Pool parties in Vegas: Cooking is campy with Holly Madison, Art Smith, and the Top Chef Masters

Pool parties in Vegas: Cooking is campy with Holly Madison, Art Smith, and the Top Chef Masters

“Whatever happens in Vegas is obviously going to end up on television.” -Chris Costentino, Episode 4, Top Chef Masters It’s an odd coincidence, don’t you think, that the same week Prince Harry got caught without his skivvies playing midnight pool in his hotel suite with a bevy of beauties, Chef Art Smith gained a bit of infamy of his own at Holly Madison’s Top Chef Masters pool party, where he stripped down to his Speedo while channeling Bo Derek in the most hilarious, over-the top episode of Top Chef Masters ever made? I haven’t laughed so hard at a Las Vegas spoof since Zach Galifianakis woke up and found a tiger in his hotel bathroom in The Hangover. So the premise of this solidly PG-13/Not Safe For Family Viewing Top Chef Masters Episode 5, Season 4, is Holly Madison throwing a birthday brunch/pool party for 150 of her closest friends, taking a break for her day job to do so:   She asked the Top Chefs to prepare comfort food since her friends might be hungover, requested that the food have no garlic or onion flavors so as to spare castmates any potential bad breath during that night’s performance, and specified the dishes be served in teeny-tiny bites, ostensibly to help maintain their beautiful, buff bodies. She even gamely tasted all the food herself, nibbling enough with her teeth to comment appropriately on the textures and flavors presented to her. And bodies there were – plenty of waxed pecs and brightly colored bikinis on display along with a few tasteful belly button rings, all to the giddy delight of many...
Viva sem fronteras!

Viva sem fronteras!

Having one’s head in the clouds is a evidently a good thing these days. It was obvious from the buzz, if not the signs, at this year’s Cisco Live convention in Las Vegas. Food is fuel for the soul and technology is fuel for the imagination – or is it the other way around? Find out more

Eating Well in Bright Light City

Eating Well in Bright Light City

Gusting winds ruffle the palm fronds on the Road to Mandalay. Inside, men in madras and women in minis saunter under oversized plastic breasts jutting from the walls toward the casino’s flashing neon lights and beckoning bells. I’ve spent only a combined total of four nights over the last ten years at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel, but each visit – once I adjust to the sensory overload – has been a fabulous and delicious indulgence. Silver platters heaped with shaved ice, lobster tail, crab claws, oysters, and prawns next to the pool. Caviar popping in my mouth, tiny fishy bubbles, before the savory filet tip stroganoff at Red Square. Ahi ceviche tossed with jicama, pineapple, and red onion heaped in a paprika-rimmed martini glass at Border Grill. Salty white anchovies swimming on top of crunchy peppery romaine before the duck fat fries at Strip Steak. Corned beef from Canter’s Deli before a nap in the room. I see that tonight’s Miss Universe pageant is being held in Bright Light City at the Mandalay Bay. Almost certainly, the contestants are nibbling on celery sticks and grapes in their suites hoping to look perfect and svelte in their bathing suits (is there still a bathing suit competition, anyway?) Perhaps after the festivities the ladies and their stylists will slip into something with a forgiving waistband and take themselves out for a proper celebratory meal – there are certainly a number of places to eat well. Here are a few: China Grill Rick Moonen’s rm seafood Strip Steak’s duck fat fries Burger Bar Stripsteak menu Noodle Shop Raffles Cafe Michael Mina’s Stripsteak Border...