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Updates & Live Events: James Beard Foundation

James Beard Foundation - AlizeAs you may recall, our chefs at Restaurant Alize´ at the top of the Palms Casino were invited to create a special dinner for guests of the James Beard Foundation in Greenwich Village James Beard House tonight.

For the record, this ain’t no franks-and-beans kind of dinner – this is an extensive 5-course French dinner that showcases the 35-year history of Andre´Rochat’s renowned restaurants in Las Vegas.

Now, with the champagne reception just a few hours away, Alize´Chef de Cuisine Mark Purdy, Pastry Chef Tammy Alana, and Andre´himself are bustling away on the final preparation for the 70-plus guest event. We even pulled in Joe Marsco, our Director of Operations, who’s acting in the role of prep chef and general “calmer downer.”

The James Beard Foundation invites celebrated chefs to the original James Beard house in New York to provide a taste of their “home cookin'” and, in turn, support the Foundation’s efforts in providing education and network support to chefs across the country.

Even though Chef Andre´Rochat has traveled to Greenwich Village a few times to provide this dinner, it’s the first for Alize´Chef Mark Purdy and, in his words, “it’s been an educational experience all along.” Although he devised the menu several months ago, there wasn’t a lot he or Tammy could do until the first of this week. Then, it was a flurry of prep activity – roasting nearly 100 duck breasts, preparing sauces, prepping more than 70 racks of lamb, baking the dessert base, etc., as there’s not enough time or staff to put this sort of detailed meal together once arriving in Greenwich Village.

Once prepped, the food had to be CAREFULLY packed and shipped via Fed Ex (lesson learned from another chef’s disastrous story: never ever check your boxes of coddled food in regular baggage … eek gads).

Our anxious chefs followed the food Wednesday afternoon on their own flight, then spent Thursday at Manhattan’s finest farmers’ markets to purchase all the greens, fresh fruit and vegetables to complete the menu offerings. This morning (Friday) at 8:00 a.m. sharp, our 4-person skeleton crew was allowed in James Beard’s personal kitchen to begin a long (but exciting) day of work. They have just hours now before the gates open for more than 70 invited dinner guests.

Will our famed Las Vegas chefs dazzle New Yorkers tonight? Will the entire, complex dinner event go off without a hitch? We’ll let you know in just a few hours …