Prepping For The 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival Clam Bake: A Lobster Describes Its Journey From Pot To Clam Bake

Hi, i’m a lobster. What, you don’t believe me?

Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival

See. I’m a lobster. What up? One who is about to take the plunge into a hot pot of boiling water for a Clam Bake. Eeek! Just  like the one that will soon go down at the 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival with Marcus Samuelsson.

I get to hang out a little bit before someone like you decides my fate (but seriously…I’m okay with it…what good can I really do in the world? I’m a lobster. And for that, I’m a giver.). I get to watch others take the ultimate risk as ingredients for a good meal before it’s my turn. Onions and leeks or something to that effect usually go first. You know…to sizzle and flavor the rest of us. The potatoes usually follow suit next with a little S&P. And then….my sea friends. This is when I know it’s getting closer. The clams….the mussels…the shrimp…and then….yours truly.

Don’t worry, I won’t suffer for long. White wine will cover me soon after and at least put me out of my misery. What better time to get a buzz on? Then, the lid goes on and it’s like a thirty minute sauna. We’re at the spa…kinda.

Once we’re ready to go, it’s off with my head. I’m placed upon a wooden board and cut into what feels like a million pieces. Then my claws are cracked. Who needs protection at this point?

I do however take pride in being so cute though, because I’m what tops your dish to make it all pretty at the end of the day. All those other sea creatures…ugly mugs.

Anyway, let’s be serious folks. We all know what happens next. But it’s worth it….because it just tastes so good. And that’s why us lobsters do what we do what we do, sacrificing ourselves for the greater good of Clam Bakes! There’s really nothing like it! Pleasure takes pain! Yeah!

We hope that all of you attending the Clam Bake with Marcus Samuelsson at this year’s Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival have a grand ol’ time. And you know…don’t feel bad for the lobster. I’m here to tell you it will be okay! Eat up! I’m juicy!

Celebrate National Hot Dog Month at Caesars, Showboat & Bally’s Atlantic City!

Nothing says summertime like a good, ‘ol hotdog,especially July as it’s National Hot Dog Month! To celebrate, Cafe Roma at Caesars Atlantic City, Crossroads at House Of Blues at Showboat Atlantic City and Pickles Deli at Bally’s Atlantic City are all serving up four specialty ‘dogs for the occasion!

Check them out:

Pretzel Dog

National Hot Dog Month 1

Hot dog soaked in IPA Beer and topped with Cheddar Cheese Sauce and Crispy Onions in a pretzel roll.

BA Bacon Dog

National Hot Dog Month 2

Bacon wrapped Kobe hot dog with Caramelized Onions and Sweet Hot Mustard.

Deli Dog

National Hot Dog Month 3

Hot dog covered in Spicy Mustard, Onions, Corn Beef and Coleslaw.

Italian Dog

National Hot Dog Month 4

Hot Dog topped with Mustard, Peppers, Onions and Potatoes.

Nom nom. We really want one now. In all its juiciness. Try them out for yourself until the end of the month at Cafe Roma at Caesars, Crossroads at House Of Blues at Showboat and Pickles Deli at Bally’s. Pretzel Dog, Deli Dog and Italian Dog are priced at $8 a piece while the BA Bacon Dog is $12. Get one today!

Specialty Cocktail Revealed for the 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Rooftop Cocktail Party!

We know there are many of you out there that have your tickets for the 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival‘s Rooftop Cocktail Party this year because it is SOLD OUT!

This event will more or less be the kick off of this year’s festival and will feature live music and of course, all of your favorite cocktails. Sip, enjoy and dance all while overlooking the ocean and enjoying a skyline view of Atlantic City. How amazing does this sound?! You’re destined to have the best time.

Pure Leaf Iced Tea is sponsoring The Rooftop Cocktail Party and will have a specialty cocktail containing their popular not too Sweet Honey Green Tea.

Atlantic City Food And Wine Rooftop Cocktail Party

You want to know what it is…don’t you? It’s The Mango Passion Mint Green Tea Cocktail! We’re talking Belvedere Mango Passion Vodka mixed with Fresh Mint and Pure Leaf not too Sweet Honey Green Tea! YUM!

