding programs globally.

Jamie Stephenson and Marcella Melnichuk, founders and owners of The Juice Standard: We support bees. Bees support plants. Plants support humans. Get the picture? Organic saves bees, saves humans.

Harley Carbery, director of wine, Mandalay Bay: Too many people around North America still view wine as a prestige beverage. I would make sure everyone is aware that it can be enjoyed at any and all occasions without pretention. Remember it is just a drink! This will make everyone happier and the world a better place to be.

Tony Abou-Ganim, the Modern Mixologist: Friendships happen when strangers gather around a punch bowl.

Rick Moonen, RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Place: I would outlaw super processed foods from the market, as well as all GMOs.

Damon Workman, executive chef at Cantina Laredo: I'd let people know it's OK to play with their food. After all, I just did.

Brian Thomas Massie, executive chef, The Light Group: I would push the culinary arts, education, and safety more in our school systems. Let's give kids other avenues to express themselves and put more resources toward developing future chefs earlier.

John Hilton, executive chef at Three Square Food Bank: To change the world with food, we need to be sure that everyone has food. If hunger were eliminated, the world would be in pretty good shape.

I would make sure there was more access to healthy, nutritional food. So much goes to waste that could be used to feed a hungry person-a hungry child-and if more produce and protein was rescued from grocery stores, it could go a long way to feeding the hungry in our community.

I'd challenge people everywhere to see what it feels like to not have food for a day, to feel hungry. If everyone recognized what that struggle was like, I think there would be an even greater outpouring of support to end hunger.

To change the world with food, we need to be sure that everyone has food. If hunger were eliminated, the world would be in pretty good shape. I would make sure there was more access to healthy, nutritional food. So much goes to waste that could be used to feed a hungry person— a hungry child— and if more produce and protein was rescued from grocery stores, it could go a long way to feeding the hungry in our community. I'd challenge people everywhere to see what it feels like to not have food for a day, to feel hungry. If everyone recognized what that struggle was like, I think there would be an even greater outpouring of support to end hunger.

Ronnie Rainwater, chef de cuisine of Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian: I would really like to influence our kids to eat a wider variety of foods, starting at home and in schools.

Timothy Henderson, executive chef at Tableau at Wynn Las Vegas: I would implement a significant tax on all fast food chains that would go directly to education. This would make cooking at home more appealing and would increase America's consumption of natural foods.

Mark LoRusso, executive chef at Botero at Encore Las Vegas: I would have people eat more in tune with the seasons. This would reduce the carbon footprint in transporting out of season produce across hemisphere because someone wants an apple in the spring.

Chris Conlon, executive chef of Mandalay Bay properties for The Light Group: I would enforce stricter regulations on what can be called food. It is pretty scary when you read the ingredients on a bag of french fries and the last ingredient is potato, and the previous five you can not pronounce.

Carlos Guía, executive chef of The Country Club A New American Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas: I would love to be able to feed all the hungry children in the world. Since I can't feed them all, I try to make a difference in my community by being a part of events such as Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation.

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