$21k-plus raised for local agency
LAUGHLIN — More than 500 Tri-state residents and visitors forked over $50 each last Thursday evening to partake in the 27th annual Chefs Fest, a culinary extravaganza that benefits River Fund, the local nonprofit agency that provides direct, immediate assistance to individuals in financial crisis.
Ducats to the feast, hosted by the Aquarius Casino Resort, raised $15,000 for River Fund, and the post-dinner live auction netted another $6,000 for the Tri-state organization.
“Every year this event brings so many amazing people together and their generosity is incredible,” said Connie Davis, executive director of the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the event. “We are blessed with one life, and when you have a community that comes together to give back or pay it forward to those less fortunate, it brings to reality the importance of what life is really about. We are so fortunate to live in an area where so many care.”
Partaking in the festival were the food and beverage mavens from Aquarius Casino Resort, Avi Resort & Casino, Edgewater/Colorado Belle, Golden Nugget Laughlin, Harrah’s Laughlin, Bumbleberry Flats at the Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall, Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino, the Pool Side Cafe at Tropicana Express, Top of the World Restaurant at the Stratosphere, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Desert Diamond Distillery, Hualapai Mountain Resort, Bottoms Up Beer, Nevada Beverage Co., and Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada.
Musical entertainment was provided by Brian Lynn Jones and the Misfit Cowboys.
Each booth provided an array of succulent food and beverage items: applewood bacon wrapped peppadew filled with four cheese fondue, southern style sushi, Moroccan lamb kebabs, pecan crusted fresh Atlantic salmon with pineapple butter sauce and gold rush cocktails, to name just a few.
Once appetites were sated, the live auction kicked off with Aquarius General Manager Sean Hammond at the gavel. One of the more unique items up for grabs was a pair of pink boxer shorts autographed by Joe Arpaio, the infamous sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County. Another was a home-prepared meal for eight to ten guests by Executive Chef Rick Giffen of Top of the World, replete with butler service and wine pairings. Dinner and room packages were popular items, as well.
Everyone in attendance was given the opportunity to cast their ballots for Best Booth Design and Best Food, and it was deja vu all over again as the Aquarius took home the Best Food Trophy, and Harrah’s won the award for Best Booth Design.