We hope you have your tickets and will be filling up your glass with the Mango Passion Mint Green Tea Cocktail because like we said, The Rooftop Cocktail Party is officially sold out! If not, be sure to grab some last minute tickets to some of the other Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival events like the The Burger Beach Bash with Martha Stewart Presented by The Beef Checkoff, Dining By The Sea Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners, and Clam Bake with Chef Marcus Samuelsson! Four days!

Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival Dining By The Sea Event Menu’s Revealed!

Who is attending a Dinner By The Sea Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner event this year at the 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival next weekend?!

Dining By The Sea kicks of with Dinner prepared by Robert Irvine on Friday, July 25th and will continue the following evening, Saturday, July 26th with Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart will also start off the Dining By The Sea Breakfast events on Saturday morning while Chef Marcus Samuelsson will take over on Sunday, and if you’re coming in for Lunch on Saturday, prepare to be wowed by Marcus Samuelsson and then again on Sunday by Chef Robert Irvine.

The menus for these awesome events were just released and we want to share them with you! Check out what you’ll be having!

 

Dining By The Sea Dinner with Robert Irvine

Friday, July 25th

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Robert Irvine 1

First Course

Lobster Summer Salad with Chilled Jersey Corn Soup

Petite heirloom tomatoes, Haricot verts, Compressed cucumbers, Young pea tendrils, Citrus-champagne vinaigrette & Chilled puree of local jersey sweet corn.

Entrée

Cold Smoked Veal Tenderloin

Coco vert beans sofrito, English pea puree, Mango condiment, Micro cilantro

Dessert

Key Lime Meringue Tart

Macerated local blueberries, Caramel rippled-vanilla bean ice cream, Graham cracker crunch

 

Dining By The Sea Breakfast with Martha Stewart

Saturday, July 26th

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

martha stewart 1

Cheese Popovers

First Course

Martha’s Green Juice

Second Course

Cheese Popovers with Creamed Spinach

Third Course

Fried Egg and Bacon
* Specialty Cocktail: Bloody Mary

 

Dining By The Sea Lunch with Marcus Samuelsson

Saturday, July 26th

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Marcus Samuelsson 1

Tomato Watermelon Salad

Featured Items:

Fried Chicken

Collards

Corn Bread

Tomato Watermelon Salad

Succotash

Donuts & Ice Cream Sandwich

Specialty Cocktail: Rose Sangria

 

Dining By The Sea Dinner with Martha Stewart 

Saturday, July 26th

8:00 – 9:00 p.m.

martha stewart 2

Cioppino

First Course

Melon and Cucumber Salad

Second Course

Cioppino

Third Course

Blueberry Crisp or Peach and Berry Cobbler

* Specialty Cocktail: Ginger Caipirinha

 

Dining By The Sea Breakfast with Marcus Samuelsson

Sunday, July 27th

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Marcus Samuelsson 2

Deviled Eggs

Featured Items:

Deviled Eggs

Smoked Salmon and Green Papaya Salad

Caribbean Bacon with Beans, Soy Poached Egg

Specialty Cocktail:  Rooster Michelada

 

Dining By The Sea Lunch with Robert Irvine

Sunday, July 27th

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Robert Irvine 2

First Course 

Octopus Carpaccio

Petite heirloom tomatoes, Fava beans, Fingerling potatoes, Mache greens, Pickled red onion-olive condiment, Olio verde

Entrée

Bourbon Brined Amish Chicken

Summer corn & sweet potato hash, Chanterelle mushrooms, Nueske’s bacon lardoons, Fermented garlic jus de poulet

Dessert

Warm Peach Cobbler

Almond streusel, Blackberry preserves, Tahitian vanilla- crème fraiche ice cream

 

Isn’t your mouth watering just reading all that goodness?! Where else can you eat food prepared by a star studded celebrity chef other than the Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival?! If you haven’t snatched up any tickets for Dining By The Sea Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, we advise you to do that ASAP! After reading over these menus, you don’t want to miss out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your 2014 Total AC Blog 4th Of July Weekend Preview

Good news: July 4th is on a Friday this year! Bad news: A tropical storm is coming. Meh. Don’t worry. We have tons of things to keep you busy right here in Atlantic City. And Saturday and Sunday are set to be beautiful weather days. So what’s going on at Caesars, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat and Bally’s Atlantic City? We’ll tell ya!

