Search Results for: mix

Here’s Getting to Wow!-The Perfect Mix

images (8)Chandelier close up



Welcome Back to Soupfly!!

I told you that I would share with you about our Amazing dining experience at Mix on the top of Delano Hotel (Mandalay Bay property) in Las Vegas last Saturday night.  Michelle and I had dined there previously and had a wonderful time.  I emailed the Assistant General Manager, Olivier de Roany (whom we did not meet then) telling him that we enjoyed our experience.  He promptly emailed me back asking me to inform him of the next time we’d like to come in because he would like to ‘host’ us.  Not really sure what that meant  but I assured him that we would.

In the meantime-about 3 months ago, I asked Olivier if he’d be willing to be interviewed for my book-GETTING TO WOW!  First Class Restaurant Service.  He said yes and so I did.  Since that time-of hearing him describe his philosophy of what exceptional hospitality/restaurant service was all about, I had really been looking forward to the next opportunity for us to dine at Mix again.  And so, with Michelle’s friend Lori visiting Vegas for her birthday-last weekend-it seemed like the perfect time to call Olivier and tell him we’d like to take him up on his invitation.



SETTING THE TONE “Every one knows that first impressions are key.  The first 5 minutes are the most crucial in setting the tone for the entire dining experience.”  Olivier De Roany  

From the moment we checked in at the Host stand in front of the elevator-when the Hostess told us that we were “All Set” (even though I wasn’t sure what that meant)  I will say it was the beginning of “GETTING TO WOW! MIX Style.  Having  just enjoyed a cocktail at RX Boiler Room-after taking the elevator to the 35th floor-the 3 of us decided a stop at the restroom would be in order.  Why oh why-tmi-you say?  Well, the reason I tell you this is that as we exited the restrooms and walked into the Mix Lounge (which one has to pass through to get to Mix Restaurant) there was Olivier standing in Mix Lounge talking with one of the hostesses. He greeted us with a sincere cheerfulness.  Was he purposely there waiting there for us?  Did the hostesses downstairs radio up to him to tell him that we were on our way up?  I can’t say.  All I know is that as Olivier escorted us into the dining room-every single staff member that we passed by smiled at us and gave some version of a cheerful “Hello or Welcome”.  What a friendly staff I thought.

Upon entering the dining room, Olivier told us that he has  “a nice table prepared for us”.  I don’t know if there’s such a thing as  a ‘not nice table’ in Mix.    To say that Mix is an absolutely beautiful dining room is a hyperbolic understatement.  It is gorgeous.  With a stunning all-white decor- and a hand blown white bubble Murano glass chandelier  as the hanging centerpiece it almost feels like one is inside a glass of champagne.  Not a bad feeling to have.

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Even though the entire dining room is beautiful, when we saw where we were being seated-(in one of only 3 pods in the entire place)  we realized that-yes-Olivier did have “a nice table prepared for us”.  We really started to feel special.  The pod that we were seated at had a fantastic view of the Las Vegas Strip.  Within seconds of being seated we were greeted by Scott-our server and Franco his assistant.  While there were many others who assisted the team-these two gentlemen were the primary ones creating and executing this wonderful experience.  Our dinner began with Scott offering us complimentary champagne from Alain Ducasse’ (the owner of Mix and a culinary legend) own private label.  Or if we didn’t want champagne, Scott said he’d be happy to start our dinner with something else.  “Yes, please bring on the champagne.” was our reply.  We’re not even 5 minutes in and I know that this is going to be an Amazing dining experience.

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Next, Scott gave us what I can only describe as  guided tour of the menu.  He so creatively described many of the dishes from the appetizers to the main entrees that he even almost made the duck sound delectable to me.  Anyone who knows me knows that I only eat fish-no other animal protein.  He carefully explained the lay out of the menu-one part was the traditional Alain Ducasse fare, another part a tasting menu and then the third section being a little more modern and contemporary versions.

Scott exhibited the perfect combination of professionalism but not stuffy and a  truly friendly nature.  There was no culinary question that stumped him and he made excellent suggestions for each of us.  We all trusted his guidance and the three of us were all thoroughly impressed and happy with our dinner choices.  But oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Within a few minutes of the champagne we were greeted by Matt George, the Sommelier.  He has thousands of bottles of wine to order, maintain and educate the staff on.  What a great responsibility.    After ascertaining the palate and wine preferences of my wife-Michelle, Lori and myself,  he easily guided us to a nice bottle of Tobin James Zinfandel.  It was the perfect complement to each of our entrees.  Again, with such a  friendly and helpful demeanor,  Matt was so pleasant and his presence added to our evening.



Next came a refreshing amuse bouche.  What looked to me like butterscotch pudding turned out to be a “lobster salad” with chopped cucumber, lobster and a cantaloupe foam (espuma).  This was our first bite of food and it was scrumptious.  And it did what an amuse is supposed to do-tantalize and prime the palate or the appetite.  What made it even more amazing to me-is that from our short conversation when we were discussing the menu-I mentioned to Scott-I don’t eat meat and I really prefer to stay away from dairy-he took note and paid attention to details.   So, when this amuse, that clearly looked like it had cream in it was placed in front of me, I was so pleasantly surprised that indeed it did not have dairy.  Scott was in tune with his guests and what my/our needs were.

Matt Sommelier Mix

Lobster salad mix

For our appetizer-aside from the Champagne, we shared a wonderful crab salad.  I can’t remember all the ingredients-I do remember it had gnocchi (potato dumplings) in it that were the lightest and fluffiest I had ever tasted.  I highly recommend it.


