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Epicurean Charitable Foundation of Las Vegas (ECF) hosted their 12th annual M.E.N.U.S. (Mentoring and Educating Nevada’s Upcoming Students) fundraiser yesterday, Oct. 4, at Luxor Hotel and Casino with a private performance of “PRiSM” by the Jabbawockeez and an exclusive poolside dine-around.
The event began with a cocktail reception and celebrity ‘purple carpet’ outside Jabbawockeez Theatre where ECF was presented with a proclamation declaring Oct. 4 as “ECF Day” in Las Vegas. Notable celebrities who attended the event included Chef Carla Pellegrino, Chris Philips of “Zowie Bowie,” magician Murray Sawchuck, Justin Mortelliti and Mark Shunock of “Rock of Ages” and the casts of “FANTASY” and “Thunder from Down Under.”
Notable attendees included Jason Shkorupa, ECF president and vice president of food and beverage for MGM Grand; Kelley Jones, ECF chairman of the board and partner at Trust3 Hospitality; Ana Marie Mormando, ECF vice president and vice president of hotel operations for Bellagio; and Rose McKinney-James, managing principal for Energy Works Consulting and a director at MGM Resorts International, among others.
Following the high-energy show by Jabbwockeez, guests experienced a dine-around at Luxor’s pool featuring more than 30 of the top restaurants and beverage distributors in the city, including: Gordon Ramsay BURGR, serving sliders; Table 10 by Chef Emeril Lagasse, serving banana cream pie parfait; Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, serving a tuna poke with tobiko caviar; Chef Kerry Simon’s KGB, serving sliders and vodka dessert shooters; MiX, serving shrimp cocktails, mini chocolate cakes and champagne; Tacos & Tequila, serving lobster and shrimp quesadillas and mini tres leches bites; and TENDER Steak & Seafood, serving game-meat skewers and venison chili.
Along with the food and drink masterpieces, the dine-around was highlighted by a silent auction, a DJ spinning the latest tracks and an array of entertainers and cirque performers. LAX Nightclub hosted the official M.E.N.U.S. after-party beginning immediately after the dine-around at 11:30 p.m.
M.E.N.U.S. is an annual fundraiser that raises money to support ECF’s primary charitable endeavor of providing full-ride scholarships to deserving local students interested in pursuing careers in hospitality or the culinary arts. Since 2001, ECF has donated more than $1 million to Clark County students.