Friday – July 4th 

SAVAGE MEN at Bally’s Atlantic City

6 p.m. (9 p.m. Saturday)

Savage-Men

If you’re really looking forward to making it rain this 4th of July, look no further than the Savage Men male strip show at Blue Martini at Bally’s Atlantic City! To recap, these Atlantic City male strippers bring all of your fantasies to life for a couple hours. You know, the construction worker, the navy pilot, the GQ and such.  Girls who really get in on the action are called up on stage for a “hot seat” surprise, but that’s not to say you don’t get some good stuff being a part of the crowd too. Special “massage therapists” scour the crowd between acts for some extra fun. (Get to know some of the guys here). You get the idea. General admission tickets are $28 in advance or $38 at the door while VIP are $48 in advance or $58 at the door. Ticket holders also score free admission into Dusk Nightclub at Caesars after the show with one complimentary drink!

 

4th OF JULY FIREWORKS at Caesars, Showboat & Bally’s

Dusk

4th of July Atlantic City

Take in the free fireworks show presented by the Atlantic City Alliance from any Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City boardwalk property – Caesars, Showboat or Bally’s! Additionally, Caesars Atlantic City and Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar will also be playing the official 2014 DO AC 4th of July Fireworks Soundtrack that was assembled from votes via the DO AC Facebook page. Click here for a listen.

 

ROCKTELLZ & COCKTAILS PRESENTS THE JACKSONS at Caesars Atlantic City

9 p.m. (Wednesday through Sunday)

the jacksons

A buh-buh buh buh-buh. A buh-buh buh buh-buh! Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon will hit the stage at The Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars Atlantic City for a special four night engagement! Let them take you back with classics like “ABC”, “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There”. Lots of number one hits in just a span of hours! You don’t want to miss it! Click here to grab last minute tickets.

 

AQUA FRIDAYS WITH A LIVE PERFORMANCE BY MARIO at The Pool After Dark

10 p.m.

Mario

Who doesn’t want a little of this on Independence Day?

 

Don’t need anyone tying you down! Just a friend, ya’ll! DJ Eddie Edge & DJ Ed Smooth will also be spinning the beats on this joyous holiday at The Pool After Dark. It’s about to go down! Click here to purchase advanced tickets. Pricing starts at $10 at the door.

 

Saturday – July 5th

EPIC SATURDAYS WITH SCOTT DISICK at The Pool After Dark

10 p.m.

Scott Disick

Your favorite dose of reality is back for another memorable go-around at The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City this Saturday night. The conversation is never dull when Lord Disick is in the building, kids. Can’t wait to hear it all (along with the killer beats from DJ Eddie Edge)! Click here for advanced tickets. Cover starts at $20.

 

Sunday – July 6th

PETER FRAMPTON at Harrah’s Resort

8 p.m.

peter frampton

This Grammy Award-winning rock legend is fresh off the heels of his newest release, Hummingbird In A Box and set to take The Concert Venue at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City by storm this Sunday night. From Herd to Humble Pie and Frampton Comes Alive! (still one of the top best selling rock records of all-time) to Fingerprints, there are sure to be a slew of musical masterpieces from start to finish. And you can only hear it and see it at Harrah’s Resort this Sunday! Get on that and get your tickets!

 

But that’s not all…

Bally’s Atlantic City will especially be bustling this 4th of July Weekend because Guy Fieri’s Chophouse and Buca Di Beppo are both scheduled to be open and ready to serve ya! Plus, another huge, sweet surprise, but you gotta be here to know about it!

Tropical storm who? Great food, music and nightlife, what more could you ask for?! Have a safe and happy 4th, folks!

 

 

Chef Marcus Samuelsson To Bring Color & Spice To 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival

There’s a breath of fresh air headed to the Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival this year. Chef Marcus Samuelsson is sure to bring spice and color never seen before!

marcus samuelsson

This man became known to the culinary world at the ripe young age of 23 when he received a 3 star rating from the New York Times as the Executive Chef of Aquavit, a popular Scandinavian restaurant in Manhattan. At the time, he was the youngest chef to receive this honor. From there he went on to open the best spot for comfort food in the NYC area, Red Rooster, in Harlem in 2010 followed by the online cultural mecca of food, FoodRepublic.com in 2011 and it didn’t stop there. In 2012, Samuelsson launched three new establishments (Ginny’s Supper Club and American Table Cafe and Bar in New York City and American Table Brasserie and Bar in Stockholm, Sweden) and penned the memoir Yes, Chef. And he’s accomplished all this by bringing his strong Swedish and Ethiopian backgrounds to everything he does and then some! We expect that Chef Samuelsson will undoubtedly do the same at the 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival.

