The SOMM Journal

October / November 2016

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Page 63 of 132

{ } 63 and bars—including Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book, Northside Café & Chinese Kitchen, Monkey Bar and Center Bar—along with in-room dining. Wow, each of those restaurants have distinct themes and flavor concepts. Tell me about the wine pro - gram of those restaurants. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés is the James Beard Award–winning chef 's wild and wonderful celebration of the carnivorous, in all its forms. This "meat house" offers 125 dishes meant to be shared, with a wine list of over 560 selections. José has such a dynamic personality—he is a tour de force who inspires such creativity with our beautiful dishes. With a heavy Spanish influence, the wine program is energized with an array of Spanish selections. Due to José's great pride in being an American res - taurateur, we also have a strong American wine selection, with France and Italy heavily represented as well. Cleo is a contemporary Mediterranean restaurant with menu influences from Greece, Italy, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco and more, so the wine program offers a thoughtful selec - tion that pairs nicely with these diverse fla- vors. Cleo offers a more seasonal and global array of wines, with selections from places like France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Lebanon and Morocco. Variety is definitely the spice of life with this wine program. Katsuya presents Japanese cuisine uniquely adapted for the American palate. The beverage program is heavily concen - trated on a variety of saké selections and unique Japanese beers. I've also added international selections to the wine list to round out the more recognizable American selections. Did you enjoy the experience of researching and exploring wines from these regions? Absolutely. We have access to great dis - tributors in Las Vegas who offer a massive wine selection that can introduce me to a region that I'm not always familiar with. For example, I can come to you, Joe, at Southern Glazer's, and say, "I am looking for this great Moroccan supplier, Ouled Thaleb, to get a feel for what they're growing in this region." In doing so, I learned that Ouled Thaleb carries Faranah and Clairette white wines that are great alternatives to Pinot Grigio and nicely complement our appe - tizer and seafood dishes. Ouled Thaleb also makes a Syrah that is not very tannic but more ripe in nature that pairs nicely with our savory, heartier meat dishes. With such a robust wine offering, how do you train your staff? During the busier season, education becomes part of pre-shift. We hold staff trainings weekly at Cleo and Katsuya and a one-hour training every other week at Bazaar Meat. These educational sessions usually focus on a specific region and pro - vide tastings alongside technical informa- tion for our team to reference. The goal is to help the staff feel a little bit worldlier in their connection with the food and the wine in the regions that their respective restaurants represent. In offering unique regional wines, what has the response been from the staff? Do they enjoy it and do the light bulbs turn on? When you see the light turn on in some - one's mind about wine, it is usually because they love food and wine together. We strive to provide our servers with information and training needed to help them make connections between the food and wine we offer, communicate it to our guests in an approachable way, and provide a great experience for them. I noticed you have some really large bottles placed strategically around the dining room at Bazaar Meat; what are those? Bazaar Meat is the only restaurant that offers an amazing 27-liter program that generates a ton of buzz from our custom - ers. Several 27-liter bottles—known as the Primat or Goliath—sit visibly throughout the dining room and are kept at cellar tem - perature using an argon system for pres- ervation. The wine spout on the bottles is similar to a beer tap—it is fantastic! The section is listed as "José and Goliath" on our by-the-glass page. We only offer red wines in the 27-liter format, but from various regions around the world. On top of overseeing wine programs at SLS Las Vegas, you recently took the Advanced Sommelier Exam. How do you do it? Taking the Advanced Sommelier exam was an amazing experience. I strive to always be better and evolve in the constantly changing food and beverage industry. I truly enjoy creating an amazing wine and food experience for our guests. I love learning about wine and I really learn something new every day. I am a very lucky person in life . . . who is working on balance. I am a single mom, run - ning the wine program for multiple outlets at SLS Las Vegas. I work the floor five nights a week for one of the most inspirational chefs in the world. I wake up early every day to run or bike and feel the sun on my face. I am in two weekly tasting groups and one theory group as I continue on the quest to continue my wine education and pass the Advanced Exam next year. This is not a sprint, it is a marathon, and I signed up for the journey. If only we could all find a few extra hours in the day! It's been a pleasure talking with you Chloe, thank you for taking the time to meet with me. Las Vegas–based Joseph Phillips, MS, is Director of Wine Education and Trade Development for Southern Glazer's. Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: "Taking the Advanced Sommelier exam was an amazing experience. I strive to always be better and evolve in the constantly changing food and beverage industry."

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