Epicurean Affair

Epicurean Affair at the Palazzo

Photos by Nikki Artale

On May 24, 2012 the Nevada Restaurant Association (NvRA) once again hosted the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair, poolside at the Palazzo with some of the top world renowned chefs. NvRA partnered the event with The Palazzo and The Venetian for the public to experience the gourmet offerings along with the nightclubs and beverage purveyors. A surprise drink of the night was Fruit Loops from Wirtz Beverage Nevada. Andrew Pollard, the beverage development specialist, was there to pour the cocktails. I swear I was having a Fruit Loop Breakfast.

The Epicurean Affair was an evening of culinary splendor with the most delicious
hors d’ oeuvres from the very best chefs who have made Las Vegas a dining destination of the world.

Some of the outstanding booths were Diego, Maggiano’s, Carnevino Italian, Steakhouse, CUT Steakhouse, LAVO, TAO, Valentino, Hash House A Go Go and many more.

Adding to the splendor of the event were the beautiful body painted ladies that caught the eye of everyone and added to the festivities of the affair.

Bacardi was represented by Misty Rose dressed as Wolf Berry and Nicole Elizabeth dressed as Black Razz. Taking the time to pose with them is Las Vegas’ royal couple Yvette Brown of the Cosmopolitan Connection, hailing from Great Britain and her soon to be fiancĂ©, Eric Auger, Honorary Consul of France at Los Angeles Consulate. They bring class and elegance to Las Vegas events.

             Misty Rose, Eric Auger, Nicole Elizabeth & Yvette Brown

Hosting for Azare at the Palazzo was Chima Simone who is noted for being the Reality Show Big Brother 11. Chima was part of the Brains Clique on the show and when I asked her if reality shows are real, she said the Reality shows are not reality, but her intelligence is real. She will be going back to college to get her Masters in Business Administration.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the educational programs of the NvRA and the educational programs. I am looking forward to the next Epicurean Affair and I hope to meet all of you there next year.

Elvis Tribute Artist Contest 2012

Elvis Tribute Artist Contest 2012
Photos by Nikki Artale

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest was held on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 on the 3rd Street Stage on Freemont Street, downtown Las Vegas NV. “Legends in Concert” once again hosted the show which selected the best Elvis to go to the Semifinals during Elvis week in Memphis. Victor Trevino Jr. from Las Vegas was crowned King and won the $2,500 cash prize and a Graceland Getaway prize package and will now compete in the 2012 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition in Memphis, to be held August 10-18.

Victor Trevino Jr.

Contestants came from all over the country and started each night’s competition with a parade of Elvi and walking the Red Carpet. They were all judged on their stage presence, vocals and their stage wear. Video132

One of the judges was Sam Thompson, a former bodyguard to Elvis and also the sister of Linda Thompson, who was dating Elvis at the time. Sam had a lot of personal stories that he shared about his time with Elvis.

Sam Thompson

21 contestants competed and they had their heart and souls in their performances. I was impressed with an Elvis in the competition, Andris Lannon who had a really good voice and he said it was his first performance ever as Elvis and he really did a great job. His jumpsuit was special made for him and as he removed his cape we all saw the Elvis Tattoo he had on his back.

Andris Lannon

We were in for a treat when Kevin Janison, meteorologist from Channel 3 News came on stage to report the weather and then interviewed some of the Elvi.

There was so much going on at Freemont Street, with the Viva Vision Canopy showing Elvis photos, the Flightlinez zip lines that took hundreds of riders down Freemont Street, hundreds of Elvis fans running to the stage and dancing to the music and one lady dressed as Elvis.

Coming in at third place was Rob Eli , second place was Travis Allen  (Victor Trevino, Travis Allen & Rob Eli)

Rob Eli

Travis Allen

Victor Trevino Jr., Travis Allen & Rob Eli

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis will attract over 70,000 fans from all over the world and is the highlight of Elvis Week. We wish Victor Trevino Jr. good luck in this competition where he has a chance to win the cash prize of $20,000 and a contract to perform with Legends in Concert.

My favorite Elvis is Charlie Franks, the King of Rock in the 2 Kings Show in the Crown Theatre at the Rio Hotel.

Charlie Franks

San Gennaro Feast

San Gennaro Feast

Photos by Nikki Artale

San Gennaro Feast is celebrating 33 years in Las Vegas with over 60 amusement Rides, Petting Zoo, Arts & Crafts, Games, Beer & Wine Gardens and the most delicious Italian Food. The Rio Hotel is hosting five big days in the Rio Parking Lot, from May 9 – 13, 2012, thanks to the owner Anthony Palmisano who every year is responsible for the annual event. He puts together the San Gennaro Feast to keep the Italian culture going for families.

