Posts Tagged ‘Vegas’

Year Five of Life is Beautiful as told by Craig Asher Nyman

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Over this past weekend, Life Is Beautiful Year #5 took place in Downtown Las Vegas, welcoming thousands upon thousands of music fans to the city streets, taking over 18 city blocks.  Our Director of Entertainment, PR & Marketing, Craig Asher Nyman is the man behind booking all of the acts who performed over the 3 Day Festival, here’s a chance to learn a little more about Craig, his passion for music and what it takes to make Life Is Beautiful happen year after year.

 

https://lifeisbeautiful.com/news/hello-beautiful-get-to-know-the-head-of-music-and-live-performances

 

Are you ready to be a part of the festival next year for Year #6?!?   See you in Downtown Las Vegas!

 

Life is Beautiful Wins 2016 Music Festival of the Year

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

A fun start to 2017 for Craig Asher Nyman who spearheads efforts for CAN Media & Entertainment (a subsidiary of The Nyman Group) as the Life is Beautiful Festival was awarded Music Festival of the Year at the 2017 Pollstar Awards in Downtown Los Angeles on February 2. A truly incredible honor for all the hard work the team has put in to building the festival to be recognized by the music industry as a leader in the new wave of festivals. The 2016 festival featured acclaimed artists including Mumford & Sons, J. Cole, Major Lazer, The Lumineers, Jane’s Addiction, Flume, Empire The Son and more. Other artists to perform at the festival in years past include Stevie Wonder, The Killers, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Lionel Richie, Kanye West, OutKast, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Duran Duran and hundreds more.

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Craig and CAN Media & Entertainment have worked with the festival since it’s inception where he has served at Head of Music & Live Performances. The music, art, culinary and learning festival returns to Downtown Las Vegas in September for its fifth installment where Craig is busy at work with the team to make the 2017 festival the best yet.

 

 

 

 

Just another Monday night in Vegas

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Met some of our industry friends visiting from the Boca area in Florida the other night at the Aria Resort & Casino. We started with drinks at View Bar, and our buddy brought cigars for us to have. Before dinner. Sheesh. This bar is in a great location, but unfortunately has almost zero atmosphere being immediately off the hotel lobby and one of the first impressions that you get of Aria.

I started off with two different aperitifs – the first was Aperol with soda, splash grapefruit. Delicious and one of my favorite ways to start a meal. Next was a Negroni, my own recipe – Aperol, Hendrick’s Gin and Lillet Blanc. If you’ve never had this concoction, you need to. Now.

After opening our palates, we went around the corner to enjoy dinner at Sage, one of my favorite Vegas restaurants. First course for me was Seared Scallops with Braised Oxtail, Wild Mushrooms & Salted Caramel Reduction. Holy Hell was this good. It was very rich, but well worth the experience.

The Kitchen then sent out a mid-course for us to try which included:

-Roasted Sweetbreads with glazed bacon, creamy white polenta & trumpet mushrooms
-Slow-poached Organic Farm egg, smoked potato, shaved summer truffles & toasted country bread
-Lobster Ravioli with sugar snap peas – which was intense

My entrée was killer – seared Veal Cheeks with polenta and wild mushrooms. Also, our server sent out a taste of a 48-hour Braised Beef Belly – Wow! It was slightly smoky and reminiscent of a (non-salted) style-pastrami, simply one of the best prepared meats I’ve ever had.

Dessert was an awesome, savory Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream. Along with dessert I had a much needed digestif, Amaro Montenegro, a perfect way to end the meal and a wonderful evening.

The Great Italian Pigout!

Monday, June 13th, 2011

The other night I had the pleasure to attend the Great Italian Pigout, hosted by Chef Chris Palmeri of Naked City Pizza Shop (@NakedCityLV). Chris is an old friend who has cooked around the Strip and made the move a few years ago to do his own thing, to truly embrace his passion for food he wanted to cook. He founded Naked City Pizza Shop inside of Moondoggies Bar here in Vegas, providing a killer Buffalo-style quick-serve, offering sandwiches, wings and various specials.

Chris wanted to really do something different, so he enlisted some of his chef buddies from the Strip and they put together a 5-course menu, embracing all things Pig. For this festival of deliciousness, I wanted to definitely support and enjoy what the guys had put together, and for $25.00, the meal was a bargain.