We recently sat down with Chef Marcus Samuelsson to talk about Atlantic City Food And Wine, all of his accomplishments, and more. See the interview, below.

TAC: What are you most looking forward to about participating in the 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival?

Marcus Samuelsson: I’m excited to celebrate the flavors of summer in a seaside environment. The clam bake will be an especially fun way to celebrate the season’s fresh seafood offerings.

TAC: What can ticket holders expect from your Dining By The Sea Breakfast and Lunch?

Marcus Samuelsson: Many of the dishes will be inspired by what I love to cook at home for breakfast and lunch for my friends and family. I’ll use flavors inspired by my travels, my neighborhood of Harlem and my home of Sweden and Ethiopia. I am excited to bring some of my favorite dishes to the festival guests.

TAC: Can’t wait! You’ll also be hosting the Clam Bake event on Saturday, July 26th.You grew up catching lobsters. What are your best memories from clam bakes during your childhood?

Marcus Samuelsson: My favorite part was always cleaning and preparing the fresh-caught bounty with my family. I learned so much from my dad and uncles whenever we went fishing. It was the simplest way to connect with the older generations.

TAC: If you had to give three top lobster-cooking tips specifically for a clam bake, what would they be?

Marcus Samuelsson: Always buy good quality, healthy lobsters from a fishmonger or market that you trust. Make sure you cook the larger lobsters for longer, and take the smaller ones out earlier to not overcook. Always choose the traditional side dishes, like corn, potatoes and steamer clams, but spice them up. You can’t go wrong with the classics, but it is fun to play around with different flavors.

TAC: Your bio states that different colors and sounds influence the way you design a dish. Can you give an example of this?

Marcus Samuelsson: I love making dishes that are visually striking as well as delicious. For example, colorful tacos with a traditional red pico de gallo are great, but adding fresh green herbs, deep purple cabbage or bright orange mango shows that beautiful flavor follows beautiful color.

TAC: We like it! You and your career were really affected and changed by the events of 9/11. Is this where the inspiration from your famous Red Rooster came from? How did the way you thought about food change? ows beautiful color.

Marcus Samuelsson: New York went through a time where people needed to be comforted, so it was very important to be hospitable. My restaurant still embodies this—I always keep tables available for the locals in my neighborhood to walk in, as well as for visitors from out of town. I never want my restaurant to feel exclusive. It’s a place where anyone can come and feel welcome and at home.

TAC: You planned and executed the first dinner for President Obama & family and his administration. What was on that menu and how did you plan it?!

Marcus Samuelsson: It was the greatest honor to cook for President Obama at such an important event. The menu took a lot of time to finalize. Some of the dishes I served included Green Curry Prawns with caramelized salsify and smoked collard greens and Roasted Potato Dumplings with tomato chutney, chickpeas and okra.

TAC: What has been the proudest moment of your career thus far?

Marcus Samuelsson: Cooking the first state dinner for President Obama. I’m also happy to have contributed to charities like UNICEF and C-CAP through competitions Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars.

TAC: What inspired the creation of FoodRepublic.com?

Marcus Samuelsson: It’s a place for food and culture to meet. I wanted to help create a site where people could participate in a larger conversation surrounding the food world- from politics to travel and wellness.

TAC: What is your daily diet like?

Marcus Samuelsson: I try to eat healthy and whole; and I like a lot of spice. I try to eat vegetarian at least two days a week, but since I spend a lot of time there, I’ll often eat at my restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem. Sometimes, I love to indulge and have a burger and a beer after playing soccer with my friends.

TAC: Famous last meal question. What would yours be?

Marcus Samuelsson: My last meal would be an amazing omakase sushi menu with my closest family and friends. I love chefs’ choice sushi for the incredible experience and purity.

