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By Elsie Méndez
On recent visit to Las Vegas we went looking for new places and ended up at a destination that exceeded all of our expectations. The big surprise was finding somewhere that not only offers the freshest seasonal ingredients, but also includes the experience of being able to watch as the the ingredients are transformed into dishes. The magic happens at Harvest’s Snack Wagon Pop-up by Roy Ellamar at the Bellagio Hotel.
A restaurant with the Farm to Table concept rarely comes to mind when we think about where to eat in Las Vegas; it is not something that we consider possible in this city that is often seen as an entertainment destination rather than a place with wonderful culinary options. And even after learning that Vegas has evolved in amazing ways in recent years and that it now has very good cuisine that ranges from the simple to the most sophisticated, nothing we have come across has taken us back to the countryside or to places like California or Oregon. That’s why when we heard about the restaurant Harvest by Roy Ellamar and his Pop-up Wagon at the Bellagio Hotel, we ran right over to get to know it.
Roy Ellamar es convierte en uno de los consentidos de quienes amamos el buen comer, con una importante trayectoria, ha sabido escalar la difícil cumbre del mundo gastronómico en los Estados Unidos. Su carrera comenzó en el Universidad de Hawái de donde es originario, y su forma de vida rural sería la que marcaría su carrera y su forma de cocinar. Roy creció cultivando, pescando y cazando con su familia en el prístino terreno de la Isla Grande, y fue así como adquirió el profundo conocimiento del proceso por el que pasan los alimentos mientras viajan de la granja a la mesa.
Harvest by Roy Ellamar, a Dream Come True
That is why Harvest by Roy Ellamar became his dream restaurant to present Farm to Table food, that new American cuisine that is so in style nowadays – as if this was not the daily cooking and eating style of all countries around the world -; with his creations, the chef showed us that there is much more than desert surrounding Las Vegas, and this truth is revealed in each of his dishes.
Ellamar knows how important it is for his kitchen team to understand and live up close to what was always normal for him. That’s why he visits the local farms and ranches with his cooks and Harvest staff to create a much more personal link with those who provide them with the ingredients that they handle every day for the preparation of the dishes of the restaurant.
The experience of Harvest by Roy Ellamar is not only about the chef arriving to your table to greet you, it is also about how he tells the stories of the people and places who help grow the ingredients and where the incredible freshness, texture and taste of the dishes all come from. The conversation does not revolve around the recipe, but rather reiterates how lucky we are to be able to enjoy a a dish with ingredients that were planted in the earth just a few days ago.
Pop-up Wagon, the Delicious Way to Share at Harvest by Roy Ellamar
His generosity and great sensitivity to issues of sustainability – it should also be noted that the chef has a recycling program to avoid waste – has caused many chefs in Las Vegas to follow suit and has creating a following of Roy’s cooking. Due to the great interest, Chef Roy Ellamar created the Pop-up Wagon, the instrument with which he and fellow cooks to create menus inspired by seasonal ingredients and cook them right in front of the guests. Being able to watch the chefs and the transformation of the ingredients makes the diners a part of the magic. From salads to fine cuts of meat cooked on the grill, the chefs prepare the dishes in the wagon while they talk about where each of the ingredients come from and why they decided to cook them in that way.
Chef Roy reaffirms why I return to Las Vegas year after year, the city that seems to play with me even though I do not play at its betting tables. There is always a surprise that awaits, one that I feel guilty for not having discovered sooner; Harvest by Roy Ellamar opened in 2015 and I had overlooked it.
If you were missing a reason to return to Las Vegas, this is just the excuse to look for a ticket. Harvest is a way to get to know what the lands that surround the city that never sleeps produce for our approval.
Reserve a table at Harvest by Roy Ellamar here
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