As a Black Man, What Happens in Vegas (at Circus Circus) Stays with Me Forever

By Chef Mick Brown

#ChefMickBrown #IAmBBQ2018
Chef Mick Brown to present “Making BBQ Healthy and Authentic at NBBQA “I Am BBQ 2018”

Thanks for checking in with Chef Mick. Special Greetings to those who have followed me on Google, YouTube and in Social Media over the years. Of course, I have read and heard about strong arm robbery and racial discrimination in my lifetime. Who ever thought it would be done to me by a hotel in Las Vegas, with the aid of local police? I thought that I was staying at one of the happiest places on earth- Circus Circus Resort and Casino. Did you know that if a Black man is a guest at your Vegas resort, he can be jailed for trespass?

Part of my mission for Vegas trip was to decide on a vehicle upgrade for our charity’s 2020 plans to travel the US for outreach projects. Should I stay with the Infiniti QX60 or try out a Tesla for a change? Back to the trip. My first Vegas experience was learning that someone had hacked and sold the Lady Gaga tickets I had purchased a year ago for Thursday night’s “Enigma” show. Before reaching city limits, I was also enriched with a 110 mph Speeding Ticket courtesy of the Las Vegas Highway Patrol.

Things got better the next day, when Jennie from the Park Theatre Box Office upgraded me to the front of stage SRO area. So I got to sing eye-to-eye with Lady Gaga on Saturday night. Then the MGM Box Office gave me a second row aisle seat to the Michael Jackson “One” show on Sunday. The dancers interacted with me so much that people approached afterwards to ask if I was part of the show. Great times.

Earlier on Sunday, I was loaned a Model X by Las Vegas Tesla for the whole day. The car was an amazing feat of auto engineering and drove like a dream. They knew that I was an outgoing guy who would show it off to folks. Also, I was doing charity for the BBQ RESCUES! Foundation, so I even offered people free rides (within a mile). No one took me up on the offer, not even the homeless. Circus Circus security thought I was somehow soliciting something and asked me to stop talking to my new friends at the resort. Why?

Then it happened. I was maybe a little drowsy from the exciting night with Michael Jackson. While trying to check out of my room at Circus Circus on Monday, this creepy security guard named Clarke started following me around. I politely told him I was just packing my car, and asked to please give me space. He roared “NO! I’m calling the Manager!”. Seemingly seconds later a posse shows up with hotel staff and the Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD). So now I am a drunk and disorderly Black man whose Photo ID has been mysteriously ditched by the Circus Circus Security Guard And/Or Staff. Please contact me if anything similar has happened to you in Las Vegas. [Email address is below].

Reality Check. Has anyone stayed at Circus Circus recently? Maybe it was just me, but I couldn’t ask staff for a water bottle without presenting my hotel key and a Photo ID. So the hotel pretended like I didn’t have it, even though I was staying in one of their rooms? As if. Or did they want a chance to deliberately steal all of my cash, valuables and bust up a new iMac Desktop computer that is owned by Charity? Do Non-Black Circus Circus Clients who are allegedly drinking get a chance to have coffee, sleep it off or are they all hauled off to jail?

Circus Circus- I’m listening for your Answers?

What happened afterwards is something I’m not quite yet ready to re-live. Will do so soon. I promise. Also, will update you on the car race. In the meantime I want you to please Live, Eat and Be Well.     

Are there any good-hearted Civil and/or Defense Attorneys in Las Vegas? My Court Date is 12/19/19.

Chef Mick Brown is the Executive Director of national 501c3 Charity, the BBQ RESCUES! Foundation and hosts “BBQ RESCUES! TV With Chef Mick Brown” on Youtube. Professionally, he has appeared on television, winning the first ever BBQ themed episode of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”. He has also appeared on Spike TV, the Cooking Channel and on Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” Season Finale. He has been a Judge at the World Food Championships (sponsored by Walmart). He is also known for presenting a Healthy BBQ Seminar at the National Barbecue and Grilling Association’s International Conference. Email Mick@bbqrescues.org.

