UNLV Epicurean Society
As the semester flies by, the Epicurean Society has slowly received new members. It’s been an exciting month getting to know everyone and learning about their goals in the hospitality industry. As mentioned in an earlier issue, the Epicurean Society planned to have more outings for its members. During the months of September and early October, the Epicurean Society has already completed two outings together.
For our first outing, we visited the Fresh52 Farmers’ Market, a frequent outing implemented by the club’s newest president, Kevin Ng. Members will now be visiting the farmers’ market the last Sunday of every month. Now, for those who are unaware, the farmers’ market is held in two different locations: Tivoli Village on Saturdays and the Henderson Plaza on Eastern on Sundays, both from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. They sell anything from fresh vegetables to harvested honey. You can find many interesting things and some you’d never expect. For example, you can find handmade jewelry and ceramics. While the club has visited the farmers’ market multiple times, first-comers were thrilled to be there. While there, we met who would be our first speaker for this semester.
At the Farmers’ Market, the Epicurean members met Esprit Friedland, founder of Peele, a family-owned and -operated business located right here in Vegas. These vendors sell an array of roasted pili nuts, from Peele Honey Roasted Pili Nuts to Peele Chili & Garlic Roasted Pili Nuts. The pili nut originates from the rainforests of the Philippines, otherwise known as “The Golden Nut.” Esprit and his lovely wife, Marissa Friedland, were kind enough to share with us how the pili nuts are processed and how they have customized their different flavors. With the intent of featuring the pili nut in a way that wasn’t done before, Kevin made “Spicy Sweet Corn.” This dish contained sweet corn, spicy aioli and smoked pili nuts. The sweet corn was caramelized instead of steamed. The smoked pili nuts were smoked in hickory smoke and the aioli had about 6-8 different spices added to it. It had an interesting taste, especially with the lime juice giving it an extra ‘kick.’
Of course, that wasn’t the end of Epicurean Society’s adventures. On October 11, members of Epicurean met up at TIABI Coffee & Waffle, located in a shopping plaza on Flamingo and Maryland Parkway. TIABI is a small café that serves multiple beverages and a variety of waffles, but definitely do not underestimate the place. While it is smaller than most cafes, it makes up for it with taste and options.
They have espressos, tea-fusions, lattes, vegan smoothies, toasted sandwiches, wafflewiches, wafflenuts and pastries. TIABI is one the few places that offers 100% vegan waffles—waffles that look and taste the same as regular waffles. I was skeptical at first, but that changed completely when I first tried them. Sole owner of this hidden treasure is none other than Tiffany Stiles. She explained the process of latte art using different utensils and tools to form a certain shape or detail. Our club president Kevin helped Tiffany make the samples for the members to try.
Tiffany was kind enough to let members of the Epicurean Society sample some of their more popular and unique menu items. For example, we tried their classic Viva Las Elvis waffles. It has bananas, peanut butter, chopped bacon and honey. Of course, there’s also the vegan version with ingredients mimicking the taste of bacon. Another interesting favorite is the Red Bull Cider, which has apple cider mixed with Red Bull, a combination that definitely makes the drink sweet enough to remind you of an apple pie.
For all those that enjoyed the issues I’ve written, or at least its style, I appreciate it. This month’s issue will be the last I write for this magazine on the Epicurean Society. Taking over my position as the journalist for Epicurean is Justin Leung, a junior and hospitality major at UNLV. As a trusted friend of mine, I cannot imagine leaving this position to anyone else and am anticipating reading about the club’s activities from his point of view. I know he’ll do a great job in writing about it.
Although it’s still early in the fall semester, I feel like it’s safe to say that the Epicurean Society is already on its path to becoming a successful and more recognized organization. As always, anticipate next month’s issue as the Epicurean Society will be planning something interesting for both UNLV students and its members.
Editor’s Note: We appreciate the excellent work Kimberly has done as the club’s journalist and look forward to reading Justin’s future submissions.