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1998 Year in Review, Part 2

Welcome back to part 2 of our year-end KNPR presentation of the "Johnny" for culinary excellence in 1998.

TIM: Our next category is Chef of the Year. And the nominees are, Francois Muelien at the Desert Inn, Tommy Birdwell at the Coyote Café, Stephen Zucker of Bix's, and Mary Bergin of pastry fame at Spago and Chinois. All have given our judges, er, excuse me, our judge, unforgettable meals, and his just desserts over the past year.

JOHN: Yes, that's true Tim, but only one gets the coveted "Johnny" for consistently turning out some of the most interesting food on the planet, and that winner is, Tommy Birdwell of the Coyote Café.

TIM: Finally, the most coveted category of them all, restaurant of the year. And the nominees are, The Coyote Café, The Monte Carlo Room at the Desert Inn, The Palace Court, Le Cirque and Spago. Gosh, you could cut this tension with a butter knife.

JOHN: I know Tim, can't you just taste it? And the winner is, The Palace Court. Our oldest and most venerable gourmet dining spot still trumps or Wynn's the competition with first-class French food turned out by Chef Olivier Villeau in one of the prettiest and most romantic dining rooms anywhere.

There you have it folks, the winners of the heretofore ignored Taste of Vegas "Johnny Awards" for dining excellence in Las Vegas in 1998. As subjective as they are, we assure you that a lot more "Food for Thought" went into them than goes into most plaques on most walls of most restaurants. Congratulations to the winners and to all you listeners out there. We wish you a happy new year filled with champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

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This is John Curtas.

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