I headed over to Moondoggies, running into a few people from Vegas past and we dove into the experience. Starting us off was a Jack Daniels Honey cocktail, mixed with their new liqueur, orange juice and amaretto. A touch sweet for me, but the whiskey base spirit would definitely be an easy drink mixed with iced tea or soda water.

First course on deck was a sheet pan (Chris’ signature Buffalo-style) Margarita Pizza with housemade sweet Italian sausage. Although I couldn’t enjoy this myself (tomato allergy), everyone who had the ‘za thought it had great flavor, wasn’t overly salty and freshness. Fortunately, Chris made me a plate of the sausage, sans sauce along with house-made bread, which didn’t suck. Following that up, was the
Pork Shoulder Ragu with Papardelle which looked amazing! Again, a dish I couldn’t enjoy (my loss), but the sweetness of the red wine braise with the shoulder, allowed the sheer umami goodness to come out. I was lucky to have a simple plate of the Papardelle with olive oil and parmesan cheese – mild flavors, but much needed.

The next course was a great surprise, but quite fitting based on the meal – it was time for salad. He put together a mix of Field greens with Cured Pork Loin with Lemon vinaigrette. This loin was cured in a similar style to Prosciutto, but with the cut of pork it was savory and rich, while having a lack of fat. The coup de gras of the meal was during the fourth course, Housemade Porchetta – stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, pork loin and wrapped in pork belly. This dish with the three different types of pork was a fantastic marriage of flavors – as the sausage wasn’t too salty, the loin was tender and wrapped in the pork belly made it amazing.

Rounding out the meal, courtesy of Jolene’s baker at Sloppi Jo’s Roving Eatery (@SloppiJos) were two delicious nuggets of joy – Breakfast cupcakes with pancake batter studded with bacon, bacon butter cream and Elvis cupcakes – banana cupcake with peanut butter butter cream. Let me tell you – if you thought the first four dishes were gluttonous, these desserts took the cake. Literally.

I can’t wait to head back to Naked City to try some of Chris’ damn good and creative sandwiches and wings, but whenever he’s ready to do the next themed dinner I’m definitely in. And those of you who missed this experience, don’t you dare do that again!

Keep eating and drinking…

Vegas Uncork’d

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Last Friday night, we had a chance to experience what has become one of the preeminent foodie events in the country, the Bon Appétit Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting held at the pools at Caesars Palace. 52 restaurants and James Beard winning chefs gathered to strut their culinary stuff to 2,500 guests visiting Sin City. Restaurant’s tables were strategically placed around the multitude of pools, along with collections of wineries offering up samples of their latest vintages.

Earlier in the day, temperatures were in the mid-90s, but the evening turned gorgeous with a constant cooling breeze and moderate weather. Guests were in celebratory spirits – I mean, wouldn’t you be too if you could enjoy delicious food and wines by a pool? Walking outside to the event we immediately ran into some of our favorite foodie friends who were already breaking down the best dishes that the restaurants were putting out. This, while being hysterical, was great information for us to start and plot our walkabout.

Fortunately, we had two great guides for the evening – Franck Savoy (Director of Food & Beverage at Caesars) and his fiancé Leigh, making suggestions of which restaurants to see and escorting us around the event. One of the first tastes I was able to enjoy was the miniature roasted beet salad created by Sage Restaurant and Chef Shawn McClain. Chef McClain’s deft touch was on exhibition and the flavors were in great harmony. One of my favorite tastes of the night was next from Bar Masa, an Australian Kobe Carpaccio with citrus and sea salt – this was rich and opulent but also light and perfectly seasoned.

Moving on, we made our way to Vintner Grill’s booth, where they were producing modern American Carnitas tacos with fig jam, caramelized onions and pea sprouts. It was a delicious take on a Mexican staple and they pulled it off with style. As we continued, tasting some Chocolate from Green & Blacks (very good but too warm unfortunately), we stopped up to the American Spirit Lounge overlooking the pools complex. This was held at the new high roller/VIP pools, which were absolutely gorgeous and serene despite all of the guests down below.

