Southern Nevada Girl Scouts 2016 Gala Announces Competing Chefs, Signature Cookie

Eleven female pastry chefs have been announced as competitors in the 2016 Dessert Before Dinner gala, an annual fundraising event benefiting the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada.

300x250 GMC Rotating Gourmet Gift ClubsThese chefs, several of whom are former Girl Scouts, represent the city of Las Vegas’s best and brightest in the art of pastry.  This year’s extravaganza, one of the largest Dessert Before Dinner events to date, is happening on Saturday, September 10th at Caesars Palace from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with nearly 1,000 of the city’s top influencers and community leaders expected to attend. With the Caramel DeLite as this year’s signature cookie, the chefs will be tasked with using it to create the ultimate one-night-only dessert. Gala attendees will enjoy this dessert before dinner (wink!), and vote for their favorite Caramel DeLite-inspired creation.

The list of this year’s participating chefs:

Chef Tammy Alana
Alizé at the Top of the Palms Casino Resort and Andre’s at Monte Carlo Resort & Casino
A first-time participant and former Girl Scout, this award-winning culinary professional’s strengths are crafting complex flavor profiles and clean presentation.

Chef Brigette Contreras
STK at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
A returning chef, Contreras is also a former Girl Scout and was a Brownie during the time she lived in Southern California.

Chef Denise Elliott
MGM Resorts International
A first-time participant and paired with MGM Chef Kimberly Vitou, she has been baking since she was two. Chef Elliott loves all things chocolate, whether she’s making delicious treats or eating them.

Chef Michelle Flores
Caesars Palace
Another first-timer, her fellow pastry chef Marisela Espinoza took the prize in 2015 for her dessert utilizing the Girl Scout Lemonades cookie. Her favorite thing to make is cookies, and she strives to always bake as much love as possible into her recipes.

Chef Kaiulani
A returning chef, this celebrated pastry artisan’s unconventional works of edible art have been sought after by a variety of celebrity clients, including Mariah Carey.

Chef Kyurim Lee
Aria Resort Casino Las Vegas
Yet another first-time participant, her favorite dessert is Korean red bean bread. When it comes to teaching others how to cook and bake, she notes the importance of cleaning and organizing before, during and after.

Chef Kaori Scott
Bellagio Resort & Casino
Traveling and tasting pastries throughout Europe inspired this first-time participant to become a chef. She enjoyed baking at home as well as for a living, favoring brownies and still-warm cookies topped with ice-cream.

Chef Elizabeth Stolarick
Wynn Las Vegas
A first-time participant, this talented chef whose favorite dessert is cheesecake has loved cooking and baking since she was a child. She earned her Baking and Pastry Arts degree from Johnson and Wales University.

Chef Samara Sulin
Andiron Steak & Sea
This first-time participant was both a Daisy and a Brownie. She initially studied advertising and design but eventually shifted to culinary school. Her personal philosophy is to “always read your recipe first. Cook with love, patience and be cautious with your tools.”

Chef Kimberly Vitou
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
A returning chef, she is paired with MGM Chef Denise Elliott. Baking with her mother and grandmother inspired her to pursue a culinary career. She loves making mousses, ice cream and caramel.

Chef Cynthia Werth
Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower
The only chef who has competed every year since the event began nearly a decade ago, Chef Werth has won the competition twice. She has also placed in second and third. She believes in using the best ingredients possible, because it never pays to “skimp.”

In addition to the chefs’ competition, an array of the city’s most high-profile women will be honored for being incredible role models and paving the way for success for future businesswomen in Southern Nevada. They will also receive honorary badges, specially-selected for them on the basis of their professional and philanthropic achievements. The honorees and badges they will receive are listed as follows:

  • Diana Bennett, Trailblazing badge
  • Carrie Carter Cooper, Think Big badge
  • Tami Hance, Leadership badge
  • Sonia McTaggart-Anderson, Financial Literacy badge
  • Winnie Schulman, Philanthropist badge
  • Florence Shapiro, Entrepreneur badge
  • Rosemary Vassiliadis, Science and Technology badge 

Gala proceeds will continue to lay the foundation for all girls in Southern Nevada to become tomorrow’s female leaders. In addition to funding scholarships, proceeds enable the organization to reach girls in all demographics and areas of the community as well as expanding upon current programming such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), social values and financial literacy. Most importantly, support for Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada helps encourage girls to embrace imaginative and innovative approaches to everything they do—with the goal of creating a better world for all.

The price for individual tickets is $350, with sponsor levels available at $3,500 for Bronze, $5,000 for Silver and $10,000 for Gold. Click here to purchase tickets.

Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls of all ages and serves more than 6,000 youth and adult members throughout Southern Nevada.  The organization seeks to help girls and young women build character and develop the life skills for success in the real world and is a part of the Girl Scouts of the USA, the nationwide organization that has helped girls discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together since 1912. For more information on Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, visit, follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.

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