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December 31, 1998

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: 1998 Year in Review - Part 2


1998 Year in Review, Part 2

Welcome back to part 2 of our year-end KNPR presentation of the "Johnny" for culinary excellence in 1998.

TIM: Our next category is Chef of the Year. And the nominees are, Francois Muelien at the Desert Inn, Tommy Birdwell at the Coyote Café, Stephen Zucker of Bix's, and Mary Bergin of pastry fame at Spago and Chinois. All have given our judges, er, excuse me, our judge, unforgettable meals, and his just desserts over the past year.

JOHN: Yes, that's true Tim, but only one gets the coveted "Johnny" for consistently turning out some of the most interesting food on the planet, and that winner is, Tommy Birdwell of the Coyote Café.

TIM: Finally, the most coveted category of them all, restaurant of the year. And the nominees are, The Coyote Café, The Monte Carlo Room at the Desert Inn, The Palace Court, Le Cirque and Spago. Gosh, you could cut this tension with a butter knife.

JOHN: I know Tim, can't you just taste it? And the winner is, The Palace Court. Our oldest and most venerable gourmet dining spot still trumps or Wynn's the competition with first-class French food turned out by Chef Olivier Villeau in one of the prettiest and most romantic dining rooms anywhere.

There you have it folks, the winners of the heretofore ignored Taste of Vegas "Johnny Awards" for dining excellence in Las Vegas in 1998. As subjective as they are, we assure you that a lot more "Food for Thought" went into them than goes into most plaques on most walls of most restaurants. Congratulations to the winners and to all you listeners out there. We wish you a happy new year filled with champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

This is John Curtas.

See discussion rules.


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John Curtas delves into family history to discover the real story behind Grandma Schroader's Sour Beans.

Nov 19, 2009 | Valentino -- You don't know the truffles I've seen
According to Food Critic John Curtas, no other Italian restaurant in Las Vegas has performed at such a high level for so long.

Oct 1, 2009 | Blow It Up
In at least one part of town, our dining critic John Curtas says the food used to be a lot better.

Sep 25, 2009 | Social Media Meltdown
For our dining critic, John Curtas, social media has started to intrude on dining out.

Sep 2, 2009 | Discovering LOS ANTOJOS
Our dining critic John Curtas finds a new affordable favorite.

Aug 20, 2009 | Chinois R.I.P.
For John Curtas the recent closing of Wolfgang Puck's first Las Vegas restaurant brings back memories.

Aug 3, 2009 | Food, Inc.
John Curtas turns movie reviewer today - but the subject is in his usual area of expertise. Hear his review of "Food, Inc."

Jul 16, 2009 | The Steak That Saved Las Vegas
Dining critic John Curtas finds some steak aged for EIGHT MONTHS and he tells us how it tastes.

Jul 2, 2009 | Bang for Your Buck
Everyone's food budget is tighter these days. But if you still want to dine out now and then, our dining critic John Curtas has a few tips on restaurants now giving you more bang for your buck.

Jun 19, 2009 | Whassup with Wazuzu
Explore Dining Critic John Curtas' love/hate relationship with Wazuzu. If you want to spice up your dinner go for at least a "4 or 5."

Jun 12, 2009 | Two Farmer's Markets
Fresh, locally produced food has become a big trend across the U.S. Our food critic, John Curtas, says there's more of this trend in Las Vegas than you might think.

Jun 4, 2009 | MandM Soul Food
John Curtas tells us about one of his favorite dining spots - a surpsingly affordable one.

May 28, 2009 | Checkpoint Charlie
While fine dining has seen a downturn in Las Vegas in recent months, our dining critic John Curtas says at least one dining legend intends to stay put. Charlie Trotter is standing pat in Las Vegas. John Curtas reviews Resturant Charlie.

May 8, 2009 | Food Festival Frenzy!
It's a time of many food festivals in Las Vegas. John Curtas has an overview.

May 5, 2009 | Peppermill Coffee Shop and Fireside Lounge
A landmark Las Vegas restaurant gets a visit from John Curtas. He takes you to the Peppermill.

Apr 23, 2009 | Thai Me Up Thai Me Down
Thai cuisine is starting to show up in more places in Las Vegas. John Curtas has some recommendations

Apr 9, 2009 | A Gourmet Corner - In Spring Valley?
Food Critic John Curtas takes a trip to the strangest gourmet corner in town.

Apr 2, 2009 | Pip's is a Pip
If you're looking for good dining near Aliante, our dining critic, John Curtas, has found a new place to go.

Mar 26, 2009 | Stripped to Its Bare Essentials
Dining on steak at Planet Hollywood! John Curtas takes you along.

Mar 19, 2009 | Hachi is absolutely amazing!
John Curtas has a find - a Japanese-fusion restaurant on the west edge of the city.

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