Launched in 2001, the Epicurean Charitable Foundation (ECF) seeks to enhance the lives of Clark County students interested in a career in hospitality or the culinary arts. Consisting of two dozen executives and board members – the majority highly esteemed beverage and hospitality executives – it is through mentorship and financial aid that the foundation provides students with the means to pursue their dreams. This Friday, the annual M.E.N.U.S. gala offers community members the chance to mix, mingle and show their support.

An acronym for Mentoring and Educating Nevada’s Upcoming Students, M.E.N.U.S. 2019 continues an annual tradition now in its thirteenth year. The dine-around event will feature more than 50 of Las Vegas’ top restaurants, chefs, mixologists and beverage distributors. Headliner and recording artist Smash Mouth will entertain guests around the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Paradise Pool, with additional entertainment provided by local artists such as Shaun DeGraff and the cast of Absinthe.

With past scholars having gone on to careers such as general manager of Nobu Hotel, director of financial planning and analysis for New York-New York Hotel and Casino and hotel administrative manager at The Venetian, ECF’s impact is hard to overstate. This year’s event theme will be a “Mad Hatter Garden Party,” and guests are encouraged to dress in garden party chic attire – think fascinators and florals, suspenders and seersucker suits.

Among the featured vendors, attendees will find Strip stalwarts like Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House and Tao, as well as neighborhood darlings like EDO Gastro Tapas & Wine and The Stove. From Italian by way of Eataly to Mexican from Pink Taco, guests will surely find something delicious, while a silent auction benefitting students offers a range of experiences both in Las Vegas and at destinations ranging from San Francisco to Chicago.

What: Epicurean Charitable Foundation's M.E.N.U.S. 2019: Mad Hatter Garden Party
When: Friday, Sept. 27
Where: Hard Rock Hotel's Paradise Pool Deck
Red Carpet: 6:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Event Time: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.