The first weekend in May should mean only one thing to any Foodie and or Wine Enthusiast , that would be Bon Appetit's Vegas UNCORK'D held in Las Vegas. Using the word weekend is in our opinion an understatement. This event actually runs for 4 days.
“Vegas Uncork’d is truly a national culinary event with a growing international profile,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing, LVCVA. “Most people who attend the weekend’s events come here from other cities across the country, with many coming from Canada or as faraway as Asia to participate.”
This year new events, new chefs and an even more diverse and enhanced program were featured and raised the bar higher than ever before.With each year this successful, four-day extravaganza has represented the ultimate who’s who in the food world celebrating the status of Las Vegas as an international gastronomic destination.
Another notable new addition to this year’s program was Friday’s intimate Masters’ Series Luncheons. The legendary Wolfgang Puck hosted 100 guests at his restaurant CUT, and Joachim Splichal (Pinot Brasserie) and Piero Selvaggio and Luciano Pellegrini (Valentino) rounded out the series at The Venetian/Palazzo, which came aboard this year as the event’s sixth and newest resort partner.“Once again, Vegas Uncork’d has demonstrated its appeal to the uber-foodie and the luxury traveler alike,” concluded Rob O’Keefe, executive director, Vegas Uncork’d Presented by Bon Appétit. With our strategy of managed growth and the addition of new partners, chefs and restaurants to the mix, we continue to serve up an epicurean experience that showcases Las Vegas as the world’s most exciting culinary destination.”
Also new to this year’s roster of events, Saturday night’s Fashion Feast: A Delicious Evening of Style and Taste at Bellagio featured fashion sponsor FENDI presenting a dazzling runway show pairing fashion with cuisine prepared by Bellagio’s stellar collection of chefs: Jean-Marie Auboine, Todd English, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano and David Werly. Fashion-forward Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cat Cora served as the evening’s co-emcees.
FENDI, which in a show of support to the local community, pledged to donate 10 percent of the weekend’s sales to Vegas Uncork’d partner, the Three Square Food Bank.
A VIP kickoff reception at miX Restaurant and Lounge at THE hotel at Mandalay Bay brought together what might represent the most powerful collection of chef talent ever assembled in one place. Joining celebrity chefs such as Kerry Simon, Carla Pellegrino, Akira Back, Bobby Flay, Jean Joho, Hubert Keller, Bradley Ogden, Charlie Palmer and Julian Serrano, were four of the most decorated French chefs in the world: Guy Savoy, Joël Robuchon, Pierre Gagnaire and Alain Ducasse. All of these chefs reflect Las Vegas’ increasing international flavor.
Innovative new program additions in 2010 included the after-hours Shinkansen to Shibuya at the MGM Grand , an electric celebration of contemporary, urban Japanese culture. With the restaurant transformed into a spectacular rendition of Neo-Tokyo, revelers sampled countless sakes while enjoying freshly prepared sushi and fare from a teppanyaki bar while Japanese-style go-go dancers grooved to the high-energy dance beats spun by a Japanese DJ.
Better by the Bay at Mandalay Beach, presented by chefs Charlie Palmer of Mandalay Bay’s Aureole and Alain Ducasse of miX at THEhotel, featured a delicous presentation highlighting the seafood traditions of both France and the United States. Aureole’s Master Sommelier William Sherer selected a wine program that provided the perfect complement to the evening, with aromas of an authentic beachside barbecue.
More than 2,300 guests gathered poolside to experience the ultimate culinary event. The Grand Tasting is the signature event for Vegas Uncork’d Presented by Bon Appétit.
This year’s attendance was a dramatic increase over last year’s attendance of 1,600 and was more than doubled the inaugural Grand Tasting four years ago.The Friday night event showcased “who’s who” of the culinary world. More than 150 restaurants, vintners and distillers and a record-breaking 70 chefs from around the world personally provided samplings of fine cuisine, wine and spirits. Chefs in attendance included Bradley Ogden, Bobby Flay, Guy Savoy, Hubert Keller, François Payard, Steve Martarano and many, many more.
Chef Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas racked up his third straight victory at the Celebrity Chef Blackjack Tournament held poolside at Encore Las Vegas. This year’s field included actress Laura Prepon and Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cat Cora and chefs Bobby Flay, Pierre Gagnaire, Shawn McClain, Rick Moonen, Bradley Ogden, Charlie Palmer, François Payard, Joël Robuchon and David Walzog.
Vegas UNCORK'D offers a variety of venues,accommodating each person's tastes and pocket books. With more opportunities for every level of culinary sophistication, this event has something for everyone.
While speaking with Barbara Fairchild one evening we asked her where else could such an event take place, her response was only in Las Vegas. Las Vegas has more Master Sommeliers in 3 miles than in any other city in the world and with more top chefs opening new and exciting restaurants to please any palate. Next year, the first week of May, plan on being here for the four day culinary journey that you will never forget.
Join Elaine and Scott from VINO LAS VEGAS and THE CUISINEIST as we take our readers and viewers from the Red Carpet to strolling along side the greatest Chefs in the world at Cesars Palace for Bon Appetit's Vegas UNCORK'D .