Carl Bernstein

5:00 p.m.

Being a kid in the newsroom and breaking some of the biggest stories in journalism history.

5:00 p.m.

Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium

Few journalists have had the impact on history and their craft as Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Carl Bernstein. From uncovering the Watergate scandal with Bob Woodward to writing about national and international affairs for half a century, Bernstein’s books, reporting and commentary have revealed the hidden workings of government and politics around the world. Bernstein’s important on-air reporting and commentary on Donald Trump for CNN has been widely recognized for continuing the kind of work he and Bob Woodward pioneered during the Nixon presidency.

In 1973, Woodward and Bernstein were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their Watergate coverage at The Washington Post, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and setting new standards for investigative journalism. The pair went on to write two classic best-sellers: All the President’s Men (also a movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman); and The Final Days, chronicling the end of the Nixon presidency.

Bernstein’s recently released book, Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom, became an instant New York Times bestseller, receiving extraordinary attention and praise in reviews throughout the United States and Europe. In it, Bernstein recounts his earliest days in journalism at the Washington Evening Star newspaper, where he began his career during the Kennedy era as a 16-year-old copyboy. The roots of his Watergate reporting can be seen in this remarkable apprenticeship as a teenage reporter in the nation’s capital.

Bernstein’s other best-selling books demonstrate his unique range as a journalist: Loyalties: A Son’s Memoir, about his family’s experiences in the McCarthy

era; His Holiness: Pope John Paul II and The History of Our Time – a biography of Pope John Paul II – that revealed the Pope’s pivotal role in the fall of communism; and A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, acclaimed as the definitive biography on the subject.

His magazine articles have appeared in Time, USA Today, Rolling Stone and The New Republic. From 1999-2001, Bernstein served as editor and executive vice president of Voter.com, a pioneering website that Forbes named the best political site on the internet. He has worked as Washington bureau chief and correspondent for ABC News; and, while at the Washington Post, was also a part-time rock critic.

Bernstein lives in New York with his wife and is the father of two sons, Jacob Bernstein, a reporter for the New York Times; and Max Bernstein, who plays guitar for Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.

Moderated by Las Vegas Review-Journal politics and government editor, Steve Sebelius

Steve Sebelius is the politics and government editor for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada’s largest newspaper.

Sebelius has been a full-time journalist for 30 years, working for daily and weekly newspapers in California and Nevada. During his career, he’s covered local government, education, courts, special projects and, of course, politics. He’s also worked as the editor of Las Vegas CityLife (2005-2011).

In addition, he’s appeared regularly on Las Vegas television, including as a regular guest and guest host of “Nevada Week in Review” on KLVX Channel 10; as the host of “Political Insiders” on KTNV Channel 13 from 2006-2007, and as a political analyst and host of “PoliticsNOW” on 8NewsNow from 2010-2020.

Elin Hilderbrand

3:15 p.m.

A conversation about book clubs, beach reads and becoming a NY Times best selling author.

3:15 pm

Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium

Elin Hilderbrand is the author of twenty-eight novels, including the forthcoming THE HOTEL NANTUCKET (June 14, 2022). She is a proud 1991 graduate of Johns Hopkins University where she majored in Writing Seminars. In her senior year at Hopkins, Elin had her first short story, "Misdirection," accepted for publication in Seventeen Magazine.

After a short stint working in publishing and teaching in New York City, she moved to Nantucket permanently in 1994. She attended the University of Iowa writers workshop and earned her MFA in 1998, and published her first novel, THE BEACH CLUB, in the summer of 2000. Her 2019 novel, SUMMER OF '69 was her first novel to debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is the mother of three children and loves riding the Peloton, cooking, and going to the beach. She will retire with her summer of 2024 book and plans on becoming a book influencer.

Moderated by Steph from “Mercedes in the Morning” (Mix 94.1) and Kayla from “The Chet Buchanan Show” (KLUC 98.5)

Steph was born and raised in sunny San Diego, California and you bet she brings that sunshine with her. Her bubbly, energetic persona is contagious and you can catch her on social media bringing positivity to all of her viewers. Steph loves to dance on her spare time, catching up on her favorite shows with her husband, playing with her shih tzu puppy Momo, or eating her favorite Filipino food.

Before radio, Steph was a full time dancer. Dancing from the age of 4 until the age of 24. Steph’s dancing has brought her to direct and coach dancers of all levels from competitive dance teams at the collegiate level to junior teams at the middle school level in the San Diego area. Although Steph is no longer a full-time dancer she is still a dancer at heart and teaches master classes from time to time.

Steph started her morning show journey as a phone screener and segment producer on the “Kramer and Geena Morning Show” on KHTS - Channel 93.3. Steph’s radio journey took her to Hartford, Connecticut as the Executive Producer for “Craig and Company” on 96.5 WTIC and now the Executive Producer and Morning On Air Talent - “Mercedes in the Morning” for Mix 94.1 in the entertainment capital of the world… Las Vegas!

