VOL2 2016

Gastronome is the official publication of the U.S. Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. The magazine provides coverage of local, regional, national and international Chaîne events as well as feature stories about members and member establishments.

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Page 29 of 155

Spotlight on Las Vegas Bailli Larry Ruvo BY MARIE ADDARIO, Vice Chargée de Presse National LARRY RUVO'S LAS Vegas Bailliage is an eclectic mix of prominent members of the community, food and wine professionals, and ris- ing stars in the hospitality industry. As one would imagine in such a dynamic city, dinners are held at a variety of venues, from the hottest on the Strip to those with three Michelin stars. In addition to being Senior Managing Director of Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits of Las Vegas (Nevada's largest wholesale liquor, wine, and beer importer and distributor) since 1969, Bailli Ruvo is a community leader and donor to charitable organizations, many of which involve education and chil- dren. He also serves on the boards of the Nevada Ballet Theatre and American Gaming Association; is a founding member of the Nevada Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization; and is Nevada co-chair for the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Bailli Ruvo's crowning glory, however, is the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, of which he is the founder and driv- ing force. The impetus for his vision for the center was the loss of his father, Lou Ruvo, to Alzheimer's disease. Today, it is a hundred-million- dollar-plus, world-class cognitive disease center for the treatment of Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases, multiple system atrophy, multiple sclerosis, and other neurodegenerative diseases. In the words of U.S. Senator Harry Reid, "Larry Ruvo has done it, he truly is the American story. He has brought the reputation of a first-class facility, one of the most famous architects [Frank Gehry] of our time, and now one of the five best medical institutions in the world to Nevada." Bailli Ruvo was brought up in the restaurant business, helping his parents, who owned the Venetian—one of Las Vegas's most success- ful Italian restaurants. Early in his career, he worked at the Sahara and Caesars Palace hotels. A turning point came when, as night manager at the New Frontier Hotel, he met Steve Wynn, and the two began their lifelong affiliation. They started a wine and spirits distribution company, which they eventually sold to the Chaplin family; it became Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada. The growth of its educational arm, the Southern Wine and Spirits Academy of Beverages and Fine Services Learning Center, was spearheaded by Bailli Ruvo and is a direct result of his influence. Among his many achievements is UNLVino at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Now in its forty-third year, this event has raised millions of dollars for students attending the university's William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. Bailli Ruvo received the 1999 Community Leadership Award from the Points of Light Foundation, which honors outstanding citizens for their community volunteer efforts. He was also recognized as "Man of the Year" by the Muscular Dystrophy Association and has received numerous awards from other charitable organizations for his generosity and involvement. How did you first become acquainted with the Chaîne and how has your involvement evolved over the years? I first became acquainted with the Chaîne through a longtime and great friend, Nat Hart, who was the food and beverage director at Caesars Palace and was heavily involved in the innovations [there]. He asked me to become involved with the Chaîne in the mid-seventies….I brought in Robert Mondavi for our first dinner for the Chaîne, and we paired wines with every course. The highlight of the evening was the first course—shark fin soup. Nat didn't just serve the soup, he had Las Vegas Bailli Larry Ruvo. Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Keep Memory Alive Event Center. (Photo by Iwan Baan) FEATURE 28 :: C H A I N E U S . O R G :: 2 0 1 6 v 2

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