Wolfgang Puck is running late, and it’s a good thing. I am too. But once “Pretty Vegas” from INXS fades from the speakers and the chefs on stage have stopped their last-minute preparations, Puck walks out on stage for the members of the Grazie loyalty program at the Palazzo and Venetian. It’s a live cooking demonstration by the chef himself, where he spent more than an hour cooking three dishes and charming the audience.
Puck immigrated to the United States 35 years ago, landing first in Indianapolis, a town that took some of his ribbing. “Are you still eating steak well done?” he asked a couple from Indy. “I cooked more well-done steaks in my year there than the other 34 years.” He did note that the girls from Indy “were easy.”
With Scott Irestone, executive chef of Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at the MGM Grand, Melissa Zahnter, executive pastry chef at Postrio Bar & Grill at the Venetian, and Mark Sandoval, executive chef at Postrio, assisting, Puck got to work on Louie salad with shrimp, crab and lobster; Matsutake mushroom risotto with Liberty Farms duck breast and parmesan reggiano; and chocolate raspberry soufflé for dessert.
Chef Puck provided the audience members with helpful cooking tips for cooking the duck, risotto and soufflé, while noting that this is the season to buy the freshest mushrooms from Oregon. “You don’t want the onions brown. Your guests will think you haven’t cleaned your kitchen in a while,” he quipped. While cooking the arborio rice for the risotto, he recommended, “Don’t go gambling or whatever you do. You have to watch it.” For salt and pepper, he said, “Everything in moderation except sex.”
Want to get in on the next special event with Grazie? The special demonstration is just one of the many incentives that Grazie members receive from the loyalty program. For more information on the Grazie loyalty program or to become a Grazie member, guests can call 877.2GRAZIE or 702.414.4116.
In the meantime, check out this recipe from Puck to get your fill of California cuisine. Or check out Postrio or CUT at the Palazzo, where the dishes may appear on the menu.
(recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck)
8 ounces jumbo lump crab
3 tablespoons Thousand Island or Russian dressing
2 tablespoons chives
1 vine-ripened tomato, diced and well drained
1/4 red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
16 endive leaves
1 whole avocado, diced
Pick through the crab meat thoroughly and remove any shells.
Place the crab in a small bowl, and fold in the dressing and chives.
Combine the tomato, onion, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, and parsley in a small bowl to make a nice relish.
With the endive leaves, create a flower pattern on individual plates. Place a small mound of the Crab Louie mixture in the center. Layer the diced avocado on top of the crab. Layer the tomato mixture on top of the avocado. Serve.
Yield: Serves 4