Five Star Glampin' RV Style -Inspired by Uncork'd Las Vegas By Paul & Teresa Lowe www.Ch
Sunshine and warm gentle breezes are nature's gift to adventurers everywhere. Summer is no doubt the best time to travel and explore the many amazing spots here in the U.S, and also to taste new or traditional regional foods. Anywhere you go food is always a grand part of the experience.
Teresa and I travel in our RV trailer searching for really cool dishes and what makes them special. We make our way to sin city for the unofficial start of the foodie tourism high season.
Under a rare cloudy summer afternoon sky in Las Vegas wildly aromatic smells of searing lamb, sirloin steak, and seafood appetizers fill the air of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas poolside. The tasty bites are even more delightful. Blue Ribbon's Chef Bruce Bromberg skillfully un-corks a bottle of champagne – the 'saber-off' - kicking off of the 13th Celebrity Chef's Uncork'd Food, Cocktail and Wine Celebration -2019. http://vegasuncorked.com/, https://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/
And, with the saber-off, the partying begins. More than a dozen celebrity chefs, including Giada, Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, Timon Balloo, Steve Martorano, Gordan Ramsey, Guy Fieri, Lisa Vanderpump, and Guy Savoy host their own meet and greet events at their restaurants. It's impossible to attend all of them.
Teresa and I are given a wonderful opportunity to be guests of the premiere Vegas Uncork'd Party – 'The Grand Tasting.' The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Bon Appetit Magazine and the Caesars Hotel group are the hosts. Walking about the 'Garden of the Gods Pool' area of Caesar's Palace – a place featuring massive marble columns, beautiful fountains, gardens, and grand statues – you find folks taking selfies with their food at just about every turn.
The setting looks as though ancient gods might have commissioned its designs for their very own personal pleasure. Being at this party is sort of like that feeling you might have when you get a rare moment of luck and you beat the house at a hand of blackjack. The food here reflects the city's eclectic diversity.
A few of the celebrity chefs make themselves available for fans and also serve up delectable specialty bites. Some fans press for attention wanting a quick photo. The chefs remain super cordial and charming.
Recognizing an extremely rare opportunity to meet so many master, executive and sous chefs in one location - some of the best award-winning food artisans in the world - we politely ask a few brief questions about their personal food inspirations- how is success defined:
We ask if it's possible for ordinary folks to replicate some of the dishes at home or on the road. One of the chef's saying that he'll share anything we wanted to know if we ask the right question. So, we ask, what's in this dish and how to prepare it. He jokes- that's not the right question to ask. There's a long pause before loud laughter. The true answer is yes you can make similar dishes but with some modifications.
Glampin' In the National Parks Taking what we learned from some of the chefs of Las Vegas and with encouragement and support from our friends at 'Go RV'ing' we ventured out on the road to re-create Five Star meals outdoors in nature.
The base camp of operations for our glampin' venture is the Las Vegas RV Resort a couple of minutes east of 'the strip.' This rather large property, managed by, Sandy, Las Vegas RV Resort, is perhaps the cleanest and quietest site you'll ever experience. Staffers also personally escort and assist you with properly parking your rig. Whether you drive a 43 foot Class A or pull a Travel Trailer, having clear parking prompts saves you a whole lot of time or stress when it comes to getting settling in. Quiet, friendly, fun and safe grounds is the high bar standard of this resort. https://www.lasvegasrvresort.com/
Firing Up The Grill For many travelers, burgers and hot dogs are staples for many camping outings. But meals can be a bit more fun and delectable with just a little imagination. A dish featuring marinated chicken kebabs (oil, a dash of coarse salt, thyme or rosemary & dash of red pepper) atop green beans and red peppers medley with a tiny splash of stir-fry sauce is rather tasty.
