Vegas chefs plan dinners to benefit injured critic Max Jacobson

Two days before Christmas — and his 22nd wedding anniversary — Las Vegas restaurant critic Max Jacobson was hit by a car as he crossed the street in a crosswalk. He remains in critical condition in intensive care with severe brain trauma and mounting medical bills.

To help out, a group of chefs organized by chef Rick Moonen are planning a series of dinners called “Chefs to the Max” to benefit Jacobson and his wife, Setu. Not just a few Vegas chefs, but a whole flock of them, have volunteered to cook the first dinner Jan. 19 at Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Bay.

All the proceeds will be used to help pay Jacobson’s medical and other bills.

Among the other chefs who have signed on are Tom Colicchio, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, Hubert Keller, Thomas Keller, Bradley Ogden and Luciano Pellegrini.

It’s a remarkably generous effort to help Jacobson, who is restaurant critic for the magazine “Vegas Seven.” After covering Orange County (and the San Fernando Valley) for the Los Angeles Times for 15 years, Jacobson moved to Vegas in 1999 to take the lead restaurant critic job at Las Vegas Life. He is co-author of “Eating Las Vegas,” a guide to the city’s restaurant scene, written with fellow food writers Al Mancini and John Curtas.


People from all over the world have been going to the Caring Bridge website to follow Jacobson’s progress and to post messages.

Tickets for the dinner cost $1,000 a person and are available by calling Rx Boiler Room at (702) 632-9900 or emailing (with the subject line “Chefs to the Max”). A credit card will be needed to guarantee seats. More information about the dinner series can be found on the Chefs to the Max page on Facebook.


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