Chefs to the Max

Posted by | January 21, 2014 | Dining, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sunday 19 January 2014 will forever be engraved in my mind as one of the best dining days of my entire life!  That night was the first of the Chefs to the Max events in support of injured food writer Max Jacobson.  Max was hit by a car while crossing the street 2 days before Xmas and remains in critical condition.  This dinner was a coming together of nearly every power house chef (22 of them to be exact) with a resto in Vegas.  It was AWESOME!!!  Hosted by friend Chef Rick Moonen at Rx Boiler Room, it was everything you would expect and so much more.  In addition to the fab food there was a silent and live auction.  I volunteered my time to work the silent auction AND John paid for tix for us to enjoy the meal as well.  I can’t include ALL of the 109 pics here for you to view, HOWEVER, if you go to my Facebook page, they will all be there.  Suffice it to say that the food was incredible.  Here is the Menu, signed by all of the Chefs:

Signed menu from all of the participating Chefs.  Yes, it will be framed!

Signed menu from all of the participating Chefs. Yes, it will be framed!

So, of course there are stand out moments with every culinary event of this magnitude and I will share mine with you.  In no particular order:

Funny – After having my purse knocked to the ground for the 5th time (it was a tight room), being cheeky, I mentioned to a manager that I would put my purse on the empty chair at the end of the table.  “By the way,” I said, “when I ate at Alex [now closed Michelin starred resto that was in the Wynn] they gave me a foot stool for my purse.”  And the manager says, “Well, I suggest you talk to the guy at the other end of the table. That’s Chef Alex Stratta.”  I laughed out loud!  I had no idea!  FYI – Las Vegans, Chef Alex is back at the helm at Marche Bacchus – you need to go!  BTW – Marche owner Jeff Wyatt joined us and took the empty “purse chair”.


Chef Bradley Ogden (L) stopping by our table to chat with Chef Alex Stratta (R)

Awe Inspiring – I had heard all sorts of stuff about Chef Thomas Keller, but had never had the chance to eat any of his food or meet him until Sunday.  He is a very nice man and a Zen Fucking Master in the kitchen.  It was peaceful, quiet and a hush was over the kitchen as everyone was in awe of this genius at work.  Everyone was gracious enough to allow me to come and go as I pleased to take all the pics I wanted and I was able to watch Chef Thomas work his magic.  He PERSONALLY sauced each and every one of his dishes that came out of the kitchen.  And his dish was my fave of the night.

Chef Thomas Keller working his magic.

Chef Thomas Keller working his magic.

The Legendary Roasted Chicken

The Legendary Roasted Chicken

Giddy – As a waitron I sat through many pre-shift meetings and most of them were boring.  THIS pre-shift was amazing.  I was thrilled to be able to listen in as the Chefs talked about their respective dishes and give pointers on how to present.  What was even more amazing to me was how charming I found it that Bobby Flay and Bradley Ogden were taking pics of the other Chefs during their presentations.  I have NEVER been in that small space with that much talent in my life.  If I am going to be honest, I was completely twitter pated and titillated.


Pre-shift Chefs working with the wait staff. Who do you recognize?

The Chefs were just as giddy as I was I think.  Yes, it was that cool!

The Chefs were just as giddy as I was I think.

All in all, nearly $300K was raised in one night to help Max and his family.  There will be more events.  Stay tuned here and on my FB page to details about upcoming opportunities to participate.

Chef Mike Minor and me.

Chef Mike Minor and me.

For more great pics click here and here.

Questions, thoughts comments?