Be sure to experience Chef Marcus Samuelsson in his element at the 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival. His event schedule is as follows: Dining By The Sea Lunch, Clam Bake With Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Barefoot Beach Soiree on Saturday, July 26th as well as Dining By The Sea Breakfast on Sunday, July 27th. He will also be in attendance at the 2nd Grand Market session on Saturday, 7/26. Get those tickets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepping For Atlantic City Food And Wine Burger Beach Bash with the Top 5 Craziest Burger Toppings

This weekend’s beautiful weather has us in an extreme burger-grilling mood! What about you?! This mood also has us feverishly counting down the days until the 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival‘s Burger Beach Bash With Martha Stewart Presented by The Beef Check Off! (Say that three times fast, we dare ya).

This juicy event will take place on Saturday, July 26th from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Caesars Atlantic City Beach Tent. Here you’ll be able to sample the area’s best burgers along with some uncommon yet fitting side dishes. Beer and wine will also be on hand for the occasion because well, hey, it’s the Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival, as well as Ms. Martha Stewart who will be filling you all in on some burger secrets. We can’t wait! Mouths are watering just thinking of it.

Anyway, to prepare for this prestigious day, we searched the interwebs for the Top 5 Craziest Burger Toppings around. Check out what we found. In no particular order:

1. Dad’s Waffle – Buttermilk Kitchen – Atlanta, GA 

Dad's Waffle

Photo Credit: SeriousEats.com

That right there is a burger on top of a sourdough waffle topped with butter and maple syrup. Would you be down with this?

 

2. Nutburger – Matt’s Place – Butte, MT

Nutburger

Photo Credit: Neatorama.com

Okay, ready? Hamburger slathered in mix of chopped peanuts and mayo. It has to be tastier than it sounds…

 

3. Luther Burger – Mulligan’s – Decatur, GA 

Luther Burger

Photo Credit: Neatorama.com

Although the rumor going around is that the beloved Mulligan’s is no more, this little burger sure has picked up some buzz throughout the country. Named after Luther Vandross (supposedly, though the origin is still unclear) this is basically a burger with a donut as a bun. Whether it was Luther’s fav or not…it sure is someone’s. Insert favorite pastry on top and bottom of your next burger.

 

4. The King – Boston Burger Company – Boston, MA

The King

Photo Credit: TheDailyMeal.com

In the vein of Elvis’ last supper/fav meal: Covered with bacon (not that weird), fried banana slices dusted with cinnamon sugar (a little crazier) and peanut butter (super cray!).

 

5. Original DB Burger – DB Bistro Moderne –  New York, NY 

db burger

Photo Credit: DB Bistro Moderne Facebook

That’s a whole lot of meat there. That’s because this burger is stuffed with foie gras, braised short ribs, preserved black truffle and a mirepoix of root vegetables. Holy batman. You might need a fork and knife for such a monster.

What do you think of these insane burgers?! We’re wondering if anything at the Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival Burger Beach Bash this year will top any of these babies! Seems as if the secret is with Martha Stewart until July 26th. Get tickets for this event here and prepare your stomach! It’s gonna be a good one!

 

Barefoot Beach Soiree Back Again at 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival

If you ask attendees of the 2013 Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival what their number one event pick was from last year, chances are that an overwhelmingly large majority would answer with the BEACH SOIREE! And we’ll tell you why:

1. It’s a Beach Party Under the Stars 

Barefoot Beach Soiree 1

Ain’t no party like a beach party! Stick your feet in the sand, feel the fresh ocean air and dance the night away to the sounds of Atlantic City’s hottest DJ’s.

2. Good Eats and Drinks 

Barefoot Beach Soiree 2

This is the famous Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival after all. Four bars, buffet stations AND gourmet passed appetizers.

3. Mingle with your Favorite Celebrity Chefs 

Barefoot Beach Soiree 3

Here is Robert Irvine from last year perhaps giving some advice to a soon-to-be bride? Where else can you get such an experience?!

And those are just three awesome reasons as to why the Atlantic City Food And Wine Beach Soiree ROCKS.

But, SUPER GOOD NEWS, PEEPS! The Barefoot Beach Soiree is back at the Caesars Atlantic City beach again in 2014! Marcus Samuelsson and Robert Irvine will be your hosts for the evening under the Caesars Beach tent where you’ll enjoy lots of Barefoot Wines, refreshing cocktails, scrumptious, hors d’oeuvres, music and more!