Hi. I’m Kayla. If you want to call me Kayla-Jo, KJ, That Chick Over There, that’s cool. God has blessed us all with Life and I plan on living mine to its fullest. I like to hike and read and read about hiking and hike to find great spots to read.  

Everything I do in life is to benefit my friends and family. Speaking of, I am newly married. His name is Buddy and he puts up with a bunch of crap from me... God bless him. I tend to curse more than necessary, but promise to hold back out of courtesy. Things I enjoy: smiling, laughing and Brunch (#Brunch4L). Looking for a positive life. I break more wine glasses than I can maintain in my household so I recommend you become a straight out of the bottle girl with me. Hoping to make an impact in one of the most electric cities in the world. 

Listen to 'The Chet Buchanan Show' on 98.5 KLUC daily on the Audacy app to hear your girl. 

Kiley Reid

1:30 p.m.

Writing Such A Fun Age.

1:30 pm

Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium

While her debut novel is not a work of auto-fiction, Reid drew inspiration from her six years as a nanny to the several children in Manhattan. Later, while at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, with time and clarity to draw upon the feeling of working in someone else's home, Kiley had the opportunity to research and analyze domestic work, the anxieties of the liberal elite, and how language and memory can work on the page. With a penchant for awkward moments and a dedication to depicting domestic in its complicated forms, Reid shares the experience of creating two very different perspectives approaching privilege, money, and precocious toddlers.

An Arizona native, Kiley Reid is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. Her New York Times-bestselling debut novel, Such a Fun Age, is currently in development by Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions and Sight Unseen Pictures. The novel was longlisted for The 2020 Booker Prize and a finalist for the New York Public Library’s 2020 Young Lions Fiction Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author, and the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award. Kiley’s writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Playboy, December, Lumina, where her short story was the winner in the 2017 Flash Prose Contest, and Ploughshares, where her short story was the winner of the 2020 Ashley Leigh Bourne Prize for Fiction.

Moderated by Kelvin Watson, Executive Director – Las Vegas Clark County Library District

As executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Kelvin Watson oversees 25 branches run by 600+ employees, spanning 8,000 square miles, with a budget of $77 million and a collection of 3.2 million items. Regarded as one of the most highly respected thought leaders in the library industry, Kelvin has been credited with expanding his customer base through outreach efforts to underserved and diverse populations, and brought transformative change through ambitious and groundbreaking initiatives. Examples include the multi-award-winning partnership with the RTC of Southern Nevada, which enables digital library access to bus riders; and a cell phone lending program, which provides low-income and homeless residents with the lifeline that smart phones deliver.

His dedication to implementing new and innovative ways to meet new and existing customers “where they are” using non-traditional methods garnered Kelvin and his libraries numerous awards, including: American Library Association (ALA) Library of the Future (2022, 2019); RUSA Best Emerging Technology Award; ALA Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community & Profession.

Kelvin earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Minor in Military Science from Lincoln University in Missouri, where he is a member of the ROTC Hall of Fame. He earned his MLS Degree from North Carolina Central University. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and Beta Phi Mu Honor Society.

Restaurant News You Can Use

12:00 p.m. noon

Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium

We regret to inform you that Chef Hubert Keller had a family emergency and will not be able to attend this year’s book festival.

Chef Keller’s friends and colleagues in the restaurant community stepped up to fill his Headliner discussion this with a compelling topic and list of food influencers

A panel discussion of the current Las Vegas food scene - 2022

  • Moderated by John Curtas, Eating Las Vegas & Attorney at Law
  • Penny Chutima – Lotus of Siam
  • Rob Moore – Rosa Ristorante
  • Eric Gladstone – Feast of Friends

John A. Curtas, Food Critic and Attorney at Law 

John Curtas has been writing about the Las Vegas food and restaurant scene since 1995. As a resident since 1981, he has seen Vegas grow from the “Town That Taste Forgot” into one of the leading restaurant cities in the world. He started his food writing career on KNPR radio, where his  weekly commentaries aired for 15 years, before moving to local TV stations (KLAS and KVBC), and then to the national stage as a judge on Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America.  

He is the author of EATING LAS VEGAS – The 52 Essential Restaurants, which published eight editions up until 2020,  as well as his Eating LasVegas blog (www.eatinglv.com), where he has taken no prisoners since 2008. 

Mr. Curtas has also been the restaurant critic for more local magazines than he can count, including Desert Companion, Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas Life, SCOPE and VEGAS, and was once on the voting panels for both the James Beard Awards, and the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, before he got kicked off for being too opinionated about who was winning them.

John likes to say that he’s been privileged to have a front row seat for the greatest restaurant revolution any city in America has ever seen. He is also a lawyer by trade and a member in good standing in the Nevada Bar, but don’t hold that against him. For health reasons, he confines his diet to the five major food groups: French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and barbecue, and is rarely seen without a glass of Burgundy in hand — which he enjoys all the more when someone else is paying for it.  

Penny Chutima

Penny Chutima has grown up in the restaurant industry, learning the business from her mother, James Beard Award-Winning chef Saipin Chutima. Penny took over ownership of the second Lotus of Siam location and continuing the legacy of her mother’s with the newest Red Rock location and more. Lotus of Siam has been a celebrity and foodie mecca, earning praise from a parade of respected food critics and industry leaders with original recipes, quality sourcing and responsible practices.

