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Hot off the grill! Chef Bradley Ogden has wanted to write a holiday dinner book for the past eight years. Originally, it was to be a seven-part series using three decades of recipes updated for seven holidays on the calendar.
Finally, he’s managed to find time to release the first, “Holiday Dinners: 150 Festive Recipes to Bring Family & Friends Together.” At the launch-autograph signing in his Caesars Palace restaurant Monday night, he told me his dream was delayed with opening 14 restaurants in California and the Southwest.
“It’s my second big book,” he told me. “This for Thanksgiving and Christmas took a one-year process with all the gorgeous photos and wine pairings. Now I want to complete the remaining six. I’ve got 200 recipes already prepared for the next one, which might focus on Easter and Mother’s Day. I always cooked in my restaurants at holiday time, and, growing up in Michigan, it was very traditional.
“In this book, you’ll find the traditional turkey with corn sage stuffing, but also the prime rib I cook at home for Christmas and the black bean chili I have ready for New Year’s football games. I’ve set out some foolproof techniques on how to carve a turkey and set a holiday table for a dinner party. This Thanksgiving, I will be at my Santa Ynez restaurant but am undecided yet where to do Christmas -- but definitely New Year’s here at Caesars Palace.”
*K.J. Kitchen has been a huge favorite in Chinatown and with foodies in the know. Now owner Danny Nhan has accepted an invitation from Rio executives to open a second location there next month. It will mark the debut of the first dim sum menu. The new, 4,600-square-foot luxury restaurant with 350 seats will be led by Chef Loy Lee, who has been at the original K.J. for more than five years. Born in China, he perfected his culinary skills in Hong Kong, so you know you’re getting the real deal.
*Marbella Tapas Bar has opened in the former Ruth’s Chris steps from Palms Place, and nightly it transforms into a trendy lounge and after-hours hotspot with the music of Spain found in the coastal discotecas. There’s a wide range of dining tastes and wines from Spain, Argentina and Chile. Signature dishes include paella de mariscos, duck rib confit, short rib tapa and those treasured boquerones made from toasted sourdough baguettes, hard eggs tartar, grilled piquillo peppers and Spanish white anchovies. The breakfast menu kicks in at 5 a.m.!
*Eva Longoria’s new menu at her steakhouse Beso in Crystals at MGM’s CityCenter features delicacies such as salmon carpaccio, foie gras, Colorado lamb, eight Angus beef steaks and a shellfish tower of lobster, shrimp, oysters, clams, mussels and ceviche. … Nico Santucci, owner of the Capos restaurants here, has launched the “Capone Family Secrets” recipes of classic Italian specialties and sauces that had been hidden for the past 80 years after originally being discovered and kept secret by Al Capone himself. … Chef Rick Moonen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay will kick off the 27th Annual Chef’s Holidays in Yosemite National Park on Jan. 18 with a cooking demo and the gala dinner Jan. 19. … And Chef Jeans Georges Vongerichten, who has restaurants in the Bellagio and Aria, is hoping to bring a new chicken-concept bistro here to add to his 33 New York City and worldwide dining outlets.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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