The 2014 Atlantic City Food And Wine Barefoot Beach Soiree will be held on Saturday, July 26th from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Caesars Beach Tent. Tickets are $85 per person. Click here to purchase. It’s a night you won’t want to miss! Will YOU be there?

Terry Fator Talks Show at Caesars Atlantic City, Tricks of the Trade & More!

You voted singer/comedian/celebrity impressionist Terry Fator the winner of the second season of America’s Got Talent and seven years later he’s still going strong.

terry fator

So strong in fact, that he has been headlining his own show at The Mirage in Las Vegas since 2008 at the theater that was renamed after him, The Terry Fator Theater (formerly The Danny Gans Theater). And if all that isn’t enough, he’s been taking a second show on the road this past year to cities near you! We’re super excited that Terry Fator will finally hit the stage in AC once again this coming Saturday at The Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars Atlantic City. (Did you know that one of his first shows after winning America’s Got Talent was right here in AC?).

We were lucky enough to recently sit down with this man of many talents to talk about all this and more! See the interview, below.

TAC: What can fans expect from your show here at Caesars Atlantic City on Saturday?

Terry Fator: One thing that I wanted to do was to bring a travelling show to the road that was different from the show that I do in Las Vegas. I’m in the unusual position of being an entertainer whose fans actually voted them to where they are, similar to an American Idol or something like that. I decided to create a show that would allow my fans to get inside my head. I go all the way back to the time I was a janitor in Texas because that’s what I started out doing. My parents had a janitorial business when I was a teenager. And it’s the entire story of how I learned to do impressions, how I learned to do ventriloquism and how I went from being a janitor in Texas to headlining in Las Vegas. It’s really, really fun. I take them all the way through behind the scenes of what it’s like to be on a show like America’s Got Talent and it’s amazing. I’ve been doing this show for almost a year now and the response has just been phenomenal. It’s uplifting, it’s fun, it’s funny, and people are going to leave the show on a high.

TAC: Perfect! How did you come up with the concept of showcasing this type of one-man show through your own talents?

Terry Fator: One of the problems when I went to The Mirage and started talking about taking my show on the road was that they said that they didn’t like the idea of people being able to see the same show of what they could see in Las Vegas because then why would they come? So I thought that if I told the story of how I got to Vegas and do all the same types of things – puppets, ventriloquism, impressions and the whole thing that they saw on America’s Got Talent, then it would get them excited to come to Vegas. When I pitched that idea to The Mirage, they loved it. I did the first show in Vegas at The Mirage and I had all the top brass come and see it and afterwards they all said, what a great idea!

TAC: A great idea, indeed! How do you keep yourself healthy and your voice healthy performing so many shows per week and travelling on top of that?

Terry Fator: The key is humidity! In Vegas, my humidity is about 50 percent. I have professional humidifiers all throughout my house and then when I travel, I make sure that there is a humidifier there next to my bed and just make sure to keep my voice humid. That’s really worked well for me.

TAC: You are known for combining singing, comedy and ventriloquism. What made you try this out and what are your first memories of it?

Terry Fator: I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid. I just always had the ability to impersonate sound and singing. When I was a little kid, I used to sing Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson and Wayne Newton because they had the high voices. As I grew and realized that I could do all of these other things and started doing ventriloquism, I would have puppets sing those guys like Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond. Then I started a band and for fifteen years. I was in an impression band where I did impressions of everyone from Garth Brooks to Guns N’ Roses to Randy Travis to Ozzy Osbourne and then occasionally I would throw in some ventriloquism, but it didn’t hit me to have puppets doing the impersonations until about 2005. In 2005, I decided to make my entire show focused on that and boy, everything just exploded from there.

TAC: Are there any main differences between talking as a ventriloquist and singing as a ventriloquist? Do they physically come from the same place?

Terry Fator: It does, but it’s much, much more difficult to sing doing ventriloquism. It takes a lot more air pressure and is a very specialized thing. It’s not something everyone can do, it’s something almost no one can do. It’s really interesting, there are gifts that some people have. For example, I have a friend who could write an entire page on a grain of rice and he would use these microscopes and if you looked into them, you could read it all. I could never, ever do that. So it’s like you have these abilities that other people can’t do and being able to sing and especially doing impressions without moving your lips is amazingly specialized. I’m amazingly grateful that I was given that gift.