Chef Robert Moore

After honing his skills for three decades alongside globally recognized chefs and restaurateurs from New York City to Las Vegas, Chef Robert Moore opened his very first solo venture, Rosa Ristorante, anItalian-American concept in Henderson, NV on April 27, 2022.

Located in the South Las Vegas Valley near the junction of Saint Rose Parkway and Eastern Avenue at the foothill of Seven Hills and Anthem, Rosa Ristorante provides a much-needed dining and drinking destination for locals and visitors alike. 

“My goal at Rosa is to bring back neighborhood dining, offering an approachable, yet superior quality experience” states Moore. “I am humbled by the incredible team I have been fortunate to assemble, and it has been a pleasure introducing the community to our beautiful space, Italian fare, and a beverage program unlike any other in the area.” 

Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Chef Moore’s fascination with food was tapped into at a young age. In the 7th grade, he was accidentally enrolled in a home economics class rather than the metal shop class he intended. After the first day of class making cinnamon rolls, he found his calling and began pursuing a career in the Culinary Arts. 

Chef Moore got his start as a dishwasher in 1989 as a dishwasher at The Grenville Hotel and Restaurant,which at the time was a high-end restaurant in Bayhead, NJ. This was the start of a professional journey that would take him from New Jersey to Manhattan and Brooklyn, before eventually arriving on LasVegas’ burgeoning culinary stage. 

Working his way up through the ranks of New York City’s punishing kitchens, Moore landed a coveted culinary position at Lespinasse, the renowned restaurant heralded by Chef Gray Kunz at The St. Regis Hotel. It was this opportunity that he credits for teaching him some of the most important aspects of being a successful chef and propelling him along his career path. 

“I thought I was a pretty good cook until I worked at Lespinasse,” recalls Moore. “I learned time management, organizational skills, how to work efficiently, and most importantly, let the ingredients shine in every dish.” 

From there, he took the techniques and principles he had honed and applied them to The New York Palace Hotel, Sam DeMarco’s iconic First in lower Manhattan and DeMarco’s Room, before he moved over to Mike & Tony’s Steakhouse just as the Brooklyn dining scene started to boom across the borough. 

In 2004, friend and former Lespinasse colleague, Chef Martin Heierling, invited Moore to move across the country to join his team and help assist in the development of an exciting new concept, Sensi at thenew spa tower at Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas. It proved to be a fortuitous decision as it paved the way for the next position that consumed more than half of his career. 

Rob was appointed as the Executive Chef of Prime Steakhouse, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s acclaimed restaurant on the lake of the famous Bellagio fountains, and eventually moved over to open Jean-Georges Steakhouse at CityCenter’s Aria Resort & Casino in 2009. 

In 2015, Moore was asked to return to Prime to oversee Bellagio’s flagship restaurant once again, which led to his tenure of over 15 years working for one of the world's most famous and influential chefs. He attributes his success to the amazing partnership he had with his Executive Vice President of Culinary Development, Greg Brainin, and Executive Vice President Dan DelVecchio. 

Moore’s culinary style - global with nods to French technique and Italian sensibility - fit perfectly with Vongerichten’s. However, the chance to go out on his own and create a place where his American-Italian roots can shine was too great to pass up. In 2021, Chef Moore took a leap of faith and departed from the rewarding mega casino-resort way of life. He looks forward to showcasing the food he enjoyed from his childhood in New Jersey and a style of service he is passionate about as Rosa Ristorante continues to grow and evolve.

Eric Gladstone
Founder/Supreme Leader, The Feast of Friends

Eric Gladstone founded The Feast of Friends in 2018 as a comprehensive marketing and PR agency for independent restaurants and bars, covering everything from branding and concept development to social media, media relations and events. Gladstone's previous career began in music journalism for magazines and websites such as Alternative Press, Spin, Rolling Stone, MTV Online and AOL then shifting to Hollywood, writing for Us Weekly, Life & Style and others and rubbing elbows with the likes of Leo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr, Kim Kardashian and Olivia WIlde. After helping his former wife open the Edendale Grill in Silver Lake (Los Angeles) he transitioned to the worlds of food, wine, cocktails and travel for Bon Appetit and others, and his East Coast/West Coast journey drew him to Las Vegas. 

The multi-awarded Feast of Friends agency currently represents Esther's Kitchen, The Golden Tiki, Al Solito Posto, Ada's Wine Bar, Evel Pie, Gaetano's as well as L2 BBQ, Island Sushi & Grill and others. Previous clients have also included Sparrow & Wolf, Sand Dollar Lounge, Lotus of Siam, EDO, and Kaiseki Yuzu. Gladstone also created & produces the Vegas Unstripped food festival, which will be returning in Spring 2023.

You can read about Eric's adventures in the 90s alternative rock world in his recently published book Anything But Nirvana, available on Amazon and also at AvantPop bookstore here in Las Vegas.