Our entrees were excellent.  My wife had one of her favorites-Roasted Duck.  She orders it quite often when we dine out and Chef Bruno Riou did not disappoint.  He prepares his  Roasted Duck  with radishes and turnips with a black olive sauce.  Michelle absolutely loved it.   She commented that she especially enjoyed that it was more salty and savory whereas most of the time Duck is usually prepared sweet.    Scott recommended the Cod Brandade for Lori which was prepared with lemon and capers and cooked with a brown butter sauce.  I think from the picture you can see that Lori was in Cod heaven.   And me?  I enjoy lobster.   So the Roasted Maine Lobster “Au Curry” had my name on it.  It was served with coconut basmati rice and a very mild curry or tikka masala type sauce.  The flavors were perfect for me and there was so much lobster.  Lobster tail, lobster claw, lobster meat everywhere.  Yum.  There seemed to be so much care in the preparation of each dish.  (Note-the pictures do not do justice to how amazing each dish was)


“Tasting a dish should be memorable.  If nothing remains in the memory of the guest, then I have made a mistake.” Chef Alain Ducasse

If I may say, Chef Ducasse, you gave us great memories-No mistakes here.

cod mixLori loving her codlobster mix



Scott and his team, Franco, Alex and  others whose names I did not catch did such a fantastic job of working together. The serving of the dishes, the timing of courses,  the explanation of dishes, the clearing and table manicuring-everything was spot on.  And yes they actually crumbed our table.   Thank you.  The whole dinner was a seamless production from beginning to end.  No cues missed.  And every member of the team seemed to care about our experience.  Also, we noticed  Olivier, Sebastien (General Manager) and other management staff walking by periodically to observe our enjoyment of the evening.     Franco, in the middle of dinner asked to see my phone because he said he was going to take a picture for us.  Well he didn’t take a picture of us.  Instead,  he went and stood directly under the Murano glass bubble chandelier and took pictures of it for us.  See picture at the top of the page.  What a really cool picture.  And what a thoughtful gesture.  Thanks Franco.  Oh and he also introduced us to General Manager Sebastien and to Chef Bruno as we were leaving.


We concluded our dinner with two surprises- a funky, foamy, delicious pina colada and a nice dessert from the kitchen to celebrate Lori’s birthday.  I don’t even remember what it was-something with chocolate in it.  (I rarely eat dessert).

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Michelle and Lori Pina colada

There is so much more that I can say about Mix Restaurant and even Mix Lounge.  Like the view from the bathroom-when you are seated.  Ahem.  You must check it out.

But I will end by saying this…Wow!  From the greeting and seating and setting the tone to the exquisite food and the decor and the ambiance to the amazing hospitality extended to us-truly here’s GETTING TO WOW!-They’ve really got it- THE PERFECT MIX.


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Thank you so much for enjoying Soupfly. I truly appreciate all your support.  Please Like Soupfly Facebook page and Share and Invite your friends to do the same.  Also, I welcome your comments and input.  If you would like to receive an email notice when a new post of Soupfly is published please hit the FOLLOW  button.

AND as I mentioned previously, soon we will be accepting PRE-ORDERS  for my soon to be published Best Seller-

GETTING TO WOW! First Class Restaurant Service.  Please let us know in your comments that you are interested in

PRE-ORDER information.

Thank you and Cheers!!

Christoff J. Weihman

Las Vegas, NV

This entry was posted on August 8, 2014. 3 Comments

“Putting the Customer First”A Focus on Service Excellence

Welcome Back to Soupfly!!



I recently returned from a quick trip to Orlando for the National Customer Service Association National Conference.  My time was so short and scheduled while in Orlando that I did not have a chance to go to Universal Studios, or Seaworld or Disneyland.  However, I will say that what I experienced at the conference had it’s own magic!


I was blessed in a number of different ways at the Conference, but before I get to that let me start off by saying what a well run conference it was. The Team- from the National Office consisting of Bill and Diane Crutcher, and Ashley Ruggles, did a stand out job of organizing and putting on a flawless event. Also, the NCSA Team from Central Florida who hosted the event, led by President of Board of Directors, Wes Tindal were so hospitable, welcoming and helpful.  A very special commendation goes to Ashley who ran the behind the scenes.  She is, to me, the perfect example of  what 5 Star Customer Service Execution is all about.  I worked with her during the months leading up to the conference via email and phone calls and she absolutely made me feel like I was the only customer/speaker that she had to take care of at that moment. Then, at the conference she was organized, responsive, caring and incredibly helpful.  She was a one woman show.  Not to say that Bill and Diane didn’t also run things.  It’s just that Ashley took the bulk of the behind the scenes, so Bill & Diane could focus on what was happening on stage, so to speak.  Ashley is, as I understand, relatively new in her position but she truly understands Customer Care/Service.  So, my hat-fedora-is off to you Ashley!! Thanks for making this event a huge success!

Now, a word about Bill Crutcher, the President of the National Customer Service Association.  To know Bill is to know his Team. I know why Ashley is so great at what she does-because we tend to attract people like ourselves to our team, and Bill is one of those people who exudes hospitality, care and empathy.  I remember the first time we had a conversation on the phone, some months ago, when he invited me to be a speaker for this event. He has a warmth and a genuineness that is felt just as easily over the phone as when speaking with him in person.  He made me feel welcome and a special part of this event each time we communicated.  In fact,  I was truly eager to arrive at the Conference merely to meet Bill, and Ashley and other members of their team, including Diane-Bill’s wife.

I had hoped to arrive for early check-in on Sunday evening, but due to my flight being delayed (thanks Frontier Airlines) I was unable to.  When I finally got settled in my hotel room, opened my laptop and checked my email-here was an email sent at 8:35 pm from Ashley, stating how excited they all were and looking forward to meet me the next day.  WOW! To me, that is Customer Service.

When I arrived at the Conference the next day, the welcome and greeting in person was equally as warm and friendly from all three of them, Bill, Diane and Ashley. So, why am I sharing with you in such detail about such things?  Because something as seemingly small as an email, or how one greets a customer, or how they talk with them on the phone, all these contribute to what I call “Setting the Tone”.  That is establishing the tone of the communication, the connection between you and your customer.  Since I was an attendee and an invited speaker to this Conference, I was their Customer.  Setting the Tone creates  the first impression, the expectation in the mind of the customer. If we get that right from the start, then if any hiccups, speed bumps or Soupflies arise along the way, it is so much easier to deal with them effectively and still win back the customer.  Setting the Tone is one of the single most, if not THE Most important aspect of the Customer Service interaction.    So, I say “thank you and congratulations!” to Bill and his entire team from the NCSA for a great customer experience.

As for the location of the event and the level of customer service delivered by their team, I would say that it was a mixture of good, mediocre and poor service interactions. But since this post is not about that, I will leave the details of that information for another time.

