Janelle Maiocco


Welcome to my blog. I live in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle on an Urban Farm (w/ five laying hens and a huge garden). I am a trained chef (w/ a certificate in food preservation), taught at a cooking school & like to share 'kitchen hacks' - culinary tips that save time, money & maximize flavor. If that isn't enough, I also run a food+tech startup called Barn2Door.com - a platform to help everyone easily find & buy food directly from farmers, fishers & ranchers (from CSA's to urban farm eggs to 1/2 a grass-fed cow).

Las Vegas Food & Wine All-Star Event: Best Bites & Sips #giveaway

Las Vegas Food & Wine All-Star Event: Best Bites & Sips #giveaway


About a month ago, I gushed my way through a few posts about the Food & Wine All-Star Tasting Event and my weekend at Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas (Read about my Day 1, 2 and 3 or the low-down on Jean Georges Steakhouse). I cannot help but write one more post, to swoon a bit more over the best bites and sips of my foodie-filled weekend. And not just because I gloat: more importantly b/c you can enter for a chance to win your OWN weekend of wining, dining and no doubt winning at the tables. I bring this up now, as a timely reminder: you must enter your name by Nov 30 to win. Info. at bottom of post---got it?

(Win or no, when you DO next visit Las Vegas here are some tips of where to go for brilliant food).

Best Bites & Sips of my Vegas Food & Wine weekend:


Hamburger at Union (Aria Restaurant, near lobby) I don't know if I was ideally hungry or craving a burger but the stars aligned (actually literally: Top Chef celebrities were on hand noshing and chatting through this after-dinner party) and this burger slid right down. As in: I forgot to breath while inhaling this slider multiple sliders.


Steak from American Fish (Aria promenade level) I know: ironic. I should be cheering the branzino or prawns from a place named American Fish but truth be told, my favorite bite of our tasting was the wood-fired grilled Kobe rib cap. It had been butter poached for 45 minutes (no hotter than 150 degrees) and given a quick sear. It was lovely. More than lovely. I am still thinking about that bite.


Steak, bone and bone marrow from Jean Georges Steakhouse (Aria promenade level) I couldn't decide which I liked better: the actual steak, gnawing on the bone or the bone marrow served with parsley-lemon gremolata. You be the judge: go order up a Tomahawk Chop and chew on the bone. It came served with homemade hot sauce, salsa verde butter and soy miso butter. Need I say more?

photo credit Tom Donoghue.
photo credit Tom Donoghue.

Black Truffle and Comte cheese fritters with lime salt Easily one of my favorite bites of the weekend: go to Jean Georges Steakhouse and devour a platter of these. OMG good.


Goat & Peanut Thai-style Stew (dished up by Top Chef Season Four Winner Stephanie Izard). Find recipe for this stew is in Stephanie's New Book: Girl in the Kitchen.

Shrimp & Grits skewers (Chef Michael Mina from American Fish; served at the Food & Wine All-Star Tasting Event) Memorable. More please?


Sweet Potato Gnocchi from Sirio The truth is: you really should try gnocchi made from a talented Italian chef. It is how it is meant to be. Keep that in mind when you tuck into the best Italian food in Vegas at Sirio. I love Italians, er I mean: Italian food. Wink.


Scallop and Pork Belly from Sage Sage is reliably divine. Pick your poison: we tried scallops for a special lunch event on the Food & Wine tour, but even if scallops aren't on the menu---take liberty to order up a sampling of what Sage has to offer. You won't be disappointed. And big points for ambiance.

Truffle Risotto from BarMasa (Aria casino level) It will change your life. BarMasa embraces the season, so if it isn't truffle season when you are in Vegas: find out what is. Whatever BarMasa is embracing per the season will be well worth each morsel.


Lemongrass' Pad Thai (Aria casino level, tucked past the cash counters) Meant to be a place to chill, eat family style, order up some fun cocktails (see fave sips, below)... it may be relaxed but it is a gorgeous venue. It is Vegas after all.

Raspberry biegnets from Jean Phillipe Patisserie Light airy, sweet, fresh. So good. And did I mention the hazelnut truffle? Some of the best truffles of my life. Yes, plural. You caught me. That is two best bites from Jean Phillipe. I am just saying.


Ginger Rum cocktail from Union Some of my favorite flavor combos all co-mingled in this welcome sipper---thanks Union. After two I wanted to get up on the pedestal and dance too; Yigit from Top Chef Just Desserts promised he would join me.

Mixed Berry Limoncello with Meringue and fruit leather from Chef Vincenzo at Sirio Meringue bite with a 'cello chaser? Innovative, whimsical and downright fun. Chef is always changing up 'cello flights, so you never know which libation-plus-chaser you will get to enjoy.


Watermelon Press from Lemongrass Real watermelon juice meet vodka. Or is it the other way around?

grouse whiskey
grouse whiskey

Straight up: Grouse Whiskey Poured through a grouse-etched ice sculpture at the Food & Wine All-Star Tasting event. You almost HAD to try it for that reason alone. I did.

YOUR TURN Easily the most impressive giveaway my blog has seen, this link is only available on my blog plus 7 others (I was 1 of 8 attending this event). Not bad odds, so check in with your fate already (deadline for entry NOV 30):

All-Star Food & Wine Package

  • 2-Night Suite Accommodations at ARIA Resort & Casino
  • Invited Guest Check-In
  • Dinner for 2 at BARMASA
  • Dinner for 2 at Sirio Ristorante
  • 2 Tickets to Viva ELVIS
  • VIP Tour from our Social Media Expert

* photo credit Tom Donoghue (picture of Chef Moore and Chef Georges with truffle bites, and picture of BarMasa).

how to roast garlic. and why you will want to.

how to roast garlic. and why you will want to.

thanksgiving dish re-invented: sweet potato goes gnocchi

thanksgiving dish re-invented: sweet potato goes gnocchi