The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 72 of 92

On Location On Location "L arry Ruvo took a liking to me," explains Chef Nick Lorenz, the 30-year-old super-talent in the corporate kitchen at Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada. When Chef Joseph Keller left the position at the then-newly-built Las Vegas headquar- ters seven years ago, Lorenz had the opportunity to showcase his style for Ruvo, SWS Senior Managing Director for Nevada. Before we really have the chance to talk, Lorenz places an organic broccoli soup in front of me. It is thick and a deeply brilliant chartreuse. I taste it, and my eyes close in ecstasy. One would believe that this exquisite soup was full of cream and butter; but no, its deluxe texture is the result of nothing but broccoli, thyme and a swash of light coconut milk. "I cook healthy food," Lorenz qualifi es. "This is healthy brain food, but it works for the entire body." Since he started body building in high school, Lorenz has always been concerned about the food he eats, in addition to diet and exercise. Over the years he has developed a style of cooking that focuses on natural fl avors: no wheat, no sugar, no cream…and low in fat. His delicious cuisine is almost deceiving in its healthfulness. "So many people associate this type of cooking with boring or bland," the chef says, looking up from dicing and slicing. "But in the end, they com- ment on how delicious it is and can't help but come back for seconds!" A graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Lorenz was under the tutelage of Bay area restaurateur George Chen (of Betelnut and Long Life Noodle Company fame) and then moved to South Beach hot-spot restaurant Balans in Florida. He returned to the West Coast and came to SW&S of Nevada six and a half years ago. The impact his presence has on Southern employees and management is noteworthy. When Southern employee Chris Morro wanted to lose weight, Lorenz invited him into his kitchen. "I suggested that he try a change of eating habits for a few months. Chris was . . . well, heavyset, and he was taking Lipitor for problems with cholesterol. A few months down the line, after making it to our kitchen on a regular basis, he lost 25 pounds and was able to throw out the medicine; his cholesterol went down 40 points." Another success story is SW&S of Nevada General Manager John Wittig, who dropped 15 pounds and 20 points under Lorenz's regimen and watchful eye. "And Larry Ruvo," notes Lorenz of his fearless leader, "his cholesterol level is the lowest it's been in his life." An Open Mind for Brain-Healthy Food Without using wheat, sugar or cream, and with only small servings of carbohydrates, Lorenz has fed hun- dreds, cooking every workday for parties from two to 300. "There have even been a few celebrities through here," he mentions. But if there is a main emphasis to his strategy, Lorenz cooks for the brain. Thanks to the dedication of Larry Ruvo, whose father Lou suffered from Alzheim- From the Chef to the Bar At Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, Chef Nick Lorenz cooks healthfully while Mixologist Armando Rosario keeps cocktails fresh 72 / the tasting panel / november 2009 by Meridith May / photos by Edward Duarte

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - Nov 09