Slated to open later this month, Las Vegas’ first test kitchen, Vegas Test Kitchen will make its home at Fergusons Downtown. Taking over the former CHOW by Natalie Young space (1020 Fremont Street), the test kitchen will offer rotating restaurant concepts, popups and special events all under one roof for the community to discover and enjoy.
“Times are tough for everyone right now, but I truly believe that downtown Las Vegas needs this, and our chefs are craving it,” said Jolene Mannina Vegas Test Kitchen Founder. “This incubator kitchen will give chefs an opportunity to test concepts, see what sticks and get the community to fall in love with them and their food. It’s a win for everyone involved.”
Sectioned into different vendor hubs, Vegas Test Kitchen brings together chef residencies and popups, each operating independently around the central dining room. With a variety of great food options always available, guests can choose to dine in, take their food to-go, or enjoy next door on The Yard at Fergusons.
Offering three-month residencies, Vegas Test Kitchen gives chefs a low-risk opportunity to develop and fine-tune their menus, branding, price points, and more with the ability of getting real-time feedback from the community.
Kicking off his residency with the launch of Vegas Test Kitchen is Chef Lanny Chin, Chopped winner, Chef de Cuisine for The Slanted Door Las Vegas, Greene Street at The Palms and more. Chef Lanny will test out his ramen concept, Slurp Society, offering a variety of ramen flavors including Tankatsu Ramen, Miso Ramen and Maze-Men; as well as his Chin Family Eggrolls, Sticky Pork Belly and Chili Garlic Wontons.
Following Chef Lanny’s residency, other chefs on the docket are Chef Roy Ellamar and Chef Chris Conlon, both of whom have concepts slated to launch at Platform One at UnCommons, Las Vegas’ first neighborhood food hall, in early 2022.
Resident chefs will be in the Vegas Test Kitchen Wednesdays through Fridays from 11am to 7pm and Saturdays from 11am to 4pm for walk-in experiences.
In addition to the resident chef concepts, Vegas Test Kitchen offers space for daily pop-ups with local chefs.
Bodega Bagel by Rooster Boy Café Owner Chef Sonia El-Nawal and Banichka by Forte Tapas owner Nina Manchev will be the first two pop-ups at Vegas Test Kitchen.
Offering New York-style bagels and all the fixings, Bodega Bagel will be popping up with a selection of housemade gravlax, white fish salad, and a variety of schmears (including a vegan option), all perfect for pairing with the daily assortment of housemade bagels available.
Banichka will showcase a favorite Bulgarian dish, the Baniza, a flaky pastry dish layered with Georgian cheeses and other fillings. Banichka will offer a rotating variety of the dish, including the traditional Georgian cheese as well as spinach, meat, mushroom, and even a Bulgarian hotdog.
Other pop-up chef concepts in the pipeline include Yukon Pizza, PopNPies and Sliced Sushi. Hours will vary depending on the pop-up, but will be available on the Vegas Test Kitchen Calendar for easy reference.
With Saturday and Sunday nights open, Mannina will have the flexibility to host special events, rent out the space for private events and more.
“Programming is definitely in the works,” Mannina said. “I just need to get doors open, but I’m super excited to have a space – both inside and in the alley next door – to host some really awesome food and beverage events, so stay tuned.”
Located at 1020 Fremont Street at Fergusons Downtown, Vegas Test Kitchen adds a strong food and beverage component to the already-vast offerings at the Far East Fremont’s destination, and with the mission of celebrating local talent, Vegas Test Kitchen fits right in.
“Being beyond thrilled for Vegas Test Kitchen to open at Fergusons Downtown is an understatement,” said Jen Taler, Fergusons Downtown Co-Founder and Creative Strategist. “Not only is this a concept I’ve hoped for in this space, but it truly embodies the Fergusons ethos of highlighting and celebrating our local community, and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Jolene. We are excited to have such a variety of ways to support our chef community through the offerings at Vegas Test Kitchen – especially during a global pandemic – and cannot wait to feed the community through the rotating delicious food that will come through this space.”
When Vegas Test Kitchen opens, the space will comply with all COVID-19 regulations, limiting capacity to 50 percent, spacing tables at least 6-feet apart, thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing between guests and more. The safety of the guests and employees is the and will remain priority.