Lillian Hargrove. (Photo by Madison Freedle.)

Vegas Chefs Rally for Shade Tree Benefit

Bunkhouse Saloon tapped for one night only ‘Feast of Friends 2’

With a funding shortage to blame for the pending shutdown of The Shade Tree transitional women’s shelter, several Las Vegas chefs are quickly reorganizing a popular culinary event into a one night only fundraiser.

Geno Bernardo. (Photo by Eric Gladstone.)

Nearly one dozen chefs have already signed on for “Feast of Friends 2: A Dinner Called Peace” at The Bunkhouse Saloon on September 19. The dinner reunites several chefs from last year’s “Feast of Friends”: Gene Bernardo. 

(Herringbone), Brian Howard (Sparrow + Wolf), and Johnny Church (Aureole)—with a group that includes Vincent Rotolo (Evel Pie), Keris Kuwana (Yardbird), Khai Vu (District One/Le Pho), Jamie Tran (The Black Sheep) and Justin Kingsley Hall (Sparrow + Wolf).

Khai Vu. (Photo by Eric Gladstone.)

Diverting from 2016’s theme of a menu inspired by childhood memories, this year’s participants will create dishes “that are from a culture other than their own.”

“There’s been a lot of taking sides in the air lately, with politics, cultures and economic differences,” says organizer Eric Gladstone. “Food is such a great communicator. We felt the best way to respond to this was by crossing cultural borders, cooking each others’ food, and reminding everyone that we are in this together.”

Jamie Tran. (Courtesy of The Black Sheep.)

Gladstone’s team has also tapped several of the city’s most recognized mixologists, including Lillian Hargrove (Delmonico Steakhouse), Kinson Lau (Herbs & Rye), and Gaston Martinez (Nora’s) to craft the cocktail menu.

Dinner proceeds and a live auction will benefit The Shade Tree, which in mid-August announced that its transitional women’s shelter would close August 31 due to a lack of funding. The 164-bed shelter serves as a temporary home for women and families escaping abusive relationships, with each resident assigned a case worker and allowed a one-year stay in order for them to find stable housing and employment.

Tickets are $150 and will go on sale to the public August 30.

Feast of Friends 2: A Dinner Called Peace will be held Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m., at Bunkhouse Saloon. Tickets may be purchased at

Vegas Seven