My sister was a waitress back east, with two kids and no insurance,? said D. Taylor, a leader of the culinary union. ?She came out here and not only earned a living wage, but got a good health care package for her family."
At the Culinary Training Academy, people learn how to cook, how to make beds, how to speak the language and understand American civics. They also learn how to made a vodka martini and how to cook a white wine reduction sauce ? courtesy of Sterling Burpee, the charismatic chef lured away from one of the Strip?s newest casinos, Wynn Las Vegas. There?s a private chartered school on site, a day care center, and a classroom that processed 25 percent of the new citizens in Nevada last year. It's a sort of Ellis Island for the new service economy.
The culinary union long ago made its peace with most of the casinos. And now the casinos work with the union to train all the bartenders, cooks and porters they need to keep the illusion machine running in palaces without daylight or clocks.
In case you were wondering why there is so much to-do about the Las Vegas Culinary Workers endorsement, the NYTimes cover it here: