Friends With Benefits: Abie Mae Durst
Being able to throw a fabulous party or put together a successful event is definitely a talent, and it’s one Abie Mae Durst has in spades.
For nearly a decade the Ohio native has done event coordinating at various jobs; it was a job in Florida—where she worked with a restaurant and event space—where she first got the title of event coordinator.
While in the Sunshine State, Durst’s brother convinced her to bring her talents to Las Vegas. So she moved to the city in January, and by March she was hired on at celebrity chef Rick Moonen’s restaurants, Rx Boiler Room and RM Seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, where she’s currently the special events and catering manager.
“Working with Rick has been a dream come true,” Durst said. “He is so nice and humble—nothing that you would think a celebrity chef would be.” Durst breaks her job down quite easily: “It’s simple—you pick the food, you pick the drink, you pick which venue and then I make it all happen seamlessly,” she said. She’s put together both small and large parties at both restaurants, and she’s done it successfully, beginning to end.
“The synergy and energy that comes from Vegas is like no other city in the world,” she said. “Putting together events here are so much bigger and better and fabulous. … You know they say things happen quickly here in Vegas? Well, I moved here, got an amazing job with an amazing chef at two amazing restaurants. … Life goes fast, and you have to appreciate every single bit of it and this is such an amazing job, life, everything.”
Smoked Whisky & Cola
According to Durst, “RM Seafood restaurant is more clean-cut, about seafood, it has an East Coast vibe; Rx Boiler Room is more romantic, eclectic, rustic, with great craft cocktails.” And Rx is where you’ll find the Smoked Whisky & Cola. Made with Old Forester bourbon, Angostura bitters and a splash of soda water, the cola syrup is made in-house with a special blend of orange, lemon and lime zest, vanilla bean, star anise, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, banana peels, citric acid, maple syrup, caramelized sugar and raw sugar. The mixture is cooked and strained and sits overnight, and each batch lasts about two weeks.