In terms of convincing the proprietors of the restaurants to join the concept, it wasn’t hard. For chef Rick Gencarelli of Lardo, it was a no-brainer.“For us, these types of deals are about relationships more than anything else. We hit it off immediately with The Cosmopolitan team and the rest fell in to place quite easily. They have proven to be committed to quality and excellent hospitality,” Gencarelli said. “We are very excited to share a venue with some of the best concepts in the country and to be in front of thousands of Vegas visitors and locals on a daily basis.”Pok Pok Wing’s Andy Ricker had a similar if more film-inspired response: “They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”Pok PokPerhaps one of the biggest concerns for Block 16 — and for the individual tenants — is the transitory nature of Las Vegas. Those who will be visiting Block 16 more than likely aren’t from Vegas, so won’t be likely to return any time soon. If they’re from one of the four other cities represented, they might know about the hometown hero, but beyond that? It’s anyone’s guess.“On one hand, we get to put our product in front of one of the broadest demographics in the word. On the other, a lot smaller percentage of the population will know the brand compared to in Portland,” Ricker said.Lardo Alan WeinerFor Gencarelli, the opportunity to be exposed to millions of new potential customers by opening in a new city is the next logical step in the growth of his business.“Lardo is designed to be scaled and if we can’t grow outside of our home then we are not very good at our jobs,” he said, adding, “With that said, Lardo is like my baby and I feel like I just dropped my baby off at college. I hope she does well and makes me proud and I will visit a lot!”The mix of concepts, according to Nichols, will help with its success. At Block 16, you’ll be able to go from donuts to mezcal to sushi in just a few steps. The varied concepts, he said, also help create friendly competition, as opposed to direct competition for sales.Ricker agreed. “We are next to some heavy hitters with the likes of Hattie B’s. Concepts like that tend to take the oxygen out of a room. But man/woman/child cannot live on hot chicken alone, so I think there is room for all the concepts at Block 16.” 10 Destination-Worthy Food Halls Throughout the U.S. Hang Like the Rat Pack at These Old School Vegas Steakhouses Las Vegas, with its 40 million annual visitors (second only to New York City), is known for, among many other things, its fine drinking and dining. Walk into just about any casino or hotel and you’re bound to find at least one, if not two, three, or even four fancy restaurants. These spots — iterations of celebrity chef’s famous joints or new concepts by globally-renowned restaurateurs — are the epitome of Vegas: high quality, high class, and the perfect thing to do after a successful night at the poker table. Sometimes, though, that’s not what you want even if you did just bet it all on black and it worked out for you. That’s where the newest concept from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Block 16, comes in.Jeff GreenBlock 16, which opened this year, is an urban food hall that has brought together six restaurant concepts that have already reached fame in their respective homes. According to Patrick Nichols, chief strategy officer for the Cosmopolitan, the goal was to make something unlike their previous ventures in the food and drink space: a focus on made-to-order food served to-go at a price point that is acceptable across the board.“We realize that not every guest is looking for the time commitment of a traditional fine-dining experience and Block 16 allows our guests to enjoy a great meal at their own pace — even if they only have a few minutes,” Nichols said.With so many potential candidates — just take a moment and think about all of the places that have lines in your own city — the staff of the Cosmopolitan had to go about choosing in a systematic way. The Ultimate Las Vegas Bachelor Party Guide for Grown-Ups “We started off with one key component when selecting the restaurants, one key qualifier that everything needed to have: each selection needed to be crave-able,” he said. “We spent more than two years on the road, traveling the globe to find the best quick service food out there. We stopped at more than 100 different restaurants and food trucks, going as far as Singapore before settling on this final set of homegrown favorites.”The winners of that amazing race of gastronomy? District: Donuts, Sliders. Brew. (New Orleans), Ghost Donkey (New York City), Hattie B’s Hot Chicken (Nashville), Lardo (Portland), Pok Pok Wing (Portland), and Tekka Bar: Handroll & Sake (Las Vegas). According to Nichols, these concepts had that je ne sais quois that makes for a successful restaurant.“There are many concepts out there that have great food but there were fewer that have great food but fewer that had the whole package — including fun people to work with day-to-day. The teams behind each of these concepts are extraordinary and we are thrilled to introduce them to Las Vegas.” Should Bars Be Kid and Dog-Friendly? We Asked the Experts The Best Steakhouse Whiskey Collections in the United States 1. Lardo – Dirty Fries 2. Pok Pok Fish Sauce Wings 3. Ghost Donkey Truffle Nachos 4. Tekka Spicy Tuna Hand Roll Editors’ Recommendations
Rabat – Morocco’s contributions to peacekeeping operations and humanitarian action in Africa has been highlighted during an exhibition at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa.Organized by the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (FAR), the exhibition showcases the kingdom’s commitment to and promotion of peace, security, and humanitarian aid in Africa, acquired over more than half a century.The exhibition focuses on the following themes: “Moroccan contingents in the service of peacekeeping and the protection of civilian populations”; “Medical and Surgical Field Hospitals (FMSH) and medical social assistance”; “humanitarian aid granted and conveyed through the Kingdom of Morocco”; and “memory and testimonies”. It took place in the presence of FAR’s General Staff and Moroccan ambassador to Ethiopia Nezha Alaoui M’Hammdi, ambassadors of other AU member countries, and senior officials of the AU Commission, who expressed appreciation through messages in the exhibition’s guestbook.In addition to humanitarian assistance to African countries for more than half a century, more than 51,000 Moroccan peacekeepers participated in five UN peacekeeping missions in Africa (Congo, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic), while 11 medical teams have been deployed in ten African countries and provided more than 530,000 medical services to local populations.
Speaking at a high-level event co-organized by FAO, the European Commission and the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Women., Mr. Graziano da Silva said achieving gender equality is the “critical ingredient” to ending poverty and hunger .“Women are the backbone of our work in agriculture,” and they also comprise 45 per cent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, including up to 60 per cent in parts of Africa and Asia, said Mr da Silva. The Director-General also emphasized that rural women play a key part in the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and especially Goal 2 on eliminating hunger and malnutrition worldwide. “It’s all about opportunity. Evidence shows that when women have opportunities, the yields on their farms increase – also their incomes. Natural resources are better managed. Nutrition is improved. And livelihoods are more secured.” Women own less than 20 per cent of agricultural land, yet, almost half the world’s agricultural labour force is female, and 60 per cent of chronically hungry people on the planet are women or girls. “When you invest in a man, you invest in an individual. When you invest in a woman, you invest in a community,” noted Kanayo Nwanze, the President of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).“We see time and time again that gender equality opens doors for entire communities to strengthen their food and nutrition security and to improve their social and economic well-being,” he continued, adding: “Empowering rural women is indeed empowering humanity.” Maria Noel Vaeza, Director of Programs at UN Women, said: “Closing the gender gaps in agriculture can provide multiple development dividends, including gender equality for rural women, food security and poverty reduction, improved climate management and peaceful societies.”