Luxury Las Vegas

June 2012 :: Food for Thought

Luxury Las Vegas continues to be Las Vegas’ premier metropolitan magazine offering Extraordinary Living for Extraordinary Lives.

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DESS A SL ICE OF L oc al ar t i s t s t e am up wi th pas t r y che f s t o cr e a t e wedding c ake mas t er "piece s " BY AL MANCINI T here's no denying that all great chefs are artists, in the broad sense of the term. Pastry chefs, however, bear a much closer resemblance to those traditional artists whose works are featured in museums. They're part sculptor, part painter and part chef, and their works are often judged as much on appearance as on taste. They're frequently called upon to use their skills spinning sugar, molding chocolate and even defying gravity to interpret the visions of blushing brides, or commemorate events as diverse as Super Bowls, comedy shows, and topless reviews. How would they fare, however, in taking the visions of three of Las Vegas' most respected visual artists and transforming them into a delicious dessert? That's what Luxury set out to discover with a month-long series of collaborations. To assist us in the project, we approached the organizers of First Friday and asked them to recommend three artists with different styles who would enjoy collaborating with our three casino pastry chefs. To commemorate both our Food & Wine issue and special bridal section, each team was asked to create a wedding cake. The rules were fairly simple. First, it was not a competition. Second, the teams were not to worry about traditional ideas of what a wedding cake should be. Each artist's primary job was to supply a vision of what he or she would want his or her own wedding cake to look like, while the chef 's job was to interpret that vision. The teams were free to meet as often as they wished, and each artist's participation in the physical construction of the cake was left up to the individual team. As you'll read on the following pages, the approaches taken by each team were surprisingly different. The finished products were unveiled to the public on April 6 at First Friday. Their display area, an outdoor tent, had been a concern to all of the chefs, who had to select ingredients and techniques that would hold up in that environment. While we had hoped to cut the cakes for the public at the end of the night, we soon learned health department regulations didn't permit that. So the cakes were to be for display only. The crowd, however, had other plans. Sometime around 8:30 or 9 p.m. some hungry patrons decided to dig in -- without the benefit of knives or forks. Before organizers could take the cakes away, a few dozen people had mashed their faces into the delicious works of art, putting their own spin on that old wedding tradition of mashing cake into a spouse's face. Sadly, our photographers weren't on hand to capture the moment. They were around to document the rest of the creative process, as you will see on the following pages. JUNE 2012 | LUXURY LAS VEGAS 41

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