We loved the bold flavors, chill ambiance and community-driven culinarians
On the evening of Saturday, October 16, the cool air chilled my cheeks as I strolled onto the corner of Colorado and Main, which was where neighborhood chefs and foodies gathered for the ultimate food fest, Vegas Unstripped. Over two dozen local culinary artists presented mouthwatering bites and beverages.
The lines were long for each restaurant’s dish, but well worth the wait. From the flavorful bites to the vibrant company of talented chefs, here’s a quick recap of an evening of good food paired with good company, and why “Off the Strip” loved it!
We Loved the Bold Flavors
With over two dozen local restaurant and bars combined, I tasted as many bites as I could, but I didn’t get to try them all. My stomach reached full capacity before I could eat each one, but the dishes I did snack on were rich with flavor, unique textures and presented like works of art.
My three favorite foodie stops were:
Gary FX LaMorte of Honest Hospitality’s, they served Bacon-aged Steel Head Trout topped with foam fermented chili moonshine paired with a Desert Bloom Beet Robata made with zinfandel tare, goat cheese and dill. The foam tickled my mouth while merrying with dynamic flavors that really made the dish pop with a unique taste and texture. I loved that I had never had a bite like this one before, which made it an even more memorable dish.
Bruce Kalman of Soul Belly’s BBQ served Smoked Beef Tamale with charred tomatillo salsa, roasted corn and tomato, pico de gallo topped with cotija cheese. The smoked beef in the tamale was so tender it melted in my mouth as it merged with all the colorful flavors layered in the sensational salsa, roasted veggies finished with a seasoned cotija cheese, a crumble similar to feta. It made me want to go back for seconds.
John Arena of Metro Pizza’s served a specially made slice that hit every high note that evening by serenading me with its sweet and savory flavors. The pizza consisted of smoked pork shoulder with cherry and hot pepper jam plus ricotta cream. The salty pork and the sweet jam with a hint of spice was out of this world. I confess that I had more than one slice, maybe two…or three. But who was counting, right?
They also served beer, cocktails and tea for guests to pair with their fresh plates of tasty bites and sweet treats. The Long Thailand Iced Tea, a combination of Thai tea and a Long Island was a popular sip that night.
We Loved the Warm & Welcoming Atmosphere
Everyone from the chefs to the guests illuminated with smiles and laughter under the desert sky.
Luckily, the outside event took place while the weather was pleasant, somewhere in the 70s, with only a slight chill cutting the air. It was the perfect autumn evening to gather foodies and food experts together for a feast.
On a small, intimate stage local artists performed upbeat tunes with an electric vibe. The lineup featured Brittany Rose, Desert Bloom, MaeJoy & The Noir Movement, Dan Fester, Greyson Bos Trio and Radical West.
All the chefs and volunteer staff were warm and welcoming. They served the dishes wearing a smile and were open to answering any questions about the food they were serving. It was clear that they were in their element and doing what they love most, creating culinary art and sharing it with the community.
We Loved Supporting Community-Driven Culinarians
Vegas Unstripped is not only an event by chefs and for chefs, but also a festivity created to lift the community’s spirits through good food and philanthropy. The proceeds of the event went to benefit several local non-profits including: Project Real, S.A.F.E. House, TPL: Theta Pi Lambda and ALS of Southern Nevada in memory of Chris Curtis.
These community-driven culinarians spread joy and positivity through their culinary gifts with a local lens.
Guests who came out to have an amazing time with amazing food also received specially designed flyers created by “Off the Strip” with a QR code offering guests a chance to win a $250 dinner from one of the participating restaurants featured at the festivities lineup.
If you missed this year’s Vegas Unstripped, we hope to see you next time around.
For additional details, visit Vegas Unstripped’s website.
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