Wynn Las Vegas Magazine by MODERN LUXURY

Wynn - 2011 - Issue 2 - Fall

Wynn Magazine - Las Vegas

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Page 59 of 123

FOOD SPOTLIGHT S 58 WYNN teve Wynn is known for feats of daring innovation and is largely credited with changing the face of Las Vegas over the last two decades, so when he became a vegan in the spring of 2010, for health and ethical reasons, it almost went without saying that what it meant to be vegan in Las Vegas was about to change. Wynn did for veganism what he is famous for having done in Las Vegas: elevating the concept to the highest level. Veganism is vegetarianism taken a step further. smorgasboard of options with spring-vegetable fricassee at Botero Where vegetarians refrain from eating animals, veg- ans also eliminate anything that comes from animals, such as eggs and dairy products. According to the American Heart Association, many studies show that vegetarians have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some forms of cancer. That, plus concerns about the planet and our food sources, has contributed to plant-based diets as a steadily growing eating trend. Today, vegans come from all walks of life, including such high-profile Americans as the nearly vegan former President Bill Clinton and Hollywood actors from Alicia Silverstone to Joaquin Phoenix. With so many foods off limits, the question, for vegans, becomes: What to eat? Not to mention: How to make it taste good? That's where Wynn got to work. "This business of caring about what you eat and trying to make it tasty and educate the public at the same time is not some fringe activity," says left: Vegan dim sum at Wazuzu; pasta and "clams" at Botero; Old Bay cakes at Lakeside; couscous above, from far Wynn. "This is a matter of fundamental survival and the continued vitality of our society and our population." Fueled by this passion and conviction, Wynn began his crusade at his eponymous resort, he says, "starting right here with my family and my employees." Enter Tal Ronnen, perhaps the most famous vegan chef in the country, who now includes among his accomplishments the title of collaborating vegan chef at Wynn Las Vegas. Ronnen catered renowned vegan Ellen DeGeneres' wedding to her vegan part- ner, Portia de Rossi, as well as Arianna Huffington's party at the Democratic National Convention and the first vegan dinner at the US Senate. He also cre- ated the meals for Oprah Winfrey's 21-day vegan cleanse. Ronnen was introduced to Wynn by Dr. Dean Ornish, the physician known for being the first to demonstrate that changes in diet can reverse heart disease. After tasting Ronnen's cuisine, which applies French technique to meat- less dishes, Wynn recruited the celebrity chef to produce vegan menus for Wynn and Encore. Over a period of several months, Ronnen collaborated with the chefs at each of the restaurants to create vegan offerings that were both integral to that restaurant's menu and in keeping with the chefs' individual styles. In the end Ronnen helped to devise 22 distinct menus in all, one for each dining outlet, from the most refined restaurants throughout the two resorts to casual eateries, in-room dining and even the employee cafeteria. The result, arguably the most expansive and sophisticated selection of vegan cuisine anywhere in the world, is nothing short of revolutionary. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEFF GREEN

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