Back to the Conference-I learned some new tools and strategies on Creating a Customer Service focused culture from the various speakers. I learned the importance of taking formulas and principles and boiling them down as Claudia Bogard, Customer Experience Director of the FAA, calls it. We heard from, and were inspired by a wide range of Customer Service Experts from a variety of organizations representing a multitude of industries.  The common thread in each presentation was how to learn what our customers’ not only need, but more importantly- what they want, and how to deliver that in  a positive customer interaction.

The breakout speakers that I had the privilege of listening to were, Kizzy Dominguez who presented about approaching Customer Service with the generations in mind. She spoke of how each generation of individuals, views customer service according to their own particular mindset and that to be effective we ought to use that as our lens when dealing with them. A very thought-provoking presentation. Thank you Kizzy!

I also, sat in the presentation of Gregg Baron, who taught us about creating more +1 Experiences and gave us an understanding of the 7 Basic aspects of Customer Service.  Another very interesting and useful perspective shared.  Thanks Gregg!  Next,

I learned from licensed hypnotherapist, Aimee Eipers, about how to manage stress and how it can affect the Customer Service experience. Such a very important and often overlooked topic.  Thanks for sharing Aimee!

Lastly, I was quite inspired by Steve Mayers, Director of Atlanta Airport. He shared insights of how he is leading his team to tranform Atlanta airport from a Customer Experience Management focus to a Guest Experience Management.  Central to his presentation was the idea that each of our customers, in his case-passengers, go through an emotional journey during every service experience.  It is our job as service professionals to recognize the emotions along that journey and ensure that there is a positive experience at each touch point.  I was so struck by the content of Steve’s talk that I asked him if he’d be open to allowing me to interview him for my 2nd book that I’m working on-I Am the Customer Experience. He did of course, oblige. So, sometime in the next couple weeks, I’ll be digging deep into that topic with him and gaining more insight that I can use for my 2nd book-I Am the Customer Experience.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to learn from so many wonderful, talented, knowledgeable Service Experts.  I also am very thankful for the connections I made with so many of the attendees and the potential opportunities to be invited to some of their organizations in the future to share about 5 Star Customer Experience from my perspective. I will share with you about those exciting upcoming events as we work out schedules and details.

As you might imagine, a huge highlight of the Conference for me was the honor and privilege of being one of the breakout speakers, myself. My presentation was entitled, “I Am the Customer Experience-Taking Ownership of the Service You Deliver & Creating a Culture of WOW!”  I presented twice on Tuesday to a full room each time. I brought the energy, the excitement and the content. Each group was engaged, participated and all gave me very positive feedback.  I would say it absolutely was a great success!! Thank you to all the attendees who sat in my presentation, for your positive energy, for participating and being open minded. This is a Show!

After my presentation, Bill, said that not only did he receive positive feedback from those who attended my session, but also, that many of them stated to him that they should have made me one of the keynote speakers.  There’s always next time Bill.

I did not get to stay for the closing of the Conference as I had a previously booked event to speak at on Wednesday evening. This was a celebration event for Make Up in the 702-one of the premiere hair and make up companies here in Las Vegas-that primarily services the wedding industry in Las Vegas.  Led by owner and founder, Megan Payne, they had recently hit a major milestone as a company of receiving 1000 positive customer reviews!  What an exceptional accomplishment!

Megan and I met earlier in the year when I was the keynote speaker at WIPA, Wedding Industry Professionals Association.  She was so touched and inspired by my presentation at WIPA that she invited me to share a few inspirational words with her team at this 1000 Reviews celebration.  For a company to receive 1000 reviews, they obviously must have a focus on the Customer Experience.


As I spoke to them, I shared some of what I had recently learned at the NCSA Conference-that our customers are all on an emotional journey.  Whether they realize it or not, it is true.  This emotional journey may take place over months, days or just a few short hours.  As Hair & Make up professionals, I suggested to this group, that they do so much more than make their clients look beautiful.  They even do so much more than giving the brides confidence and drawing out the natural beauty that’s already there.  I suggested that they actually (both literally & figuratively) hold the hand of those brides as they go along this emotional journey. This journey may entail excitement, nervousness, sadness, introspection, peacefulness, joy and a whole myriad of other emotions.  In fact, as I was speaking, one of the women in the group began to tear up.  It was clear that what I was sharing was resonating.  Again, I was thankful for the privilege and opportunity to share some inspiring words with a group of Service Professionals.  Thank you Megan!!

We, as Service Professionals,-regardless of what industry we are in, must realize that we have the potential to make a powerful, positive impact on each of our clients, customers, guests every single day. We can choose to just go through the motions of our job, checking each task on the protocols/steps of service. Or we can choose to have a passion for Service and connect with the emotions of our customers and truly Serve them.   This is why I love Customer Service/Service & Hospitality.


Thank you for reading! I am so grateful for all my Soupfly Readers from around the world. This month we have had readers from the following countries:

United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Bahamas, Portugal, Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada, Germany, Pakistan, Italy, France, Mexico, Costa Rica, Russia, Kenya, New Zealand, Thailand, Bangladesh.

If you would like to order a copy of my book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service, please go to my website (US orders only):

For orders outside the US, please refer to Amazon:

Please follow, like, share and let’s connect on Social Media!

Elevating Service & Hospitality,

Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV


Rivea & Skyfall; 2 Sparkling Gems




Those of us living here in Las Vegas are really quite spoiled, with amazing weather, sun nearly 300 days a year, beautiful mountains, very little traffic,  AND it is a restaurant mecca.  Las Vegas  boasts some of the finest dining destinations in the world.  Having lived here for just 3 years, Michelle and I have had the pleasure of dining at many places, both on and off the strip and yet, we still have a V-E-R-Y long list of venues to experience. Two of the places that we have had the pleasure of enjoying are  Rivea & Skyfall, the newest gems in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Crown, truly shine.

