By Tess Eyrich | September 9, 2016 | Food & Drink
Matt Hurley, the veteran Wolfgang Puck chef who helms Palazzo’s restaurant Cut, gives us a preview of this year’s Sip & Savor event.
Out of all the events that comprise Las Vegas’s crowded philanthropic calendar, Wolfgang Puck’s annual Sip & Savor smorgasbord undoubtedly goes down as one of the most fun. It’s easy to forget you’re at a fundraiser when it involves as much top-notch food and wine as this one, which brings together the heads of all six of Puck’s Vegas restaurants for a booze-soaked dine-around complemented by wines from Puck’s expansive collection. This year the festivities benefit Keep Memory Alive, the charitable arm of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, meaning guests won’t need to feel guilty about (over)indulging. Before the event takes over Spago on September 14, we got the inside scoop from Cut Executive Chef Matt Hurley on what to expect from Sip & Savor 2016.
Sip & Savor has become a signature Vegas philanthropic event. Why is continuing to host it so important to Wolfgang and the chefs who work with him?
MATT HURLEY: The event is for a great cause, as a portion of the money is donated to Keep Memory Alive. Additionally, the event keeps the chefs out in the community and pushes us to do bigger and better things year after year.
What can we expect to see on the menus at Sip & Savor this year?
MH: We have a caviar station with house-smoked salmon and sturgeon from Spago, paella and oysters from Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at Downtown Summerlin, an assortment of pastas from Lupo, charcuterie and porchetta from Cucina, assorted passed appetizers from Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill inside MGM Grand, and bistecca and Japanese beef from Cut. There will also be an assortment of desserts and petit fours from our pastry team.
Is there a memory that’s especially strong for you from the past three years of Sip & Savor events?
MH: I love it when I get to see Chef Wolfgang cook with other chefs and talk about food with them. He came a few years ago and it was such a special time for the entire Las Vegas culinary team. I also think it’s great to see the young chefs excited about Sip & Savor and being able to put all their hard work into such a successful event.
You’ve now worked with Wolfgang for more than 20 years. How would you describe your relationship with him?
MH: We have a great relationship. He pushes me every day to be better as a chef.
If you could give your younger chef self one piece of advice, what would it be?
MH: Stay on the path, even if it gets bumpy along the way, because it’ll lead you to bigger and better things.
Other than your own restaurant, what are some of your favorite places to eat or drink in Vegas?
MH: Hot ’n’ Juicy Crawfish, Chada Street, Osaka, and Bazaar Meat.
Wolfgang Puck’s fourth annual Sip & Savor event takes place at Spago inside the Forum Shops at Caesars on September 14 from 6-9 p.m. Purchase tickets here or by calling Spago 702-369-6300.
PHOTOGRAPHY VIA AL POWERS (SIP & SAVOR 2015); WOLFGANG PUCK (CHEF MATT HURLEY PORTRAIT, SPAGO INTERIOR)