We cut chicken thighs into bite-size chunks and marinate the spices for an hour or so. We place the chicken onto wet wooden skewers on a controlled high heat grill. A quick fast side dish is sauteed red bell peppers and green beans with a couple of pats of butter, then serve. We also drizzle just a smidge of honey and a dash of ginger on a few of the chicken kebabs - just for a different taste. My favorite glampin' dish is sirloin steak seared over a high heat grilled. One Chef suggests bringing the meat to room temperature. A smidge of peanut cooking oil (higher heat tolerance) and a tiny, tiny pinch salt and pepper. Sizzle grill your steak for 6 minutes or so, per side, for medium rare- depending upon thickness. Drizzle a bit of basil and butter pesto on top and serve atop potatoes or vegetables.
Teresa and I find simple foods prepared at a campsite, with a national park as a backdrop, is unmatched anywhere. Some of the landscapes are so fantastic, they don't seem quite real.
A dish we also fell in love with at 'Uncork'd Las Vegas' is the grilled lamb chops. During our venture to Capitol Reef National Park, we prepared lamb chops marinated with a citrus chutney-oranges, pineapple, a tiny pinch of salt, and served atop roasted mini potatoes, asparagus and a butter and mint pesto sauce with a dab of yogurt on the side.
This lamb dish smells so good while preparing, a couple of our fellow campers, from Scotland, stopped by and jokingly ask, "hey, what's for dinner." A bit later they brought some beer and we shared a conversation under the stars of a mild summer evening just outside Capital Reef National Park. https://www.nps.gov/care/index.htm, https://capitolreef.org/
Fresh grilled fish caught from a lake or river near your campsite or even the store-bought kind, is really quick to prepare. Suggestions from a Las Vegas chef - first drizzle your fish with a bit olive oil, then very lightly season to your taste (salt & red pepper). Over a high heat sear the fish for only a few minutes each side then serve. We serve this fish dish topped with butter, grilled scallops wrapped in bacon over mashed potatoes, grilled onions, and vegetables and a splash of lemon juice on top.
Preparing this kind of outdoor fare is not complex. It's a lot of fun. Paul and I get to travel to many parts of this country in our RV and enjoy great foods. We treasure the often wonderful conversations with folks visiting the U.S. from all over the world.
Just outside of Zion National Park, Utah, an adventurous couple, Margo and Thomas the from Netherlands, shared conversation and a toast to their enjoyment of touring western America.
While hanging out at Bryce Canyon National Park, at Ruby's RV Resort, Paul and I met folks from Austria. Linda and Waltroud are the nicest people we've met in a long time. They also have great campsite humor...we enjoy laughing. Our traveling rag doll cat Oliver is pleased with all of the attention he receives on the road. https://www.brycecanyoncampgrounds.com/bryce-canyon-campground/,
If there's anything you want to learn about the history of Bryce Park and what to see there, best eateries, Teresa and Cary Deccio, the husband and wife couple who own and operate Ruby's Inn and RV resort are an invaluable source of information and are super nice to all their guests.
Making a stop in Torrey, at the Thousand Lakes RV Park, run by Hafdis Maw, minutes outside of Capitol Reef National Park, we meet a very young couple from Germany, on their honeymoon here in the U.S., stopped by our RV outside of Cathedral Reef Park to say "Hi and also said such a beautiful country is America.
In the early afternoon, we're delighted by a most wonderful food aroma wafting from a small cabin. Inside we meet a former New York City-trained chef preparing the evening menu dishes. Chef Peter left what he called the rocket-like pace of that city for his utopia. He says, this place is no metropolis but I recognized 'my peace' here. The chef creates great food 7 months of the year then get to travel and ski the rest of the year. Chef Pete's lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, then slowly smoked tender spare ribs and tri-tip beef melt in your mouth with the natural taste of the meat itself. The jalapeno pepper cornbread and citrus bite coleslaw marry sweet and spicy flavors that give a savory punch to your taste buds. Chef's particular attention to preparation and creating tastes with his dishes is just about everything you'd want great food to be. Can't wait to make this dish.
The adventure starts only when you choose to Go! Be a participant in the walk of life. In a future ChronicleTravelers, we share suggestions about which camping or glampin' style and outdoor meal might be right for you and your adventure.