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Chef Mark Purdy takes a field trip to MGP

Alizé Chef Mark Purdy examines a salt block used for appetizer and tasting menu displays.

Contrary to popular belief, Alizé Chef de Cuisine Mark Purdy does not spend 24 hours a day in the kitchen. He does, however, eat, drink and sleep all things food. From early morning to late at night, André Rochat’s award-winning Chef  is working on new ideas and perfecting every dish to ensure a rapturous foodie experience.

Last week, it was time to take a field trip. No, not to the zoo with a brown-bagged peanut butter sandwich and a warm soda pop – not this time. Purdy is a great supporter and friend to the Alizé vendors, and Michael Stamm, the owner of MGP (Michael’s Gourmet Pantry) Specialty Foods, is no exception. So, on Wednesday afternoon, Purdy and Pastry Chef Tammy Alana headed across town for a tour of the Gourmet Pantry.

Michael, a 25-year chef, graduated from culinary school in Germany. After apprenticing at the renowned restaurant Zur Linde in Heidelberg, Michael worked his way to the States, through Mammoth Lakes and to Las Vegas in 1986.

Just like Purdy, Michael prefers those specialty ingredients that take a dish from “just OK” to “simply unforgettable.” These ingredients, though, i.e., the freshest foie gras, truffles, meats, rare cheeses, oils, vinegars and finest grains from all ports of the world – come with a price. After serving as an Executive Chef, Michael chose to move to the other side of the specialty food world. Not only was it important that Michael purvey these ingredients to chefs in Las Vegas and surrounding cities and states, but he wanted to help chefs bring their food costs down while still being able to serve the very rarest ingredients. Now in the business since 1999, Michael’s Gourmet Pantry helps hundreds of chefs accomplish both ends.

“Because Michael’s is first a chef, he understands that keeping your food costs in line is not only a matter of survival, it’s a matter of pride,” says Purdy. “Michael isn’t just a great vendor – he’s a great partner in any chef’s business.”

A Gourmet Chef’s Dream – A Specialty Foods “Pantry” the Size of a Costco Warehouse

Michael Stamm and Chef Mark Purdy at MGP

Michael Stamm, owner of Michael’s Gourmet Pantry, talks Parmesan with Chef Mark Purdy of Alizé.

When most people think “pantry,” they think of something more like a closet, or perhaps a small storefront. Michael Stamm thinks “warehouse, big warehouse” His warehouse is stacked with row upon row of just about any gourmet food staple a chef could want. Grains take one entire section while canned specialties take the aisles across. Vinegars and oils line an entire wall, and somewhere in the middle, TWO vast cheese and meat walk-ins offer hundreds of  varieties.

Then, it’s over to his cheese cutting room for a love fest of cheese tastings, each with a story all its own. As the Alizé nightly menus provide rare cheese tasting options, there’s always an opportunity to learn more about cheese!

Cheese tasting at Michael's Gourmet Pantry

At the end of the “field trip,” a decadent cheese tasting for Chef Mark Purdy and Pastry Chef Tammy Alana

While MGP Specialty Foods is only open to professional chefs, rest assured you will be tasting many of its products on any given evening at Alizé at the top of the Palms Resort tower. Interested chefs can contact Michael Stamm directly at (702) 949-3663 or visit the MGP website.

Name This Mystery Cheese, Win a Cheese “Flight” at Alizé!

Be the first to go to our Alizé Facebook page – www.facebook.com/AlizeLasVegas – and name this cheese AND its region of origin, and you win a cheese flight at Alizé on your next visit! (Sorry – the label doesn’t give it away!)

mystery cheese for Alize contest