By Paul Zahn | May 12, 2017 | People
We caught up with Chef Emeril Lagasse to get his tips on throwing a spring party, the Vegas spots he frequents when he’s not in the kitchen, and a cocktail recipe from his restaurant Table 10.
What is your number one tip for throwing the perfect spring soirée?
EMERIL LAGASSE: Having the perfect food, of course! Use ingredients that are in season — peas, asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, and apricots — and let your mind run wild with the possibilities. When I think of spring, I think of color — a side of spring vegetables or a light and bright lemon cake for dessert are perfect to add on the menu.
What is another tip and why?
EL: Creating a signature cocktail for the event adds a fun element. Since it’s spring, think light and refreshing, like a mojito with some muddled fruit. Dress it up with a colorful garnish to complement the menu.
What is one mistake to avoid when throwing a spring party?
EL: Not prepping. Give yourself ample time before the party to prep as much food as possible, so you can throw it in the oven right before guests arrive and can enjoy the party yourself.
Where is your favorite spot to buy local ingredients in Las Vegas?
EL: Whole Foods has a great large variety of organic fresh vegetables and 99 Ranch Market is our team’s go-to for specialty Asian items, like nori, seaweeds, and dried shrimp.
What is one must-have item to work with in the kitchen this season?
EL: Regardless of the season, the most important tool to have in your kitchen is a good knife. It is the foundation for prepping and essential for any meal — whether you’re dicing, mincing or chopping, a high quality knife is imperative and can speed up prep.
Tell us what inspired you when creating your spring menus at your Las Vegas locations?
EL: We’ve spent the winter enjoying hearty, robust stews and roasts, so spring is all about lightness. We created the menus to reflect the seasonality and local ingredients as much as possible.
When you are not at one of your venues in Las Vegas, what is your favorite spot to dine?
EL: I love supporting my friends, so I head to Carnevino by Mario Batali or Bouchon by Thomas Keller.
This signature cocktail is a flavorful variation on the classic whisky sour – perfect for any spring soirée.
1.5 oz. Kikori Japanese Whiskey
0.75 oz. Marie Brizard Apricot
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
0.75 oz. Torani Vanilla Bean Syrup
5 drops of orange flower water
Build all ingredients in iced mixing tin. Shake and pour into iced rocks glass with a speared apricot.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Sara Essex Bradley