Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Culinary Journey Propelled By Presidents' Tastebuds

Presidents. Have you ever wondered about the tastebuds of these powerful gentlemen who ran our country?  You might be surprised.  In honor of Presidents’ Day TravelsinTaste created a virtual culinary roadmap throughout Las Vegas, a city where people and presidents alike can find a modern adaptation of their favorite bites.

Our Founding Father George Washington may not have actually cut down a cherry tree, but his tie to cherries has lasted for centuries. For these reasons, he’d most likely enjoy libations such as the non-alcoholic house-made cherry yuzu soda at Jean Georges Steakhouse or the Cherry Limeade at Fleur by Hubert Keller.

 Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy were both major fans of fine French cuisine, who isn’t?, and often had it served in the White House. President Kennedy even hired renowned French Chef Rene Verdon to run the White House Kitchen. If they visited Vegas, we think they’d be delighted by Le Cirque at Bellagio’s new Executive Chef Gregory Pugin, formerly of Veritas in New York City, a protégé of Gault Millau’s Chef of the Century Joël Robuchon. They might even try the classic Terrine de Foie Gras Poire Belle Hélène which is lillet marinated foie gras terrine with poire williams gelee, almond and orange blossom bavaroise, and a chocolate nougatine, Better yet try the Chef of the Century’s signature  La Langoustine, a truffle langoustine ravioli with chopped cabbage, at Joel Robuchon Restaurant.

 Theodore Roosevelt was a traditionalist who preferred simplicity in hearty helpings and might have truly enjoyed a meal at NOBHILL TAVERN by Michael Mina at MGM Grand. Perhaps trying either the Shelton Farms Chicken Breast with cauliflower puree, roasted cauliflower, golden raisins and chicken jus or a 12 ounce wood-fired ribeye. Two of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s favorite foods were cheese and fish, so perfect restaurants for him would be Onda Ristorante & Lounge at The Mirage for its extensive cheese menu and signature seafood dishes or Julian Serrano at ARIA Resort & Casino where Chef Serrano lovingly prepares ceviches and a Spanish cheese platter celebrating his homeland.

 Lyndon B. Johnson was a big steak eater, so he’d love Jean Georges Steakhouse at ARIA, especially with its special February Beef Tasting Menu. Executive Chef Robert Moore has created an exquisite five-course tasting menu highlighting beef from Rangers Valley in Brisbane, Australia. The region’s cooler climate provides a stress-free life for the cattle under the watchful eye of certified Japanese Kobe ranchers, allowing for the production of extraordinary cuts of beef. Chef Moore’s menu features Rangers Valley Angus 300 beef prepared in four cooking styles: Hand-Cut Wagyu Steak Tartare, Charred Chili-Rubbed Angus 300 Rib Eye Skewers, Angus 300 Braised Short Rib and a 21 Day Dry Aged Grilled Angus 300 NY Strip.  The divine JG Candy Bar adds a sweet, finishing touch for dessert.

Read about other presidential culinary traditions here.

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