Rivea- the restaurant, and Skyfall Lounge are the newest iterations of legendary French Chef, Alain Ducasse’ restaurant portfolio in Las Vegas.  They are the newly renovated and rebranded venues that replaced what previously were known as MiX Restaurant and  MiX Lounge. I devoted an entire Soupfly post to MiX in the past:

After a very successful 10 year run, MiX closed down for a handful of months last year, and after a 7 Million dollar renovation, Rivea Restaurant and Skyfall Lounge were unveiled in late September 2015.    As stunning in their decor and ambience as Rivea and Skyfall are to behold, with the Murano glass chandelier, wave tile muralled wall, the private room with lighting that matches the constellations above and having one of the best views of the Las Vegas Strip-it is the Service and Hospitality of the team that really brings the WOW! Still led by Chef Bruno and General Manager Sebastien, Rivea and Skyfall absolutely shine. Michelle and I were invited to the Grand Opening last year, we dined at Rivea for our 2nd year wedding anniversary in November and recently, last week, we attended the Vegas Legal Magazine Champagne party.

Each of the times that we’ve been to these locations, we have been absolutely amazed at the Service and Hospitality of the entire team. Now before I go any further, full disclosure, yes, I am biased, because I had the privilege of training the staff of both Rivea and Skyfall for their opening.  I shared with them the importance of Setting the Tone, of Reading the Guest, and understanding that this is a Show. The time I spent training this team was one of the best, most gratifying experiences for me, since I began doing Getting to WOW! Service and Hospitality training last year.   These young men and women were fully engaged, filled with a high level of positive energy and hungry to learn.  I shared with them that they were absolutely set up for success. I told them that they have the opportunity to be one of the best venues in the city.  If the owners invested 7 million dollars into a renovation, you can be sure that they have high expectations for success.  And that high expectation carries over to the staff.

So, perhaps you may think my vision is clouded, because I am a part of the story. True, like Sebastien said to me at the Grand Opening, that I did play a part and I can take some credit, and I am very grateful for that opportunity.  However, precisely because of that,  I’m perhaps even more critical in my assessment, because I know what they were taught and what is expected of them.

To say that this front of the house team knows how to deliver WOW! Service is a huge understatement.  This front of the house team gets it.  They resonate with a joy of serving.  They are welcoming and warm.  There is a positive energy that exudes from each of them and it is so refreshing to experience. From the hostesses that greet us at the entrance to the elevator, to the bartenders, the cocktail servers, the  servers,  the bussers, the food runners-all of them are focused on creating a great service experience for the guests.


As I’ve said before, it all starts at the top. Management leads the way to success of any establishment.  Huge credit and props go to all the leadership team from Chef Ducasse, to his executives, Yannis-(and another gentleman whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet) to the management team of General Manager Sebastien, Assistant General Manager Olivier-who recently took a new position at Atelier de Joel Robuchon (, Managers: Philip, Alejandro, Paul, Nick and Sommelier Matthew.  I congratulate each of them for their obvious dedication and commitment to creating a 5 Star Service Experience for each guest every time.  Chef Bruno and his culinary crew also, do a marvelous job creating amazing food. It is also evident that there is a true synergy between front of the house and the back of the house-the kitchen.

When Michelle and I dined at Rivea last November for our anniversary, we were overwhelmed with the welcome by almost every member of the front of the house staff.  So many of them, servers, hostesses, bussers, food runners, bartenders came by our table or greeted us on the way in or on the way out or as we walked to the restroom, saying “Congratulations”, “Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Weihman” “Thank you for dining with us” etc. Now I’m sure that most likely, Olivier or Sebastien mentioned to them in pre-shift that we were coming in and that it was our anniversary, but the sincerity and warmth with which each one congratulated us truly touched us in a positive and meaningful way.

Our food was amazing, with both gluten free choices for my wife and pesca-vegan choices for me. It was such an enjoyable, relaxed, pleasant evening. The team that served us, led by Mike, were on point and hitting the mark. Olivier came by to visit with us more than once. All around it was one of our best dining experiences here in Las Vegas.

What also was so touching was when one of the bussers, Jesus, said to me after dinner, “Christoff, You taught us in the training that it’s so important to have a servant heart in this business, and everyday when I come to work I have that in my mind. I learned so much from your training.” What an amazing feeling that was. And Jesus certainly expresses that true servant heart in his manner of relating to every guest.  We’ve witnessed it not only towards us but with all the other guests as well.

I also, teach that the desired outcome for any service experience is for the customer, the guest, to leave your establishment with a positive feeling.  Things may possibly go wrong, or there may be some Soupfly, but if the guest is greeted with a warm welcome and the team truly endeavors to create a great experience for the guest, the guest will leave happy, pleased and with a fond memory of the establishment because of the people that served him. This has been our experience each of the three times we’ve been to Rivea and Skyfall.

There is much more I could say, but I will end here with this.  I am very impressed with the team at Rivea and Skyfall.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the story.  And I encourage all of you, if you live in Las Vegas, to make a reservation and go, eat, drink, dine, experience the gem that is Rivea and Skyfall at Mandalay Bay.  Likewise, if you come to Vegas to visit, please do yourself a huge favor and put Rivea and Skyfall on your list of must dos.  You will thank me. To the Rivea/Skyfall team, I say thank you, congratulations and keep it going!

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P.S. a big thank you to Olivier De Roany, the former AGM, now at Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM, for first allowing me to interview him and contributing to my book, Getting to WOW! and for connecting me with the F & B Executive team at Mandalay Bay.  Had it not been for him getting the ball rolling, I would not have had the opportunity to be “a part of the story” of Rivea and Skyfall.  Thanks Olivier!

Thanks for Reading!  I am so grateful for all my Soupfly readers from 100 plus countries around the world!

Please Share on Social Media, Like our Facebook Page and leave your comments.


Elevating Service and Hospitality,

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Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV













Let’s Celebrate-Soupfly is 1 Year Old!!!


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Yes, it’s been nearly a month since we’ve talked and I have Exciting, Amazing news…yesterday was Soupfly’s 1st Birthday!! 

I had had the idea, the inspiration for a blog about Service and Hospitality for quite a long time-actually for a couple years.  However, I procrastinated and procrastinated.  I had the design for the logo all set.  I had ideas for posts but it took a while to actually sit down and start it. But I finally did-one year and one day ago-on July 8, 2014.  I am so grateful and excited that I did.  Happy Birthday Soupfly!!!

