Las Vegas Sun

February 18, 2019

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Two days of Las Vegas events to benefit ‘Iron Chef’ winner Kerry Simon

Guest Columnist Barry S. Dakake of N9NE Steakhouse


Doug Bell (Heraea), Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain, Barry Dakake (N9NE Steakhouse) and Kerry Simon (Simon) at the Palms on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

The wonderful, loving and caring chefs’ community of our town is coming to the assistance of “Iron Chef” winner Kerry Simon, who has been diagnosed with the little-known disease Multiple Systems Atrophy, an incurable progressive and degenerative brain disease similar to Parkinson’s, but far more aggressive.

My interview with Kerry, in which he candidly talked about his pain and outlook, was posted Dec. 12. Very little is known about MSA, and very few resources are available to those affected by it. Sadly and tragically, there is no known treatment to slow or stop it.

Kerry is committed to changing this and is partnering with Keep Memory Alive, the charitable arm of our downtown Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, to raise awareness about this disease and create a network for those affected and their families.

To kick off his campaign, there will be a two-day event combining Kerry’s two great loves — food and rock and roll: a multi-celebrity chef dinner and auction on Thursday, Feb. 27, with Jean-Georges Vongerichten flying in from New York as the main host at the brain center, and an all-star concert at Pearl Concert Theater in the Palms on Friday, Feb. 28.

In March, Kerry will head to the Mayo Clinic to undergo an experimental eight-week stem-cell program.

Kerry’s restaurant partner Elizabeth Blau said: “Our goal through these fundraising events is to create awareness and improve understanding for MSA through clinical care and research and develop a clinical home at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health for MSA patients, as well as for their families and caregivers.”

Check back for more details of the two events as they are released.

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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