The aroma of Italian Sausage and Peppers and Philly Cheese Steak is overwhelming, not to mention the pizza and shrimp scampi. The most delicious desserts and pastries are favorites too. It is truly a love affair with Italy.

A must stop booth is Steve Martorano’s, who is famous for his meatballs. His claim to making the best meatballs is noted in the Meatball eating contest he sponsors. I stopped and had his macaroni and meatballs and it was delicious. Steve is celebrating five successful years at the Rio with a cocktail reception and a four course dinner on May 18, 2012 in Martorano’s Restaurant in the Rio.

Once again Tony Sacca, the entertainment ambassador, has lined up the best entertainers to perform nightly, starting from 8 p.m. to closing. Tony Sacca will also be performing every night with the Saccettes. Tony is known for his outstanding service to our community and has a star on the “Las Vegas Walk of Stars” in front of New York-New York Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Louie Anderson, the Grand Marshall, Rick Faugno, Dick Contino and John Garafalo to name a few will be entertaining the crowds. There will be several strolling muscians playing our favorite Italian songs too.

It is a definite must to bring the children so they can visit the petting zoo and ride the ponies.

Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin

Photos by Nikki Artale

There is a Third King in the Kings Room in the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas and that is the King of Comedy Eddie Griffin. Eddie has been booked for a six month engagement and from the first day, long lines have formed outside the Kings Room with sold out performances. Eddie Griffin show is like the old days of Las Vegas when the entertainers drank and smoked on stage, living in the moment, and it made you feel like you were in their living room telling stories. Eddie’s stories are hysterical about the First Ladies and a certain religious group that come knocking on your door at 7:00 in the morning while you are still sleeping.

Eddie Griffin

Eddie recalled at age five, playing an elf and a dancing Robot in a school play and the audience went bananas. His stand up comedy career started in 1988 when on a dare, his cousin bet him $50.00 to go on stage. He won the bet and that was the start of his career.

Eddie has stared in over 47 movies, T.V. shows and his own reality show, which was filmed 12 hours a day. When they asked him to do the show he said “Are you sure you want to film this because my family is crazy”. It was too real for them and they edited out things they could not show.

Eddie loves his mom Doris Thomas, who was a hands on mother in the 60’s when it was an Us and We generation, not like today where it is a Me generation. He has a great time on stage and it is a moment in time when people of all nationalities can come together and have fun. He calls it an Eddie Griffin experience. He knows how to entertain everyone; after all he ranks number 67 as the greatest stand up comic.

Richard Pryor was his Idol and a father figure and Eddie had a great relationship with him for 17 years. Richard Pryor called him Jr and Eddie called him Pop. Eddie said that kids are the most important to him and he is the proud father of nine children.

Richard Pryor

Another love in his life is his beautiful wife Nia-Shawpri Griffin who proudly sits in the audience while Eddie shares his outrageous, no holds barred, and real life observations. Eddie says he creates from an elastic brain that stretches and then snaps back to sanity. He is outrageous on stage and tells it like it is. I loved talking to Eddie backstage and found him to be a very kind person and so good to all the people around him. I am usually backstage with my show the 2 Kings and Eddie Griffin comes on to do his show following the 2 Kings and I have had the opportunity to see and talk to him nightly. From first hand experience, he is a great man and extremely funny. Everyone loves and admires him.

Eddie Griffin & Nia-Shawpri Griffin

Charlie Franks & Eddie Griffin

Hosting the show is a young up and coming comic Twist, who calls Eddie his Idol and owes his success to Eddie and is grateful for his first chance of success. Twist realized he could do stand up comedy because everyone loved to hear him talk and listen to his stories. All of his jokes come from his family and his personal experiences and how he perceives them. He loves to make people laugh.


Also opening the show was Antoine Blackman who held the audience attention and was very funny. Antoine looked relaxed and at ease in telling his funny stories of life.

Antoine Blackman

Warming up the crowd for Eddie Griffin was Kasper Nelson whose personality came through in his funny outrageous jokes. He lit up the room and everyone responded to Kasper on and off the stage. Actually everyone from the comics to the personal security that is around Eddie Griffin is kind, loving and sociable and great to be around. Kasper made Dana Burton feel comfortable as she collected the entry tickets to the show.!/profile.php?id=1476734697

Dana Burton & Kasper Nelson

Eddie Griffin is a must see show that will keep a smile on your face and 90 minutes of outrageous humor that will keep you laughing hours later when you recall the show.