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Now, one year and 50 posts later-Soupfly is known and read by people in over 70 countries!! That’s right-we have one, or two or five or ten readers in 77 countries!! That is amazing.  I am grateful and humbled knowing that.   I have always said that I love my readers.  I so appreciate all of you.  My intention is for Soupfly to continue to grow, to gain momentum and to truly be the world’s favorite Service and Hospitality Blog.  We are on our way! So, I want to extend a HUGE THANK YOU  to each and every one of my readers-without you-there is no Soupfly.  I encourage you to continue reading and sharing and if you have yet to LIKE us on Facebook, I would love if you would do so.  Also, hitting the FOLLOW button at the bottom is very helpful as well.


A Huge Thank You to all the Restaurants, Businesses and Service and Hospitality Professionals who became a part of the Story of Soupfly.  Please forgive me in advance if I omit any one-it is not intentional.  Thanks to the following: Individuals that we’ve featured or mentioned-from Las Vegas: Greg Daluz of Giada Restaurant; Brian C of Bonefish Grill; Chef Rick Moonen-RX Boiler Room; Olivier De Roany, Sebastien, Chef Bruno, Alain DuCasse, Matt George, Scott and Franco-MiX Restaurat at Delano Hotel; Joe Cortes-Honey Salt; John Paul Daluz;  Kim Canteenwalla-Chef/owner of Honey Salt, Made LV;  Julie, Ryan, Rene and Brad Kleiss-Made LV;   Chef Alex Stratta-Tapas by Stratta;  Jim Kleiss, Herb Press, Alex, Jeffery-Elements; Sylvia, David, Juan, Jesus, Jennifer-TBones Chophouse; Leroy Godfrey, Joaquin Effertz-Flemings Steakhouse; George Racz and Sid-Las Vegas Distillery; Paul Femia-Las Vegas Bartenders Union; Chef Ivy Magruder-St. Louis; Chef Adam Gnau-Acero Ristorante in St. Louis; Chef Andrew Longres-Blue Stem-Kansas City; Sean McKenzie-Pierpont’s-Kansas City; Blanc Burgers and Bottles-Kansas City; Mitchell Sjerven-Bouchon Santa Barbara; Jim Edwards, Sydney Nelson-Door 222 Loveland Colorado; Crave Mall of America; Paul Graham-author of Eating Vegan in Vegas; Carey Dunn of LA; Hrair-my drycleaner in Summerlin; the staff at the Westin in Las Vegas; my friend Wolfgang Heckl.

-Special Thanks to Shaun ‘The Bartender’ Daugherty for guest blogging on Soupfly. He is the author of Extra Dry with a Twist.

All of the above people have contributed to making Soupfly’s first year it’s best year yet!!! WE Are Grateful and Excited and look forward to many more fun, inspiring, insightful posts to come.

Special Thanks to all of our Getting to WOW! Book Launch Sponsors and Hosting Restaurants:

The Crepe LV, DW Bistro, Mercadito, Whist Stove and Spirits, Flemings Steakhouse Townsquare, Honey Salt,

Crystals, Distill, Las Vegas Distillery, The Salt Room, Crafthaus Brewery, Jil-Ann Riordan, Body-Spa West, View Wine Bar, Kona Grill, Top Dog Pet Sitting, Blue Martini, Double Helix Whiskey and Wine Bar, The Dog House, King’s Fish House

Watch our short Soupfly Birthday Celebration Video here:

To Show our Appreciation for all the Support for Soupfly-We are offering my book, Getting to WOW! at the pre-order/pre-publication price of only $20.00!! (plus shipping)

To order your signed copy of Getting to WOW! at the SPECIAL SOUPFLY BIRTHDAY PRICE-GO HERE NOW:

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Giving Back-I want to remind you that we donate $3.00 to Three Square LV (Southern Nevada’s Local Food Bank) for every copy of Getting to WOW! that we sell.


If you live in Las Vegas and you have a restaurant in mind that you think deserves to be featured on Soupfly’s blog-hopefully, for good reasons, please message me and we will consider doing a story on them.  If you live outside of Las Vegas-you may also mention an establishment you have in mind to be on Soupfly-of course-it will depend upon whether or when we may be traveling to that particular city.  We want Soupfly to become more interactive and in the future there will be many more opportunities for you, our readers to participate

Guest Blogger-If you are in the Service Industry and you have some thoughts you’d like to share-We are going to begin to invite others to guest blog on Soupfly.  Contact me and we will discuss details

Service Professional of the Month-We will soon be launching our service professional of the month-This will be a Service and Hospitality Professional that exemplifies WOW! Service and exudes Excellence in all they do.  More details to come in our next post.  But in the meantime, I invite you to begin thinking about whom you would nominate for this honor.

Thanks for Reading. Please Like us on Facebook, Share us on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Linkedin.

Until our next post-God Bless you and Cheers!!!

Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV

725 777 9900

Enjoy our Soupfly Wall of Fame:

Here’s selected pictures of various individuals and places that make up the story of Soupfly’s First Year:

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Essential Elements of Service and Hospitality Success


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Happy April 1st Everyone!

It is hard to believe that the first quarter has already whizzed by.  The signs of spring are all around us-at least here in Las Vegas.  I hope all of you are staying focused on the goals and plans you set for 2015 and still endeavoring to make 2015 your best year yet.  Stay focused, inspired and disciplined!

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Today I want to share with you about a restaurant that is doing things right, Elements Kitchen & Martini Bar, here in Las Vegas.  Elements, now under new ownership and management, brands itself as a ‘fine casual dining’ establishment.  Michelle and I have been here a couple times in the past but on one of our previous visits-some months ago-a staff member blew out the candle right in front of us at 8:45 pm, saying, “You’re still welcome to stay, we’re just getting things ready to close by 9.”   Even if verbally that person’s words said ‘you’re welcome’, her actions were clearly communicating the opposite.  I am happy to report that things are progressively improving in so many ways at Elements since new management has been in place.


On our recent visit, Michelle, Melissa and I came in for dinner and it was such a refreshing, welcoming experience that I almost immediately was wanting to return again-soon.  And we did-not too long after-just to have a couple drinks one evening.  But first let me share about our dinner experience of a couple weeks ago.

