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A Night to Say Thanks

by John R. Bonds

Chef Jean-Louis Palladin of the Rioís Napa Restaurant helped shape a culinary generation. But its his efforts in charity work around the world that has endeared him to legions. Earlier this year, Chef Palladin was diagnosed with lung cancer. His friends and peers across the country immediately jumped to his aid. Charity dinners in a number of cities were set up to help the Palladin family defray their huge medical expenses.

The special evening to benefit for Jean-Louis happened in Las Vegas on September 7 at the Rio. Participating chefs included some of the best in the industry: Jean Joho of Eiffel Tower; Thomas Keller of The French Landry; Julian Serrano of Picasso; Joseph Keller of Josefís Brasserie; Renoirís Alex Stratta; and Michel Richard of Citronelle, among many others. Dishes such as Sweetbreads en Papillotte with Foie Gras and Truffles and Oysters Poche, Vermouth Beurre Blanc, were paired with the finest wines and spirits from the portfolio of DeLuca Liquor & Wine. It was truly a Epicureanís dream come true!

The evening concluded with a live auction hosted by Robin Leach. A reported 500-thousand dollars was raised for the Palladin Medical Fund. Thatís more money than was raised at all of the other charity dinners combined! Las Vegas and the entire countryís culinary community turned out for a man who put his heart and soul into cooking and charity work. The message to Jean-Louis that was simple - we love you and get better soon.

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