This Week on Good Food: Stays in Vegas: Water, Restaurant Unions and Off Strip Eats

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In part two of Good Food’s Vegas special, we focus on life off the strip through food, culture and water conservation efforts in one of the U.S.’s labor strongholds.

Highlights from this week’s show:

1. Las Vegas, a Labor Stronghold– Ed Komenda is a reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, where he covers Tony Hseih’s Downtown Project, local labor unions and gaming among other topics. He discusses the success of Unions in Las Vegas, where line cooks are making $16/hour with benefits.


2. Where Vegas Locals Actually EAT–Natalie Young is the chef and owner of EAT, the first fully funded business from the CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project. EAT is an affordable new American breakfast and lunch cafe where Vegas locals eat on a regular basis. Unlike elsewhere in town, there is no smoking, no alcohol and no gaming at EAT.

3. Marketing Sustainability to Chefs in Las Vegas–Brett Ottolenghi is the owner of Artisanal Foods, a hotspot for Las Vegas chefs looking for luxury ingredients like black winter truffles, wagyu beef or foie gras. He discusses how he went from starting a truffle company in his high school dorm room to selling fine ingredients to Las Vegas’s most prominent chefs. Ottolenghi has also turned his attention to issues of sustainability including his effort to market lionfish (an invasive species) and his strides to curb the consumption of shark fin soup in local casinos.

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4. Water Conservation in Sin City?–Doug Bennett is the conservation manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority. He offers a history lesson on Las Vegas’ water supply and explains the city’s water recycling programs.

Chris Brophy is the Vice President of Corporate Sustainability for MGM and oversees all aspects of sustainability in the corporation’s eleven properties and forty two thousands Las Vegas hotel rooms. The Bellagio – one of MGM’s properties, is known for the over the top fountain that creates quite a spectacle when enormous bursts of water shoot out, so we asked him, where does that water come from and where does it go?

5. Las Vegas: Hawaii’s ‘9th Island’–E.C. Gladstone is a writer who covers the Las Vegas food scene for Bon Appetit Magazine. He joins Good Food to discuss why so many Hawaiian transplants live in Vegas and the food they brought with them.


6. Jonathan Gold’s Favorite Thai Restaurant–Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the Los Angeles Times. He talks about Lotus of Siam, a Thai restaurant in Vegas that he claims is the best in the country.

Lotus of Siam

953 E Sahara Ave

Las Vegas, NV 89104

(702) 735-3033

Click here for recommended dishes.

7. Amber Unicorn Bookstore’s Rare Cookbook Collection–Myrna Donato and her husband own the Amber Unicorn Used bookstore that houses one of the best cookbook collections in the country.