Fifth annual Savor Borgata Event features an expanded menu including cooking demonstrations by superstar chefs Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay.
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there is a strong desire to get back to normal. Luckily for area foodies, Sandy did not derail the exceptional dining event at Borgata known as “Savor Borgata — An Evening with Borgata’s Culinary Masters,” scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the acclaimed culinary conclave of the property’s top chefs.
Inside the Borgata Event Center, each restaurant will be represented with its own culinary station, offering guests the exclusive opportunity to interact with Bobby Flay (Bobby Flay Steak), Stephen Kalt (Fornelletto Cucina & Wine Bar), Michael Mina (SeaBlue), Michael Schulson (Izakaya, A Modern Japanese Pub), Wolfgang Puck (Wolfgang Puck American Grille), Geoffrey Zakarian (The Water Club), restaurateurs Greg and Marc Sherry (Old Homestead Steak House), and Borgata’s executive pastry chef, Thaddeus DuBois, while sampling each chef’s unique approach to the culinary arts. The event, hosted by Billy Harris, will offer a variety of wine, beer, and spirits from across the globe.
In the days leading up to Savor Borgata, the casino is featuring the second year of its Borgata Restaurant Week, with $39 and $49 three-course prix-fixe menus now through Friday at Borgata’s restaurants. New this year is various cooking demonstrations on Friday and Saturday with the superstar chefs, including “Live with Bobby Flay” and “In the Kitchen With Wolfgang Puck.” (See a complete listing of events elsewhere on this page.)
“We are so excited to be celebrating the fifth year of Savor Borgata,” says Joe Lupo, senior VP of operations for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. “Since its inception, Borgata has been committed to providing the market with innovative dining experiences and Savor Borgata is a great example of that commitment. It’s a rare opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the world’s most celebrated chefs, and even more so to do it all in one night.
“This year, we’re thrilled to expand Savor into a complete program of events that includes interactive cooking demos, tastings, and specially priced restaurant menus all week leading up to the main event.”
Aram Mardigian, executive chef of Borgata’s Wolfgang Puck American Grille since July 2007, was gracious enough during what has to be an incredibly busy schedule, to take a few minutes and give Atlantic City Weekly an insider’s view of the event.
Chef Mardigian explains that, “As soon as Labor Day passes, we start thinking about Savor Borgata. The executives start planning and I contact Wolfgang, asking him what his thoughts are; he asks what my thoughts are, and we come together with a plan.”
Mardigian adds that the aftermath of Sandy hasn’t changed his plans for the event (“So far, so good, keeping my fingers crossed”), although he had a tree come down and knock over his fence at home. “It’s not worth mentioning compared to some of the people I work with and friends and seeing the television reports.”
As for cooking specifics, Mardigian says, “We have these beautiful New York strip steaks. What Wolfgang loves about these events is being able to interact with the audience. It’s an extensive line waiting, but when they get there Wolfgang wants them to be wowed. We are always cooking, so people can smell it and they can see and when they finally get to Wolfgang I love to witness it. The looks on people’s faces when they get to meet him and taste the food; it is a great experience for them. He will be there the entire time and slice steak for every guest in line.”
Puck will also be serving up freshly made ricotta gnocchi, a staple at his Borgata restaurant since it opened. “We’ll be making that with a tomato basil garlic sauce.”
Showing how to make the gnocchi will also be the primary presentation at the “In the Kitchen with Wolfgang Puck” event in the Music Box at 3pm. “We’ll talk about meat and steak and grilling and marinades and then show them how to make gnocchi. People are pretty intimidated about making gnocchi, but when they see with their own eyes, they say, ‘I can do that!’”
Savor Borgata Cooking Demonstrations
For the fifth annual Savor Borgata, the casino will present a program of unique events that celebrates the individual talent of each participating chef.
Friday, Nov. 9
• Absolutely Fabulous ($55) in The Sunroom lounge of the hotel at 6pm, with The Water Club’s culinary lifestyle consultant, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Enjoy a four-course tasting of Zakarian’s small bites, paired with Absolut cocktails.
• Sushi & Sake with Schulson ($39) at 7pm. Michael Schulson, will host at his Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub, where he will demonstrate just how easy sushi-making can be in an interactive setting.
Saturday, Nov. 10
• Live with Bobby Flay ($35), at 1pm, Borgata Music Box. Flay shares tips and techniques while cooking his favorites.
• Whiskey Sips & Sliders at Long Bar ($29), at 1pm at the Long Bar. Jack Daniel’s brand ambassador, Ana Kornegay, leads guests through pairings with a variety of sliders that showcase Jack’s barbeque recipes.
• Mad About Meatballs ($39), at 2pm, at the kitchen of Fornelletto Cucina & Wine Bar with Chef Stephen Kalt.
• Sweet Surrender, ($39) at 2pm, Event Center, with Chef Thaddeus DuBois, who oversees the pastry production for both the Borgata and Water Club hotels. A lesson on how to perfect the pastry world’s hottest new trend: cake pops.
• Tequila & Tacos at Gypsy Bar ($29), at 2pm, invites guests to join a Espolón Tequila Master Distiller explore the ingredients behind this 100 percent Blue Agave premium tequila, accompanied by four tempting tacos.
• In the Kitchen with Wolfgang Puck ($35) at 3pm at the Music Box. Puck will share the tips and techniques while making favorite recipes.
• Wine Seminar ($39) at 3pm, Water Club. Oenophiles can take their taste buds on a journey through Francis Ford Coppola’s winery with its director of winemaking and GM, Corey Beck. — LH
5th Annual Savor Borgata
Where: Borgata Event Center
When: Saturday, Nov. 10, 8-10pm
How Much: $125, $195
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