Moments after the final course was made from scratch, served, and promptly devoured at Mon Ami Gabi‘s renowned cooking class, I approached executive chef and part-owner Terry Lynch. My only question was — when’s the next class coming up? I was ready to pounce and make another reservation on the spot. For anyone who enjoys learning more about culinary history, the fine art of cooking and devising original recipes, and/or simply adores eating great food and drinking specialty cocktails much like I do — this experience isn’t to be missed.
Mr. Lynch responded that Mon Ami Gabi does offer classes periodically (on average, about every six months). They’re usually held on Saturdays from 10 am to noon. He explained that December would normally be the host month for the next class. However, Mr. Lynch said he was planning a month-long trip to Vietnam and Cambodia towards year end. Why am I telling you this? Allow me to explain. I think it’s indicative of why all of Mr. Lynch’s restaurants are a stand out in terms of quality, value, and originality.
I have a love-hate relationship with laptops. I love them. They hate me.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve gone through an average of about 2 to 3 computers per year. I’ve dropped a few by accident and cracked the screens. Two laptops were stolen. One laptop fizzled out after being doused by a 16-ounce tumbler full of rum punch. A couple more were smashed during violent fits of rage, the maddening result of a losing sports wager and (in at least one true incident) a wickedly slow web browser. Load the page faster, goddammit!!! Wham!!! Then, some laptops simply wear out over time. I figure the expiration date on any laptop is when the letters have finally worn off the keys and you start making lots of spelling mistakes (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it).
This annual gathering of great minds and provocative speakers comes across as both magnificently entertaining and highly informative. At times, it’s even transformative. This marks the second year that I’ve attended. There have been 13 annual gatherings held here in Las Vegas, dating back to 2003.
Writer’s Note: Following PART 1 and PART 2, here’s the story of my favorite dinner of the 2015 World Series of Poker, in other words — my top choice out of 51 such engagements. There’s also a brief interlude of thanks to some friends who presented me with various gift bottles of wine and assorted liquors, which sufficiently swayed me enough to write positive things about them here.
Continuing the countdown from the previous article (READ HERE)….
The best thing about Joe Hachem’s “Ten-Year Victory Anniversary Party,” held on the night of July 5, 2015 wasn’t the food — which was exquisite. It wasn’t the company — which was unforgettable. It wasn’t even the wine and cocktails — which were bountiful and best of all, free. No, the best thing about the evening was the host — Joe Hachem.
Most of us involved in the poker game know Hachem as the 2005 world poker champion, which was won amidst a thundering chorus of chants, most notably “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.” Remember, it was Hachem and his vocal entourage of Aussies who unwittingly changed tournament poker forever into the highly interactive spectator sport that it’s become today, with audiences shoehorned around the final table not just cheering like it’s a football game but at times even bantering back and forth with the players. Before the night Hachem won what turned out to be last WSOP gold bracelet ever handed out at the old Binion’s Horseshoe, championship tables were hedged within a far-more subdued atmosphere, similar to what one expects of a gentlemanly chess match, with occasional outbreaks of the requisite golf clap.
But now I’m getting away from myself. Back to the party.