Continuing, we saw our buddy Ben Dayag, the Executive Chef of Social House who had created a delectable Pork Belly dish on edamame puree and topped with pickled onion. This Pan-Asian restaurant is a great choice for sushi, but also their composed dishes never disappoint. We popped over to the B&B table where they were offering some of their house-cured meats – good in concept, but the roll that some of them were served on was dry and a weak complement. We were very fortunate to see an old friend and extremely talented chef, David Varley, who has moved on from Vegas working for Michael Mina where he has become their Corporate Chef based in San Francisco but traveling the country opening restaurants. He was kind enough to introduce us to Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555 which Chef Varley had participated in. Brady was in Vegas checking out the experience of Bon Appetit before the All-Star Cochon to be held on July 24th at the Cosmopolitan – can’t wait for that event!

And funny enough, our next move took us to the restaurants of the Cosmopolitan, where we started to run into even more friends in the PR and foodie world, all excited about the restaurants in front of us. Always great to see Gil Lempert-Schwarz, wine writer extraordinaire and his wife Christine, then Al Mancini and his wife Sue, one of my favorite foodies and food writers. From the Kobe Sliders by STK (Delicious!) to the chilled Asparagus soup and Maki Rolls by Blue Ribbon Sushi (personal favorite), the hotel’s restaurants were out of this world. I love going to that hotel to just enjoy the creativity and different vibe compared to the rest of Vegas. Here we ran smack into Robin Leach (with another STUNNING blonde on his arm) and Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal with his lovely Cara – I’m sure they were getting all of the great gossip from the evening!

Then, I had a chance to see an old friend and co-worker, Anthony Fusco, who is the much lauded Chef de Cuisine for Rick Moonen at rm seafood who was co-hosting his booth with Ralph Pagano the chef of STK Miami. These guys were basically running a comedy routine and by far having the most fun out of anyone at the event. Moving on we saw old friends from Mesa Grill (sans Bobby), Eric Klein, Executive Chef of Spago who’s as personable as he is talented in the kitchen and hob-nobbing with Susan Feniger, one of the ‘Two Hot Tamales’ of Border Grill fame – she’s an absolute sweetheart too!

As the event wound down, we didn’t know where the last 2 ½ hours had gone! It was an amazing experience being able to talk to so many chefs, hang out with fellow foodies and enjoy the culinary adventure. I’m looking forward to Vegas Uncork’d coming back next year and being able to eat and drink so more!

March 2011 Happenings in Las Vegas

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Earlier this month the annual Nightclub & Bar Show rolled into Las Vegas and was the perfect few days to see new and upcoming products as well as catch up with lots of friends and colleagues. At the show itself a few things that stood out this year were Bruce Cost Ginger Ale which was simply sensational, new Cucumber Vodka by Effen and Primo Beer, Hawaii’s original brew which was rereleased a year ago. We also had the opportunity to spend some time with our friends from Bar Business Magazine, Art Sutley and Chris Ytuarte – two great guys who are always on top of the latest and greatest in the industry. We were given the chance to take them to one of our favorite places in Las Vegas, Vesper Bar at the new Cosmopolitan which former mixologist turned GM Andrew Pollard helms the swanky cocktail spot. Between enjoying Hot Mules (Grey Goose Pear, Goslings Ginger Beer, Lemon Juice, Homemade Ginger Syrup and Angostura Bitters) and a bevy of Andrew’s other creations it was a great evening.

Our President, Robert J. Nyman was also present in Las Vegas for the show and presented us with an opportunity to head over to the brand new P.J. Clarke’s inside The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace to see an old friend, Larry Forgione, the “American Chef.” In between conversation and reminiscing we had an opportunity to sample some incredibly fresh oysters and clams as well as try what is now the best hamburger in Las Vegas. Using Meyer Company Ranch Red Angus beef and served with an onion slice, there is not much more you need as the hamburger is full of flavor and cooked perfectly.

The week also allowed us to enjoy two of our favorite New York outposts rolled into one here in Las Vegas as Blue Ribbon opened inside of the Cosmopolitan in December 2010. To say the meal was anything but sensational would be a crime. Bruce Bromberg was the consummate host and everything from the Horse Mackerel and Uni wrapped in Red Snapper topped with Caviar to Octopus with Foie Gras and Salmon Roe and of course the famous Fried Chicken was spectacular.

More adventures in 2011 are coming so be on the lookout for more of the dish on dining and drinking.

Cheers!

Craig A. Nyman