They represent the city’s best and brightest in the art of pastry. Several are former Girl Scouts. Together, a total of 11 local women pastry chefs will compete in this year’s Dessert Before Dinner gala, the annual fundraising event benefiting the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada. This year’s Dessert Before Dinner extravaganza takes place Saturday, Sept. 10 at Caesars Palace from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Nearly 1,000 of the city’s top influencers and community leaders are expected to attend, making it one of the largest Dessert Before Dinner events to date.
The list of this year’s participating chefs (in alphabetical order) follows:
- Chef Tammy Alana, Alizé at the Top of the Palms Casino Resort and Andre’s at Monte Carlo Resort & Casino – A first-time participant, Chef Alana is a former Girl Scout. This award-winning chef is skilled at creating complex flavor profiles with a simple and clean presentation.
- Chef Brigette Contreras, STK at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – A returning chef, she is also a former Girl Scout. She was a Brownie while she lived in Southern California. When it comes to creating desserts, she lets her palate guide her, noting that if she loves her food, her guests will too.
- Chef Denise Elliott, MGM Resorts International – A first-time participant and paired with MGM Chef Kimberly Vitou, she has been baking since she was two and loves making and eating anything with chocolate.
- Chef Michelle Flores, Caesars Palace – A first-time participant, her fellow pastry chef, Marisela Espinoza, won in 2015 for her dessert utilizing the popular Girl Scout Lemonades cookie. Her favorite thing to make is cookies and believes in putting as much “love” as possible into her desserts.
- Chef Kaiulani, KAILAVA – A returning chef, Delgado creates unconventional pieces of edible art, including life-size cake showpieces, luxury wedding cakes and sugar sculptures. Delgado has baked for several celebrities, including Mariah Carey.
- Chef Kyurim Lee, Aria Resort Casino Las Vegas – A first-time participant, her favorite dessert is Korean red bean bread. When it comes to teaching others how to cook and bake, she notes the importance of cleaning and organizing before, during and after.
- Chef Kaori Scott, Bellagio Resort & Casino – A first-time participant, she was inspired to become a chef after traveling to Europe with her mother and tasting pastries throughout the countries. When she gets home, she continues to bake where she likes to make brownies, cookie bars and warm homemade cookies topped off with ice-cream.
- Chef Elizabeth Stolarick, Wynn Las Vegas – A first-time participant, she has loved cooking and baking since she was a little girl. She would eventually go on to graduate from Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. Her favorite dessert is cheesecake.
- Chef Samara Sulin, Andiron Steak & Sea – A first-time participant, she was a Daisy and a Brownie. She initially studied advertising and design but eventually shifted to culinary school. She believes to “always read your recipe first. Cook with love, patience and be cautious with your tools.”
- Chef Kimberly Vitou, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino – A returning chef, she is paired with MGM Chef Denise Elliott. Baking with her mother and grandmother served as her inspiration to pursue a culinary career. She loves making mousses, ice cream and caramel.
- Chef Cynthia Werth, Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower – She is the only chef who has competed every year since the event began nearly 10 years ago. Chef Werth has won the competition twice. She has also placed in second and third. She believes in using the best ingredients possible because it never pays to “skimp.”
Now established as one of the city’s most exciting fundraising events, Dessert Before Dinner brings these chefs together to create the ultimate confection incorporating this year’s chosen signature Girl Scout cookie, Caramel deLites. Guests indulge in the chefs’ imaginative desserts before the first course is even served, then cast votes for their favorite sweet concoction. The winning chef is announced at the end of the evening with the top three chefs receiving medals.
In addition to the chefs’ competition, an array of the city’s most high-profile women will be honored for being incredible role models and paving the way for success for future businesswomen in Southern Nevada. They will also receive honorary badges, selected specifically for them based on their own professional and philanthropic achievements. The honorees are listed below, along with the badges they will receive on Sept. 10:
- Diana Bennett, Trailblazing badge
- Carrie Carter Cooper, Think Big badge
- Tami Hance, Leadership badge
- Sonia McTaggart-Anderson, Financial Literacy badge
- Winnie Schulman, Philanthropist badge
- Florence Shapiro, Entrepreneur badge
- Rosemary Vassiliadis, Science and Technology badge
Gala proceeds will continue to lay the foundation for all girls in Southern Nevada to become tomorrow’s female leaders. In addition to funding scholarships, proceeds enable the organization to reach girls in all demographics and areas of the community as well as expanding upon current programming such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), social values and financial literacy. Most importantly, support for Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada helps encourage girls to embrace imaginative and innovative approaches to everything they do—with the goal of creating a better world for all.
The price for individual tickets is $350, with sponsor levels available at $3,500 for Bronze, $5,000 for Silver and $10,000 for Gold. Click here to purchase tickets.
ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS OF SOUTHERN NEVADA
Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls of all ages and serves more than 6,000 youth and adult members throughout Southern Nevada. The organization seeks to help girls and young women build character and develop the life skills for success in the real world and is a part of the Girl Scouts of the USA, the nationwide organization that has helped girls discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together since 1912. For more information on Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, visit www.GirlScoutsNV.org, follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.