My friend Crystal won 4 tickets to Martini Time with Chef Tina Martini, a live cooking show at the M Resort in Las Vegas. Lucky for me, I was one of the three friends she chose to invite.
I have never been to a live cooking show before, but back in the days when I watched television I was a big fan of the Food Network. Tina Martini’s cooking studio is an intimate setting with a few small tables, 2 rows of long tables to seat viewers, and her kitchen center stage.
Tina’s claim to fame is being a nutritionist and natural health guru in addition to a demonstration chef. She gives all of her audience members a copy of a Phyto Nutrition Chart to take home with them, and she frequently rambles off the healthy benefits of food while giving her cooking demonstrations. I should have brought a notebook to write down all of her advice!
Each of her shows has a theme and today was Women’s Wellness. The show started out great with each audience member being served a sample of the featured cocktail of the day — The M Fantasy, which was made with muddled blueberries, plum sake and Stoli blueberry vodka. It was even garnished with an edible flower.
She also made a Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Bisque and a Jeweled Salad with Sugar Grilled Shrimp and Creamy Lime Dressing. She roasted the red pepper right on the burner until it was charcoal black and easy to peel. I learned that roasted red pepper is the highest food rich in Vitamin C, even more so than citrus fruits. The dressing on the salad was amazing, and I was surprised to learn it was made with a vegan mayonnaise. Of course, we got to sample everything.
After the show, all guests got a complimentary lunch buffet at the M Resort’s Studio B Buffet. The weekend buffet features all-you-can-eat seafood, and many people piled their plates high with crab legs, peel and eat shrimp and oysters on the half shell.
I was pleased they had a fair share of healthier options, which helped me leave room for the important stuff in my opinion — dessert and booze. Did I mention the buffet includes unlimited beer and wine?
My first trip through the buffet I sampled caprese salad, stir-fried vegetables, three bean salad, beet salad, tofu, smoked salmon, and a pear stuffed with cottage cheese. After trying my luck with two crab legs, I decided they were too labor-intensive. I also sampled their house hard cider — nice and refreshing, but a little too sweet.
This left plenty of room for dessert — coconut and pistachio meringues, tapioca pudding, crème brulé, and a cappuccino laced with Bailey’s Irish Cream.
The seafood buffet is normally $30.99, and Tina Martini tickets are $39.95, so I think it’s definitely a good deal to go to the show because you get to watch a fun cooking demonstration, sample some good food, and get preferential seating for the buffet. We got to eat in the private studio room and didn’t have to wait in the super-long line to get seated at the buffet. For more information on Tina Martini and her recipes visit http://www.themresort.com/cheftina/.