Healthier Delicious Grilled Shrimp Tacos

In time for Cinco De Mayo (or any day) here is a calorie friendly way to avoid the typical Shrimp Tacos that are deep fried and served with heavy cream sauces and mayonnaise laden Guacamole. Instead you can make delicious Grilled Shrimp Tacos with delicious Grilled Veggies to balance out your plate. Or go Vegan by serving the Grilled Veggie Tacos and Smoked Tortilla Chips without the Shrimp. Special Thanks to Luvafoodie.com for sponsoring this recipe with their Margarita and Seafood Lovers Spice Blends.

 

RECIPE (For 2-3 People)

Shrimp Taco Ingredients

Ingredients

1 lb Fresh Deveined and Tail Off Large Shrimp

1 Large White Onion

2 Roma Tomatoes

1 Head Iceberg Lettuce

1 Ripe Avocado

Fresh Rolled Tortillas

3 Tbsp Ground Cumin

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Dill

Luvafoodie Margarita and Seafood Lovers Spices (or your favorite BBQ Rub)

Tortilla Chips

Wood Skewers

Optional- Mesquite Wood Chunks or Chips for Smoking

Instructions:

  1. Clean, Deshell Shrimp. Marinate in BBQ Rub (we used Margarita Lime Seasoning), 2 Tbsp (each) Chopped Fresh Dill, Chopped Fresh Cilantro, and 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin. Place Shrimp on soaked Wooden Skewers. Add to hot Grill for 10 minutes each side with dry Mesquite Chips (in foil pouch for Gas Grills) or soaked Mesquite Chunks (for Charcoal Grills).
  2. Peel and Slice Onion in thick 1 inch slices, peel and cut Avocado and Lettuce in half (lengthwise). Season with BBQ Rub (we used Luvafoodie Seafood Lovers Blend) plus Cumin. Place on grill for 10 minutes per side. Onions will take longer- 20 minutes per side.
  3. For Smoked Chips. Season with BBQ Rub (we used Luvafoodie Seafood Lovers Blend and Cumin), place in foil pouch and add to Smoker for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Grill Tortillas 3 minutes per side. Dice Onions, mix with fresh chopped Cilantro. Dice Tomato, Avocado and Lettuce.
  5. Make Tacos with Shrimp on bottom. Add Onions, Tomatoes, Grilled Onion/Cilantro Mix.  For Vegan, skip Shrimp and add Grilled Avocado instead.
  6. Add Chopped Avocado on top of Smoked Tortilla Chips along with Grilled Onion/Cilantro mix. Finish with final sprinkle of BBQ Rub (you know what we used).
  7. Enjoy.

VIDEO

 

Special Thanks to Sponsor www.luvafoodie.com

luvfoodiespices

 

Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork,Hot Spot BBQ,Pensacola Fl.

Can People With Food Allergies Eat BBQ?

by Chef Mick Brown

Courtesy of www.bbqrescues.org

Dr. Ruchi Gupta MD,Chef Elizabeth Falkner,Food Allergies,2018 World Food Championships,Orange Beach, AL.
Dr. Ruchi Gupta, MD and Chef Elizabeth Falkner presenting Addressing Food Allergies seminar at 2018 World Food Championships in Orange Beach, AL.

As long as you are not allergic to meat or fresh vegetables, there is no reason a person with allergies cannot eat BBQ. The important thing is to be conscious of all ingredients being used, and to guard against cross contamination. While judging my first World Food Championships last week, I got to attend a seminar called Addressing Allergies in Food Service. It was a half day program including experts: Dr. Ruchi Gupta, MD and Celebrity Chef Elizabeth Falkner (of Food Network’s Next Iron Chef and Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters fame). The seminar was skillfully moderated by Tonya Winders, President & CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network.

Chef Elizabeth Falkner,Allergy Friendly Food,2018 World Food Championships
Chef Elizabeth Falkner prepares Allergy Friendly Menu at 2018 World Food Championships.

Of course the highlight was tasting food made by Chef Falkner, who is also known for her famous San Fransisco restaurant Citizen Cake. It was one of my favorite go-to places whenever I visited the city (the Short Ribs were amazing).  Unfortunately they closed in 2012, when the chef relocated to New York City. While preparing two dishes (plus dessert), Dr. Gupta, Chef Falkner and Tonya Winders gave us the scoop on cooking for people with Food Allergies.