TAC: What inspires the characters of your puppets?

Terry Fator: They can be inspired by anything. My annoying neighbor Duggie who will make an appearance at Caesars, is based on a lot of guys I knew in high school. We know those bums who don’t really study and are all like ‘Dude, hey’ and that’s their whole life. I knew a lot of these guys when they were in high school and they were just worthless! So I thought what would happen if I knew these people and they were my age, in their 40’s, and they were exactly the same people? The thing is that mostly all of them are very successful business men now and nothing like they were in high school, so I made this character as if they had made no changes in their lives, and were those same guys, and the couch potatoes that they were in high school. I thought it was funny and that’s really how I do it. And other times, I’ll create certain characters specifically do to certain impressions. Like Emma Taylor who will be singing ‘At Last’ by Etta James, I created her for the purpose of singing ‘At Last’. Winston the impersonating turtle was created to do a Kermit the Frog impression, but I also made him my catch all. If I don’t have another puppet that can do it, Winston can do it.

TAC: What is the process like after you come up with a new idea for a character? Do you work with a design team that constructs the look or how does that work?

Terry Fator: I do. One of my design teams works in New Jersey right by you guys. They are called Puppet Heap and work with a lot of Jim Henson characters. Depending on what type of puppet I want to use, that’s really how I go about creating these characters and doing things. If it’s a hard puppet that’s carved out of wood I use a place in Washington and if I’m looking for a rubbery type or latex I use a place in California, so it really depends on what type of character I’m looking for.

TAC: Is there a favorite impersonation you’ve done throughout the years that sticks out in your mind?

Terry Fator: Yes, Michael Jackson. He’s always my favorite. I do a little bit of Michael Jackson in the road show and I do an entire routine of Michael Jackson here in Las Vegas. You can also see a little bit of it on my first DVD, Terry Fator Live In Las Vegas, but it’s my favorite impression to do and probably one of the best where I sound the most like the person. I don’t know what it is, but I’m able to really recreate Michael Jackson’s sound.

TAC: Is there any celebrity on your bucket list that you still have left to impersonate?

Terry Fator: Not really, not that I can think of! For me, it’s about the character and the unusualness of the voice. I’ve tried and tried and tried to do somebody like Frank Sinatra, but he pretty much just sings. He has his own tone, but if you’re looking at someone like Rod Stewart who has that raspy voice, those are the ones that I can pick up on and are my most favorite. I look for a complete character that sounds so completely distinct, you can pick it out.

TAC: What’s been the biggest surprise after winning America’s Got Talent and all of your success since?

Terry Fator: How I don’t feel any different. I used to feel that I would feel like a celebrity and it never happened! I never did kind of make that transition. I think it’s a good thing because I don’t expect anything else out of life other than what I give myself and do for myself. I don’t expect people to wait on me hand and foot. I just live my life. I have an amazing wife who is my assistant in my show and will be there at Caesars, we have six dogs and my life is really just as ordinary and normal as anyone else’s, it’s just that I’m on billboards and taxi cabs all over Vegas and do a show there every single night. I always thought that when you became a celebrity or something big happened to you like winning America’s Got Talent, that you would feel like a celebrity, like you joined a club. I never did feel like I joined the club! And I’m okay with it! I guess I thought that the entertainment fairy would hit me on the head and say okay, you are now a celebrity. It never happened!

We’re thinking that that’s probably a good thing!

Snatch up your last minute tickets to see Terry Fator live this Saturday at Caesars. Show starts at 9!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Series Of Poker Room at Bally’s To Host Record Breaking World Tavern Poker Open 18 Starting This Weekend

The World Tavern Poker Open 18 Tournament is headed to the World Series Of Poker Room at Bally’s Atlantic City starting THIS SUNDAY, June 1st! The WTP Open 18 is set to be the biggest tournament hosted in the new WSOP room to date and is will also be the largest tournament in World Tavern Poker Open history as well!

World Tavern Poker Open 18

World Tavern Poker, a national free bar poker league, was started by Mike Matsinger on a whim in 2003. The concept developed when he was watching the World Series Of Poker on TV at a friend’s bar. He noticed that all other eyes were also glued to the TV and had a aha moment: Free poker tournaments with great prizes = a packed bar. Always.

