Daily Archives: April 9, 2010

Star Trek Memorabilia for Sale in Las Vegas Auction April 10

Fans of “Star Trek,” in its numerous incarnations, who also truly loved “Star Trek: The Experience” at the Las Vegas Hilton,” will surely feel they’ve died and been beamed up this Saturday in Las Vegas.

Popworx, the auction house that specializes in sales of television and movie assets, is holding the Star Trek auction at their warehouse (66 Spectrum Boulevard in Las Vegas) including various props and settings from the former Las Vegas resort hotel attraction. It was built during the era when Las Vegas thought it was going to be a family-friendly destination (what many call “The Bad Years”).

The sale focuses on the larger items from ‘ST:TE,’ including wall panels, furniture from Quark’s Bar, Starfleet costumes, and seats from the Klingon Encounter ride. Also on sale will be transporter room and hallway pieces from the Enterprise D replica that was part of the attraction.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everything is cash and carry (so, rent that huge moving van now), and no credit cards will be accepted.

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Alicia Keys Rescues Unemployed

Alicia Keys is tackling the unemployment epidemic, one fan at a time.  On April 6 the neo-soul singer-songwriter-philanthropist proudly announced she is partnering with the jobs Web site www.Monster.com to launch her Web site IAAS.com (I Am a Super Woman) and have it fully operational with all the bells and whistles in July. 

Keys is specifically looking for a full-time “head blogger,” and she’s taking applications through May 1. 

So, if you’re in Las Vegas this Saturday, April 9, don’t forget to stop by Keys’ Freedom Tour at Mandalay Bay Event Center, with plenty of resumes in hand– she just may snatch yours blowing in the stiff unemployment wind as she’s singing her message-laden songs. 

Failing this, you need to wait until Keyes is in Portugal to start the European leg of her tour.

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Recipe Bandido Steals Away in Las Vegas

Rodd Wilbur isn’t your ordinary chef.  In fact, he’s not a chef at all.  But what he “relishes” – he prefers “cloning” – the secret recipes for popular dishes made by restuarant chains like McDonald’s, Applebee’s and KFC.  Then, to make some scratch, he writes books to show how you too can make the yummy stuff. 

Wilbur started with the Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie theft, coming up with a recipe that was a variation on the Nestlé Tollhouse classic and tasted remarkably close to Debbie Fields’ moneymaker. Then he moved on to more savory exploits. For his second recipe, he reverse-engineered the Big Mac. That special sauce? It’s basically Thousand Island dressing! 

A former TV news reporter, Wilbur, a Summerlin, Nevada resident, now works full-time cloning recipes for his cookbooks, which are for sale on QVC and have been featured on Oprah and Live with Regis and Kelly. He’s really not a chef or an innovator; he’s a casual-dining cloner, and success means tasting just like the real thing. 

“I want it to be exact,” Wilbur says as he gets to work on recreating a batch of cous cous salad from the Houston’s chain of restaurants. “I don’t want to make it better; I don’t want to make it worse. I don’t want to make it less fat. I don’t want to do anything to it except exactly duplicate it.” 

So far, Wilbur has exactly duplicated enough recipes for nine cookbooks. His 10th, 17 recipes shy of completion, should be out in September. The book will be called Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3. “Alternate title: The Greatest Cookbook Ever Written,” Wilbur jokes. 

Since publishing his first cookbook in 1993, Wilbur has sold close to 5 million copies of his cookbooks, all of which tackle well-known recipes from fast food or casual dining chains and break them down for cooks to re-create at home. 

His 1,000th recipe — the one most requested by visitors to his website — was Olive Garden’s chicken and gnocchi soup, or as Wilbur describes it, “really good shit.” 

Flipping through the pages of his books is like looking at a greatest-hits menu from chain restaurants: Buffalo Wild Wings’ Caribbean jerk sauce, the Cheesecake Factory’s Bang-Bang Chicken and Shrimp, Chili’s lettuce wraps, KFC’s biscuits. 

And Wilbur has all kinds of tricks for figuring out what goes into the dishes that people crave. Sometimes he asks for a seat at the bar or near the kitchen, so he can watch how desserts or dishes are assembled. Other times he claims to be a strict vegetarian or vegan, so he can find out if a dish contains chicken broth or animal fat. When Oprah Winfrey challenged him to create the Jack Daniel’s grill glaze from TGIFriday’s before appearing on her show, Wilbur faked an allergy so the restaurant would give him a list of the ingredients. 

Wilbur just loves his role of playing recipe investigator, hunting for clues and then putting the recipe pieces together until he’s completed a culinary puzzle that tastes fresh off the line.

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Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas Announces New Restaurants, Celebrity Chefs

If Las Vegas isn’t already home to the finest restaurants and chefs in the world, now there’s more of ‘em! 

The restaurant lineup at the sleek new $3.9 billon Cosmopolitan hotel-casino of Las Vegas has been announced.  Four of the five have strong New York ties; the other will be operated by acclaimed Los Angeles chef David Myers of the restaurant Comme Ca. The others: Bruce and Eric Bromberg’s Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill,  Costas Spiliadis’ Estiatorio Milos, Scott Conant’s Scarpetta (Conant was previously attached to Fountainbleau), and Steakhouse STK.

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