Yes, they kind enough to do Photo Ops, upon request.

Though Gluten Free foods have taken the public spotlight, the eight most common allergies are:

  • Tree Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Other common allergens include Chocolate, Mustard Seed, Sesame, Citrus, Onion/Garlic and Sulfites.

Allergy Friendly,Gluten Free,Roasted Pumpkin,Gnocchi,Chia,Herb,Pesto,Roasted Pumpkin Seeds,Chef Elizabeth Falkner
Allergy Friendly Gluten Free Roasted Pumpkin Gnocchi with a Chia Herb Pesto and Zesty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds prepared by Chef Elizabeth Falkner. Light and Delicious.

Most of us are fortunate to live without food allergies. However, people with allergies suffer from anaphylaxis, a condition that can go from causing discomfort to life threatening reactions. They depend on having Epinephrine available to combat these reactions. So if you are cooking anything, including BBQ, for someone with an allergy, please take it very seriously. To be safe, it is best to make everything from scratch instead of using processed foods- that can be manufactured in facilities with Nuts or Wheat. If you must use prepared foods, be sure to read the label carefully.

Collard Greens,Enchiladas,Salad,Corn,Black Beans,Chef Elizabeth Falkner,2018 World Food Championships.
Collard Green Enchiladas Salad with Corn, Black Beans and Rice prepared by Chef Elizabeth Falkner at the 2018 World Food Championships.

Sadly, some restaurants and other eateries will not accommodate those with allergies. They think allergic people are just picky eaters. Moderator Winders shared the sad story of she and her young daughter being kicked out of a restaurant that refused to alter their menu. If you are cooking for those with allergies, be sure to determine how sensitive they are to certain foods. For example, many Pizza places offer Gluten Free crusts, but there’s regular flour all over the place. Someone with severe Celiac disease would be wise to take a pass.

Chef Elizabeth Falkner,Dairy Free,Chocolate,Flax Seed,Mousse ,Carob,Mesquite Powder,Streusel,2018 World Food Championships
Chef Elizabeth Falkner’s Dairy Free Chocolate Flax Seed Mousse with Carob/Mesquite Streusel at 2018 World Food Championships.

Chef Falkner’s menu for the day included Gluten Free Roasted Pumpkin Gnocchi with a Chia Herb Pesto and Zesty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It was light and delicious. She also made a salad with components of her Collard Green Enchiladas dish. The original recipe uses whole Collard leaves as a substitute for Tortillas, but only chopped leaves were available that day. For dessert, the chef prepared a Chocolate Flax Seed Mousse with Carob/Mesquite Streusel. She somehow made the preparation of these Iron Chef worthy dishes look simple.

For more on Cooking BBQ (or anything) for People with Food Allergies, check out these links:

Allergy and Asthma Network (general information and resources) http://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/

Allergy Safe Dining (free download of great info for food professionals) http://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/outreach/publications/special-publications/allergy-safe-dining/

AllergyHome (emphasis on schools and kids) https://www.allergyhome.org/

Summer Barbeque Tips for Hosts and Guests (allergy safe suggestions) https://www.foodallergy.org/about-fare/blog/summer-barbeque-tips-for-hosts-and-guests

Have an Allergy Friendly Barbecue (more tips for people with allergies) https://blog.americanmedical-id.com/2017/07/allergy-friendly-barbecue/

Eating Safely at the Family BBQ (Gluten Free suggestions) https://www.allergicliving.com/2010/07/02/ask-the-celiac-expert/

More on Chef Elizabeth Falkner’s Books and Online Classes https://www.elizabethfalkner.com/books-television

The Food Allergy Experience (book by Dr. Ruchi Gupta with free links to allergy research) http://www.ruchigupta.com/the-food-allergy-experience-1/

Tasty Freedom- How We Mastered Fear, Illness and Foreign Travel with Severe Food Allergies (a charming little book by my friend Chef Jaquy Yngvason and hubby Josh Greenfield, available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other outlets) https://www.amazon.com/Tasty-Freedom-Mastered-Illness-Allergies/dp/0692982825

AllergyEats- website is like the Yelp for people all over the country for reviewing restaurants https://www.allergyeats.com/