At Elements, because it is such a small establishment-(I think there may be 10 or 12 tables in the whole place), they have no need for a host or host stand.  When one opens the door to enter-they are quickly greeted verbally by either a bartender or a server standing nearby.  And then within a few seconds-a server will approach and greet and welcome the guest.  On this occasion, we were promptly seated and given our menus.  Currently they have a martini list of 500-yes, 5 Hundred different martinis!  There’s vodka martinis, gin martinis, tequila martinis, rum martinis and whiskey martinis. I think that’s all. Soon, however, they will be phasing out the 500 martinis because truly it takes guests a long time to look through that big of a cocktail list to make a decision. And according to the GM, keeping inventory of the items needed to make all those drinks is ridiculously expensive and wasteful.  Some of you may think that’s awesome-500 martinis, but do not be dismayed that they are phasing it out. They have something even better that’s going to take the place of that. I will reveal what that is later.


Back to our dinner experience-AS we were contemplating our drink order-we noticed that one of the owners-whom we had met previously-Herb, was glancing over our way.  Once we made our drink order-each of us a different martini, one vodka, one whiskey and one gin, we began to consider our food options.  Thankfully, Elements does not have 100 appetizer and salad options and 150 meat and seafood choices!  They have a very simple basic menu.  Holly, their Chef does a great job!  She has actually come to our table to talk with us, 2 out of the last 3 times that we dined there.

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Allow me to share with you three E’s that I believe Elements are doing a great job at:

Elements gets an A on these 3 Es Essential to Service and Hospitality Success

1. Engaging the Guests-We experienced this from every member of the team and it all began with Herb, the owner coming over to our table.  He said he recognized me-I don’t think he remembered that we had met a few months back when they first took over the place. But whether he thought I looked familiar or not-is irrelevant. He was so engaging to the three of us at the table. He is warm and friendly and I kind of felt like we were at a dinner party at his home.  The welcome was so refreshing. I also noticed throughout our dinner, that Herb would visit  patrons at the bar, stopping and talking with one couple for a few minutes and then moving down the length of the bar. I didn’t see if he greeted every single person, but I assume that he probably did.

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Soon after-Herb coming to our table, the General Manager, Jim, came to greet us, and if I remember correctly, he brought our drinks to the table.  Jim, also, was such a pleasure to meet.  He is the kind of person that should be running a restaurant-and thankfully he is-at Elements. He’s kind, friendly, genuinely caring for the guests.

Our Server, also, was very engaging, pleasant and upbeat.  What she lacked in training (as in she was not familiar with the proper manner of presenting and opening wine) she made up for with her engaging personality.   Now of course it is important for a server to know such things-but that can be taught.  A positive, upbeat, engaging personality is not usually something that is as easily taught.

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In my book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service-I talk about the importance of setting the tone. The greeting, the welcome and the seating of the guests is so vital to the success of the dining experience. When a guest is warmly greeted and made to feel welcome from the start, if something happens to go wrong during the course of their meal, it is so much easier to get past the Soupfly.  Guests will be more forgiving and understanding.  The service staff will not feel so awkward because they’ve established that rapport.  It’s kind of like going to a friend’s house compared to being at a stranger’s house and you have an accident.  Maybe you spill a glass of wine.  If you do this at a friend’s house-it’s not a good thing but it’s not terrible.  However, if you are at a stranger’s house and this happens, it is an awkward situation for everyone.  Accidents, or mishaps or Soupflies do happen and always will happen periodically in this business or any other, but if the guest/customer/client feels that sense of welcome-it’s as if nothing can tarnish that relationship. You just deal with/fix the problem and move on.



As you know, Michelle and I tend to dine out often.  We have our own list of 10 criteria that we rate a restaurant on-and one of them is Management.  I tell you that unfortunately, it is more common for the manager or owner  to NOT Engage their guests than to Engage.  It seems that they often only come over if there is a problem or a complaint.  In Industry lingo it’s called “touching tables”. Part of a manager’s responsibilities is to constantly be touching tables.  A manager may not realize how important that is but I will tell you-the more often you do it and consistently, the more your guests are going to want to return.  Everybody that comes into your establishment wants to be treated like they’re special.  That few minutes that you stop at a table just to say hi to your guests, to ask how they are enjoying their food and drink, makes such a positive impact on your guests.


2. Energy & Enthusiasm-Every single staff member we met on our recent visit to Elements exuded positive energy.  From our Server, to the Owner, the General Manager, the Busser, the Bartenders and the Chef.  There was a buzz of positive energy that was palpable.  There was a sense of excitement in the air.  No one had that negative, blah energy that we have all encountered from time to time at a restaurant.  This new ownership/management have breathed new life into this place.  When we had been there on previous occasions the staff were all talking about how there was such a feeling of uncertainty.  Now, yes there are changes that have happened and more to come but it seems that all the staff are on board and hopeful for the future.  This positive energy is readily felt and picked up by the guests.  It makes one feel happy that they are there.  I’ll tell you that such positive energy has such an impact on a person’s dining experience that it actually makes the food taste better.  Not to say the food is not good at Elements-it is -and it keeps getting better.

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I’d like to quote from my book, my friend Michael Balabon, said this in Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service:

“There is a commonality between the excitement people feel when they are seeing a show or a concert, and the excitement they feel about having dinner at a new restaurant or their favorite eatery.”

That’s the feeling that you should strive to make your guests feel when they come into your place of business, whether it be a restaurant or another type of establishment.  And Elements is succeeding on this element of Service & Hospitality.

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3. Execution-The actual effective carrying out of a plan, bringing something into fruition, doing the thing properly.  Elements Kitchen & Martini Bar does a lot of things right, not the least of which is their execution at the bar side of the establishment.  Allow me to introduce to you, Alex and Jeffery-two individuals who are masters at their game, who were recruited away from a very prestigious venue on the Las Vegas strip to join the team at Elements and to run their beverage operation.  These two gentlemen, do not just make drinks, nor do they just craft cocktails.  I would call them Genius (I refrained from using the term ‘mad’) Scientists of Spirits or Wizards of Mixology.   To watch them work is quite a treat, not to mention having the pleasure of then enjoying their creation.  These two, take such care and attention to first, doing a guest inquiry-finding out what flavors the guest likes and doesn’t like.  They even ask what cocktails one typically drinks.  After this brief, yet in depth information gathering, the inspiration begins to stir until you hear them exclaim-“I got it.”  Or “Alright, I know what I’m gonna do.” Or some similar phrase.

