Photo credit: UNLV Epicurean Society

Epicurean Society is starting this new semester with a bang, as we have expanded our leadership board from 3 to 7. In addition to our co-presidents Jennipher Chung and Savannah Reeves, and our treasurer Leslie Barba, we have added secretary Karren Bae, marketing manager Alfred Tsai, social media manager Christina Yuan and journalist, me, Nicholas Bilt. I am taking over the articles from Savannah, so thank you to Jennipher, Savannah and Leslie for picking me to take over as Epicurean Society’s reporter. Karen, Alfred, Christina and I are very excited to be on board and are eager to bring our skills to the table. 

With the expansion of our leadership we are creating more opportunities for all of our members. For instance, our marketing manager, Alfred, is reaching out to more properties and we are starting to have more restaurant tours. Our tours are there for our members to meet top industry professionals at the top restaurants in Vegas to learn firsthand what goes into running these premiere restaurants. Our first tour was of the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris Casino.

The tour was a great success! Lyle Tolhurst, the restaurant’s divisional supervisor, led us on the tour of the restaurant. Coming out of the elevators we were greeted with a view of the kitchen and all of the cooks hard at work. It really gives a wow factor and sets off the dining experience with a bang. Turning to the right you can see the bar before making it over to the host stand. Walking past the host stand towards the dining room we were treated to the fantastic view that Eiffel Tower Restaurant is famous for.  Mr. Tolhurst showed our members how they are continually evolving in how they operate their table reservation system, as the hottest seats in the house are the ones by the window overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. The way they do reservations now has increased their table turns per night. Mr. Tolhurst let us in on some top-secret information on which table he considers the best, but I will not be able to reveal that information here. Fun fact: the Eiffel Tower team sees about 4 to 5 proposals every night. 

We got to meet the Executive Chef, Chef Joung Sohn, and she talked to us about the menu and how Eiffel Tower Restaurant strives to bring authentic French cuisine to Las Vegas. One thing that Chef Sohn told us is that a number of guests are surprised when coming to dine at Eiffel Tower, thinking that French cuisine is served in smaller, delicate portions. Chef went into detail about how they are always researching new trends in the food industry and are constantly evolving their menu to keep up with people’s ever-evolving curiosity for new flavors. The rack of lamb, the creme brulee, and the souffles came highly recommended from the team. Another fun fact is that Chef Sohn was one of the first female executive chefs on the Strip.

Towards the end of our tour we walked in on the pre-shift meeting for the night and got to meet the whole team that makes the magic happen. That was an amazing experience; the manager introduced us as the future leaders of the industry, and they all applauded for us, which was an amazing moment. It was a true warm welcome to the Las Vegas hospitality scene. 

Our members loved the opportunity to be able to visit the Eiffel Tower Restaurant and hear firsthand from the team and learn what makes the restaurant so special and how they keep improving and evolving in the extremely competitive food & beverage market here in Las Vegas. On behalf of all of Epicurean thank you so much to Mr. Tolhurst and everyone at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant for the tour. You made our very first property tour a great success! We are currently in the process of planning more restaurant tours for our members to learn more about different restaurants in Las Vegas and how they operate. 

In addition to our Eiffel Tower Restaurant tour, we are starting to plan Epicurean Society’s annual pop-up restaurant on April 23; we will be calling it Around the World with Epicurean. We will be taking our guests on a journey around the world through food, serving 12 different dishes from different countries: 3 appetizers, 3 entrees, 3 desserts and 3 drinks. We have just started planning and the menu is not finalized, so I am not yet able to talk about it. From the early talks we have had in our leaderboard and with all of our general members it is sure to be a big treat. We hope to see you when we tour the culinary world on April 23; it is sure to be a delightful culinary trip around the world.