They decided to give it a try and were blown away by the success. Not only did the World Tavern Poker league since expand nationally, they have grown large enough to host their own tournaments at casinos throughout the country, hence WTP Open 18.

Super cool story, right? We recently sat down with Mike to learn a little more. Check it out, below.

TAC: What are you most looking forward to about bringing next week’s World Tavern Poker Open 18 tournament to our new World Series Of Poker room at Bally’s?

Mike Matsinger: I’m looking forward to having upwards of 1600 of our World Tavern Poker family together in one space for five days of what we always say, great poker, great parties and great people!

TAC: We like it! Have you played in the room before?

Mike Matsinger: No, but I’ve been there. I’ve certainly seen the room and it looks great. They did a really, really nice job with the space and what they had to work with. We enjoy the staff there, they do a good job. They did a really nice job with the room.

TAC: At what point did you decide to take the original concept of World Tavern Poker nationally?

Mike Matsinger: Probably after about six months. We did a test season for about the first three months and then sat back and evaluated and asked if it’s something we wanted to do and something that we thought had legs to continue to grow it nationally, and we said let’s go for it. It just took off like wildfire.

TAC: Was this in the original plan?

Mike Matsinger: I’ve owned and run an number of companies in my life and this one was an idea I came up with on a whim, so I did it as a favor to a friend that owned a bar and never had any thoughts whatsoever about turning it into a business until the first night when the bar was completely packed. They were turning people away. I remember about half way through it, I called my wife and said I might have our new venture. That’s kind of how it started. At that point we sat down and said okay, if we do this, how do we do it and do we want to do it? Then we ran the first test season and it was a homerun.

TAC: What has surprised you most from this whole endeavor?

Mike Matsinger: What has surprised me most about the whole endeavor is that I feel many days like we’re solving world peace. I say that because what’s amazing to me is that you have these people that come together, whether it be at the bar or national events like this, that are from completely different walks of life: race, religion, political, and when they sit down at the poker table, all of that is thrown out of the window. They’re family and friends. It’s people they now vacation with. We have over 50 couples who have gotten married from meeting at World Tavern Poker. I married two of them. I got ordained and married one couple in Vegas and one in North Carolina. Probably what is most amazing is that at the end of the day, the friendships and relationships that were created out of the league were something that I never expected. And quite honestly, every time I wake up and say I’m done, I want to sell the company, I just think about the people and I can’t do it.

TAC: With that being said, what kind of player does World Tavern Poker cater to?

Mike Matsinger: It’s definitely geared more towards the amateur player. Our tournaments are free to play, but it gives exposure to people who are a little bit nervous or playing for money for the first time, or those people who were playing in neighborhood games but are looking for a bigger and better poker experience. The big thing is that you’ll take a person who has never played a hand of poker in their life and six to twelve months later, they’ll come to a National Championship and they’ll feel comfortable sitting down and buying into a tournament because they’re good! The other thing about it is that their experience is probably more comparable to an online player because many of these guys play four, five, six times a night. Most people that come to the poker room other than the pros, aren’t playing that often. Our players actually know the game so much better because they see so many hands and are involved in so many situations so they’re constantly learning.

TAC: What would be your number one tip to anyone participating in the World Tavern Poker Open 18?

Mike Matsinger: If I had a number one tip it would be, let’s have some fun! What you will find is completely different. You’ll find very little complaining, you’ll see no arguing. They all want to win, but they understand that it’s a real, strong, friendly competition. We believe that we’re bringing the fun back to poker.

TAC: What else is coming up for World Tavern Poker?

Mike Matsinger: We’re planning the World Bar Poker Championships at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas which is November 11th and 12th and it’s bringing bar poker leagues from all over the country together to name the first ever World Bar Poker Championships so we’re really excited about that.

So awesome! We love this story!

Registration for the World Tavern Poker 18  at The World Series Of Poker Room at Bally’s opens at 9:00 a.m. this Sunday. Please note that a Total Rewards card is required to participate in any Caesars Entertainment tournament. Tournaments will run from Sunday through Wednesday. World Tavern Poker does a great job in breaking down all the nitty gritty things you want to know about the details of the Open in this Facebook post, here. So ante up, break records, and have fun!

 

 

 

 

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