ML - Vegas Magazine

Vegas - 2015 - Issue 7 - November - Natalie Dormer

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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photography by jeff green (mizumi); melissa valladares (clasby); pierre monetta (rivea); courtesy of andiron steak & sea (soup) Riverside). "Grapes, pears, and persimmons are coming in," says Clasby. "You fall in love with flavors at the begin- ning of the season, and they just keep gaining depth and density as the months go on." Chef Sean Griffin of Jean- Georges Steakhouse (Aria, 877-230-2742; asks Clasby to show up with "anything interesting" in her weekly visits. For fall, Griffin has embraced her Thomcord grapes from Apkarian Family Farm in Reedley, which marry the sweet skin and seedless- ness of Thompson grapes with the full flavor of Concords. In a dish called Morning in the Vineyards, they're roasted on the vine with herbs, set alongside a protein, and embellished with Riesling foam. Other Clasby-picked items on Griffin's menu this fall: Warren pears, intensely flavored broccoli di cicco, and heirloom apples, such as Roxbury Russets and Pink Pearls, from an apple farm in Northern California. At B&B Ristorante (Venetian, 702-266-9977;, chef Jason Neve—who likens Clasby to "an extra set of hands in the kitchen"—is using a savory Italian squash called zucca barucca (or "holy squash"). Spotted by Mario Batali dur- ing a cooking stint in Italy, he loved it so much that he asked Clasby to have it grown for him here; she found a farmer in Santa Paula. Neve uses it to make a ravioli known as cap- pellacci di zucca. "You can get butternut squash ravioli at any decent Italian restaurant," he says, "but this ravioli is made from an heirloom varietal that has the perfect balance of sweetness and richness." At his new restaurant, Rivea (Delano, 877-632-5400;, chef Alain Ducasse is making good use of Clasby's gorgeous eggplants, zucchinis, and tomatoes. Mizumi (Wynn Las Vegas, 702- 770-3320; frequently employs Clasby's variety of mushrooms and makes a slaw out of Fuji apples gathered at Prevedelli Farms in Watsonville. Those tucking into the fall tasting menu at Joël Robuchon Restaurant (MGM Grand, 702-891-7925; should pay extra attention to the pure white eggplants, painstak- ingly procured by Clasby and lacking the bitterness usually associated with their purple counterparts. At Carnevino (Venetian, 702-789-4141;, chef Nicole Brisson actually begins menu development with Clasby's produce. "We look at how beautiful Kerry's stuff is and it inspires us," she says. Look for Brisson's bran- zino, cooked in parchment and augmented for fall with freshly dug potatoes ("Right from Roots Organic Farm in Los Olivos," says Clasby, "they exude a ton of flavor") and just-picked baby arti- chokes. The dish is set off with fennel and sweet, succulent Kishu tangerines, grown at a biodynamic orchard in Ojai. At Spago (Caesars Palace, 702-369-6300; wolfgang, executive chef Eric Klein is stocking up his fall favorites, like squash, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Klein, who has worked with Clasby for 25 years, saves his great- est enthusiasm for Clasby's apples. "I will be doing an apple experience," he says. "I can use apples for chips, salad, juice, apple butter. The idea is to stay flexible and keep evolving." Not surprisingly, Clasby has fallen in love with Vegas and its innovative chefs. "I'm bringing family farms to the glittering desert," she says. "Great produce allows the great chefs to shine, and I enjoy contributing to that." V OFF the StRIP Kerry Clasby's food tour continues off the Strip, at stand-alone restaurants, where her produce is used to great effect. At Andiron Steak & Sea (1720 Festival Plaza Dr., 702-685-8002;, chef Kim Canteenwalla has made Clasby's heirloom squash the headline ingredi- ent in a rich vegetable soup (shown below), which also includes the forager's leeks, thyme, and sage. At David Clawson Restaurant (2840 Bicentennial Pkwy., Henderson, 702-466-2190;, chef David Clawson takes the sweet route by highlighting Clasby's Santa Rosa Valley blueberries in an extra- virgin olive oil cake, her Brentwood corn in panna cotta, and her sweet carrots in a carrot caramel sauce. At the appropriately named Vegenation (616 E. Carson Ave., 702-366-8515;, Clasby's oversize sweet potatoes from The Little Organic Farm in Petaluma, California, are the key ingredient in chef Donald Lemperle's African yam stew. clockwise from far left: Matsutake mushroom dobin mushi soup with fresh yuzu at Mizumi; Clasby the Intuitive Forager in her natural habitat; Rivea's Provence- style vegetable caponata with farm-fresh zucchini. 74 taSte

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