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Then, they begin formulating a plan, taking their mixing tumbler from spot to spot as they pull down bottle after bottle off the shelves, putting a bit of this and a bit of that-and sometimes a lot of this and a little of that-sometimes using as many as 7 or 8 or more ingredients in one cocktail.  Other times I’ve seen them grab multiple bottles of liquor and liquers and other liquids and line them up on the bar in front of the guest, explaining what certain things are and then creating the drink right there on the bar in front of the guest.  It’s so exciting to watch their eyes light up as they are taking their idea-the inspiration for a drink and then executing it with precision and care.

We could all learn a lot from Alex and Jeffery about passion, attention and focus on details, creativity, guest engagement and effective execution of plan.  Not to mention improvising.  Alex was in the middle of creating a drink for me, and when I mentioned that I’ve recently started to enjoy Negronis-he slammed on the brakes and said-“Now I really know what to make you.”  Apparently it was completely different from his original plan of a few seconds ago. I can’t tell you what was in it.  But I will say it was better than any Negroni or semblance of a Negroni I’ve ever had.

It may seem that I’m spending so much time talking about making cocktails.  That’s not the point.  It’s refreshing to see a team of people who enjoy what they do, are friendly and Engaging to the guest/customer; who exude such upbeat positive Energy and who take time, care and attention for proper Execution of their work.

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In my book, Elements Kitchen & Martini Bar get an A on these 3 Es that are Essential to Service and Hospitality Success.

Oh, I almost forgot. You’re probably wondering what they are going to replace the list of 500 Martinis with?  I told you that it would be something much better.  Well they’ve already done it.  What’s better to have a guest wade through this daunting, overwhelming abundance of choices of drinks, with such difficulty to decide OR to have to engaging individuals like Alex and Jeffery who can make a perfect drink, tailored, catered and created especially for you based upon a few simple questions of your preferences?  I think we all know the answer to that one.  And by the way-I know that these two guys can create not just 500, but unlimited number of one of a kind cocktails.


If you live in Vegas or find yourself here on a visit, I highly recommend that you drop by Elements for some dinner and a cocktail.  Or two.  You will be pleased that you did.  And if you see Michelle and me-if we happen to be there at the same time, come by and introduce yourself.  We’d love to meet you.

Elements Kitchen and Martini Bar is located at the Center at Spanish Trail, 4950 S. Rainbow in Las Vegas.


Thank you for reading.  I so appreciate all of my readers.  We are continuing to add to our worldwide readership.  We are very close to having Soupfly followers from 70 countries!  How exciting!  Please feel free to Like and Share on Social Media.  I welcoe all your comments.

I wish you all continued Success.  Keep focused and inspired to pursue your goals and dreams, making 2015 your best year yet!

God Bless You and Cheers!

May you all have a blessed Holy Week and a Happy Easter!

To order your signed copy of my book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service, go here and order today! :

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Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV



Your Friendly Neighborhood Bartender


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I have a special treat for you all today…

Recently I connected with a gentleman who is an expert in his field- of all things Bartending.  His name is Shaun Daugherty-but his moniker is very simply-SHAUN the BARTENDER.  He’s got an amazing website where he creates a new cocktail everyday and visually, step by step, shows you how to make it.

He’s written  a book entitled Extra Dry, with a Twist-An Insider’s Guide to Bartending.  Shaun has been a Bartender for over 20 years and he knows his craft very well.  But aside from his cocktail creating prowess, I was equally or maybe even more impressed, with his philosophy about Service & Hospitality in regards to Bartending.  To him, a Bartender is so much more than just one who makes and serves drinks behind the bar.  His emphasis on the Hospitality aspect truly resonated with me.  So, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to introduce SHAUN the BARTENDER to all of you my SOUPFLY FRIENDS & FANS.

So, without further ado-(that really wasn’t that much ado, anyway) I give you, my guest blogger- SHAUN the BARTENDER...



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So…what is a bartender?

Is it someone who can make over 500 drinks from memory, a person serving you a drink while discussing a topic of interest, or someone who is there to be a lending ear to listen about your trying day at the office?


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The person behind the bar should be whatever you want them to be.  If you want them to converse with you, or not, they are there to respect your wishes.  Their favorite drink to make should be the one that they are making, at that very moment, for the person who is awaiting it to quench their thirst; no matter if it’s a craft cocktail or a rum and coke, they are there to satisfy your wants and needs and be happy when doing so.  Does a margarita take lemon juice and simple syrup or just a pre-mix?  That question should be answered by the person who is imbibing it, not the person serving it.  There are many tastes, hence the different types of spirits.  A true bartender understands that to be successful, one should have an open mind and make it to the satisfaction of the one who will be enjoying it.  Yes, the way they want it may be wrong as far as you, as the maker, is concerned.  However you will not be the one enjoying it.  The saying, “The customer is always right”, comes to mind in this instance.  This is what separates the true bartender and someone only serving drinks on the other side.



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A bartender is a friend, a confidant, a consultant to every individual who enters their establishment.  Be it the man who is dressed to the nines just coming from his business meeting, to the girls who are going out to gossip about current relationships, there are no favorites when it comes to him/her.  They are there to be the maestro to the bar filled with many different personalities, gracefully orchestrating a nice harmony throughout the room.  With the right conductor, everyone wants to be in the band.  The room will always be full of life and happy people no matter what pay grade and lifestyle.  With the right person as the host of the establishment, there will always be someone to talk to sitting at the next barstool.  And if you don’t know anyone when first walking in, they will be sure you have some new friends before you leave.

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It is never about them; it is about the people they have attracted to come in as patrons to their place of business.  They will always be a grateful host and the smiling face you will want to see when you have a little time to relax and enjoy some time with a room full of people who are there for the same reason.  A true bartender will understand that it is about the camaraderie and the vibe that they had every part in creating.  All because they understand that it is about each and every person there.

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What is a bartender?  I believe that this is up to you to decide.

