In the hierarchy of food memory-making, the winter holidays may trump July 4th, but I'd argue for a reassessment of summer. Everything we ate at county fairs and boardwalks was essential to the fun of summer growing up. Then there are those summer jobs where you ate what you were supposed to be selling. (Maybe not in my sister's case. She spent a summer working at a garlic farm while I was scoffing fresh cream for scones as fast as we could make them for a tourist tea stop.) What about the discovery of cheap eating on your first solo travel adventures, a discovery that can inspire a lifetime of trips with food at the heart of the itinerary? And don't get me started on the taste of homegrown tomatoes.
So it is with this edition of Desert Companion. Food is front and center on our agenda to get through both the season of searing heat and the reset of our economy. On page TKTK you'll find more than 75 dining deals that range from undiscovered treasures to dishes offered by marquee names. In a related story, restaurateur Giovanni Mauro challenges local foodies to stake a claim on the future of Las Vegas dining by investing now and getting the deals. . . in the years ahead.
For many of us, the summer craft project is a diversion, and in this edition we'll meet some people for whom crafts are an all-season pastime - local Etsy.com artisans adding to our regional goal of diversifying the economy (read more on page TKTK). On that theme, the words "medicine" and "Las Vegas" induce fewer eyebrow-raising looks now that the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Nevada Cancer Institute are established. Turn to page TKTK to check in on a joint academic initiative to train student doctors who are using robots to reach new heights of compassion.
As you settle in to work on your summer reading list, turn to page TKTK enjoy a profile of David Bauman, a man who may have your ultimate literary wish list item - the rare book. And while a new ad campaign touts Camp Vegas - yet another spin on our adult fun vibe - we have unearthed a proposal that's been, shall we say, curiously "redacted" from that campaign.
Our summer began early with a road trip. Desert Companion Editor Andrew Kiraly, Art Director Chris Smith and I piled into a rented gas-guzzler in mid-May and headed to Los Angeles, where Desert Companion won its second Maggie Award at the prestigious Western Publishing Association banquet. Without you, our readers and our valued advertisers, there would be no magazine to submit for all-round excellence, so please accept our sincere thanks for your part in this honor.
Here's to the season that promises lots more hometown and homegrown ideas and flavors. Welcome the summer of frugalicious!