Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 | 4:58 p.m.
Hot off the grill!
Emmy-winning PBS host and chef Lidia Bastianich joined 30 Bank of America volunteers at our Three Square food bank on Wednesday to prepare more than 6,000 meals for needy area families.
Lidia, who owns four Manhattan restaurants, joined NASCAR Senior Director Lou Garate for the presentation of a $29,000 check for another 87,000 meals. Lidia is in Vegas for two days attending 2013 NASCAR Champion’s Week events and also signed copies of her new cookbook “Commonsense Italian Cooking” at an autograph session in her son Joe Bastianich’s restaurant B&B in the Venetian.
Joe is partnered with star chef Mario Batali in numerous food-related enterprises, including this week’s expansion to Chicago of their food-and-wine marketplace Eataly. “Commonsense” is her 11th cookbook and features 150 delicious recipes.
She said: “I love teaching, whether it is how to cook, how to enjoy food, how to shop, how to set the table and present food and prepare meals for family or friends. ‘Commonsense’ is an essential tool when one steps into the kitchen. I have dedicated my life to cooking for family, friends and strangers.
“It was all about Grandma’s kitchen table where I was fed, nurtured and loved. I decided that I never wanted to leave that table but to stay close to it for the rest of my life. And so I remained in the kitchen.
“I hear a wanting, a longing for people to reset that table. There is great wisdom in returning to the kitchen and relighting the fires that can bring families eating together, friends gathering and people from different cultures eating one another’s food, discussing their differences and maybe even resolving world peace.
“I don’t think that’s too much to ask for or too much to hope for. All it takes is resetting that table in the kitchen.”
TRUFFLE TASTING: One of the most magnificent and memorable meals of my life! Is that too big a claim? I don’t think so because the seven courses (plus, one surprise) from celebrated chef Nobu Matsuhisa at his Nobu Caesars Palace restaurant were a total knockout.
The $400-per-person Truffle Tasting menu is a start-to-finish masterpiece with blue fin carpaccio, crab, trout, yellowtail, lobster, sea bass, sushi and soup — all with sliced truffles or truffle foam and even a truffle custard.
Paired with champagne, sake and Australian Sauvignon Blanc, it redefines the word succulent. Our servers explained how each course was fished, put together and prepared for the meal, which was more than two hours.
I’m a big fan of truffles and Nobu’s cooking, but I never guessed putting the two together even with yuzu dressing could be so incredible. The chef’s tasting menu is only available this month, so make sure you don’t miss it.
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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