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I hope you enjoyed Shaun’s guest post today.  I encourage you all to check out his website and  order his book:


Thank you for reading!! I so appreciate all my Soupfly Friends and Fans!!  I want to welcome my new readers from Nepal and Germany!!

Soupfly is definitely growing!  I encourage you all to please Share on Social Media-Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus.

Also, I always enjoy your comments, keep them coming!  If you would like to receive an email alert each time a new post is published-please hit the Follow button.

News-News-News!!! As you know, I am writing my first book entitled-Getting to WOW! First Class Restaurant Service- My goal is to have the manuscript edit ready by the end of October.  I ask for your prayers and positive energy to keep me focused and on track to accomplish this goal.  AND I WILL BE ACCEPTING PRE-ORDERS OF Getting to WOW! before the month is over.  If you’d like to be one of the first to get an advanced signed copy of my book-please message me or connect via the comment box.

Thank you and God bless you all!




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Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV


Of Celebrity Chefs, Vegan Authors and Soupfly Followers around the World

Welcome back to Soupfly.









Today actually is soup weather in Vegas-It’s rainy, cold and only 76 degrees right now and only getting up to 82 today(Monday)   That’s about 20 degrees colder than normal.  It actually is a nice change-briefly, that is, because I LOVE the sun and normal 100 degree temperature.  Now that I’ve said it, I have to figure out what kind of soup to make for dinner because I think my wife may be expecting it.

Today’s blog is taking a little different shape and structure.  Since I’m still new at this and it’s all still a work in progress (just like I am), I decided I’d take a varied approach.

How about some updates?!  First,  a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have Read, Liked on Facebook, Shared on your timeline and Invited your friends to do the same AND THANK YOU  to all of you who are Following Soupfly.  I truly appreciate your support. And I invite you to continue. I realize that my posts are  a bit lengthy and that it takes more than a couple minutes to read them.  If I was able to type faster then maybe you could read them faster-I understand.  The reason they are so long is-well, I feel like I have something of value to share with you.  I believe I have some things to say that are not being said.  And also, like my wife says, I like to talk a lot.

Here’s the GREAT NEWS-after just 5 posts in 3 weeks we have gotten over 460 hits on the blog  and 85 likes on Facebook at Soupfly!!!  To me that is a great start.  We have readers in 8 different countries: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, The Philippines, Switzerland, Russia and Canada.  I think I know who my readers from each country are except for United Kingdom and Germany.  And I would love to get to know my readers.  So whoever you may be and whereever you may be from-I INVITE YOU TO COMMENT- and tell what you enjoy about the content of Soupfly.  If you have ideas of topics that you’d like to be covered here, please share them.

Soupfly Facebook -As I mentioned, we are now up to 85 likes on Facebook.  That is fantastic!!  My goal is to not only break but to shatter  100 likes with this week’s post.  And next week maybe 150 or 200.  So I’m asking for your help.  If you really do like Soupfly and you’ve already LIKED it on FB, would you be open to Sharing it and Inviting your friends to do so?  Thank you.   Now back to our regularly scheduled program/blog.

Previously on Soupfly… Wait, that’s a different show.





As you all  know-I hope-I have been working on my book-GETTING TO WOW!! First Class Restaurant Service  for quite some time now and it is nearing completion.  Yahoo!!  Well, this weekend I had the Amazing pleasure of meeting a local, published author, Paul Graham, who is a well respected authority on all things Vegan in Vegas.  We met at his book signing for his vegan guidebook called, EATING VEGAN IN VEGAS.  I invite you to check out both is book and his blog by the same name:  eating-vegan-front

 Not only was it a pleasure meeting Paul but it was exciting for me to be at his book signing and visualizing that that will be me in  a few short months.  No, not that I’ll be Paul Graham but that I’ll be a published author like him, having my own book signing.  I can hardly wait.  What’s that?  Get the book done already?! Absolutely!!

 I look forward to us working together to cross promote each other’s work.  And here is an interesting side note-Paul is a wedding officiant here in Las Vegas.  While I was at his event, I asked him, “So, Paul, where do you officiate weddings?”  “At the Little Church of the West”, came his reply.  Turns out he was the minister of record when Michelle and I got married there last November (11/12/13).


I thought that he looked familiar.   Amazing!! Vegas is a big small town. Really.

Soupfly’s weekend was  filled with many great highlights-here’s two more:

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Las Vegas is THE city for Celebrity Chef restaurants. Everywhere you turn you see a familiar chef’s name on the Las Vegas Strip.  Chefs that you know from the Food Network family, or from Master Chef or from Bravo’s Top Chef.  One would be hard pressed to find a Celebrity Chef that DOES NOT have a restaurant in Vegas.

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Well,  I had the great pleasure and privilege of meeting Top Chef Master Rick Moonen at his RX Boiler Room in Mandalay Bay Hotel Resort and Casino.  It is such a cool, eclectic, fun place.  The menu is fun and creative and the cocktails are unique and have personality.  While we only stayed for drinks, it was so worth it. The decor is so funky, I’m not an expert so I don’t know what to call it-maybe Seafaring Avant Garde?

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20140802_181315-1Chef Moonen is an advocate of sustainable seafood and I believe that his seafood is flown in fresh daily.   And the cocktails are all made fresh daily.  I highly recommend a visit to RX Boiler Room next time you’re in Vegas.  And no, sorry, I don’t have a picture of me with Chef Moonen to prove that we actually did meet.  But would I mislead you?  When you’re there, please ask a staff member to show you where the bathroom is-you’ll love it. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

I promised myself that this post would be shorter-so I’ll have to continue this next time.  I will just say that I had one of THE absolute best dining experience ever,  on Saturday night.  It’s a place that Michelle and I dined at once before and because it was so great then, we decided to go back to celebrate the birthday of Michelle’s friend, Lori who was visiting us.  Talk about GETTING TO WOW!! they definitely did.   I will share the details of our wonderful experience in  a couple days.  The place?  Ok, I’ll at least tell you that-MIX Restaurant at the Delano (Formerly THE Hotel, on the Mandalay Bay property).


Thanks for reading.

God Bless you all,

Eat some Soup (preferably vegan)


Oh, and it was tomato vegetable with quinoa and kale-the soup that I made for dinner for my wife and me.

Christoff J. Weihman

Aspire Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV