Michael Voltaggio FTW!


Posted by Anisha | Posted in , , , | Posted on 12/13/2009

Michael Voltaggio wins Top Chef Las Vegas, as predicted by yours truly at the beginning of the season. Hotty McVolterson sous-vided and molecularized his way to numero uno and beat out (br)other, well-deserving chefs: Bryan Voltaggio and Kevin Gillespie.

'Twas the night after the season finale and I get a phone call from my mom around 11:30PM. The phone call went something like this:

Anisha: Heeey mom. What's up?
Mom: Hey did you know...
Anisha: ... that Michael Voltaggio is on Conan tonight? And that is probably why you're calling me? Chhhhh...as if I didn't know!
Mom (laughter ensues): Fine, bye!

Michael Voltaggio on Conan:

Here's part #1:

& part #2:

I want a nitrogen tank for Christmas and well, anything else related to molecular gastronomy. Here's a liquid nitrogen ice cream recipe from 101 Cookbooks, which defeats the purpose of purchasing that stainless steel Cuisinart Ice Cream (Dream) machine!

P.S. Disclaimer to all Bulgarini fanatics (myself included): Bulgarini Gelato has special hours for the months of November & December. Closed Monday to Friday because the owners are "going to Sicily to buy pistachios!!!" Check out their holiday hours here: http://www.bulgarinigelato.com/index.php

Jean Philippe Patisserie


Posted by Anisha | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on 12/07/2009

Thousands of tourists visit the Bellagio botanical gardens every year, but how many take the time to visit the world's largest chocolate fountain? Tucked away in the west wing of the Bellagio near the wedding chapel, is a gorgeous European style patisserie.

The Jean Philippe Patisserie boasts chocolate dipped strawberries topped with coconut flakes and hazelnuts, several flavors of gelato, savory and sweet crepes, petit fours, and other delectable desserts. Every time I visit Sin City, I have to come here for a crepe or my trip doesn't feel complete!

My parents and I ordered a berry mix souffle crepe drizzled with chocolate syrup. Most of the crepes that I have tried here are phenomenal. The crepes are on par, if not better, than the streetside crepes in Paris. This particular crepe is stuffed with a vanilla souffle and then topped with a berry compote and per my request, chocolate syrup. The warm mixed berry topping consists of all fresh raspberries, blackberries, strawberries in a compote. The sweetness of the fruit compote pairs perfectly with the tartness of the strawberries this time of the year. I also recommend the strawberry nutella sweet crepe!

Along with the crepe, I ordered two petit fours for the ride back home: the "intense" and the "rose macaron."

The "intense" petit four is a dark chocolate mousse, chocolate cremeux, and chocolate glaze. Topped with a French-style macaron, it was a match made in chocolate heaven. If you EVER go to Vegas, you need -- no, you MUST, order one of these $6 pastries. Yes, it is small, but it makes up for its size with the rich chocolate flavor. My dad loved the chocolate so much, he insisted we buy a $16 bottle of their dark chocolate. The next time I visit the patisserie, I refuse to share. Family & friends be warned.

The rose macaron ($6) didn't really meet my expectations. A candied rose petal topped a macaron cut in two, held up by raspberry pillars. Sandwiched between the macaron was a vanilla custard, which was a bit too sweet. The concept is great, but the macaron and the custard mingled into a soggy disaster. We ended up eating half of this dessert and then tossed it. The parts of the macaron that weren't soggy were a treat to our taste buds!

Overall, there's always something new at the patisserie. Their almond bear claws (my parents ate it before I could snap a photo) are the best I've ever tasted. Perfectly flaky and buttery, they aren't too heavy and have a great texture to accompany my Illy cappuccino. This time of year, the patisserie offers Christmas tree ornaments of round balls of rice krispy treats dipped in chocolate.

If you're headed to Vegas, I insist that you and your palate visit the Jean Philippe Patisserie. Heck, they have the world's largest CHOCOLATE fountain according to Guiness World Records-- that's Willy Wonka status!

Jean Philippe Patisserie
Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV

Hours of Operation (because this patisserie sleeps, even when the Strip doesn't!):
Monday - Thursday
7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Friday - Sunday
7:00 a.m. - midnight

Jean-Philippe Pâtisserie (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon
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